Django web security checklist before deployment
You already know web security is important to keeping hackers and cyber-thieves from accessing sensitive information. So, in this post we are going to check Django security vulnerabilities and how to fix them.
First thing first, check your security vulnerabilities by following command:
You can see some descriptions which provide information about your Django web application vulnerabilities. Try to google these security issues and fix them before production.
The Mozilla Observatory
If you already deployed you application then use Observatory by Mozilla site to scan the security status of your site. The site also includes third-party scanners which test other security aspects of your site.
Here is the example of scan:
Cross site request forgery (CSRF) protection
In a web application, basically the webforms take input from the user and send them to server-side components to process them. The server-side components generally expose the service as a POST, PUT, DELETE methods for accepting the data over HTTP. Django has built-in security against most forms of CSRF threats, as long as you have allowed and used it if necessary.
As stated in the documentation, be very careful when marking views with the csrf_exempt decorator, unless it is absolutely necessary.
If someone has access (through an man-in-the-middle attack or xss) to your csrftoken cookie, then this is a vulnerability.
The CSRF protection cannot protect against man-in-the-middle attacks, so use HTTPS with HTTP Strict Transport Security (We will discuss it in post later).
Once you’ve set up HTTPS, add these lines in your settings.py
Cross-site Scripting (XSS)
A Cross-site Scripting (XSS) allows an attacker to inject a script into the content of a website or app. When a user visits the infected page the script will execute in the victim’s browser. This allows attackers to steal private information like cookies, account information, etc.
X-XSS-Protection: 1; mode=block enables XSS filtering. Rather than sanitizing the page, the browser will prevent rendering of the page if an attack is detected.
To enable it in Django, add following lines in your settings.py:
Django Admin Security
One of the most important thing is to make Django administration secure. Before you deploy your application you must change admin/ path to something only you know. Otherwise, someone can easily type /admin in url and access to adminsitrator login page.
You can create fake admin login page using django-admin-honeypot and it will notify you if someone try attempt unauthorized access.
Add following line to your settings.py to force Django redirect all non-HTTPS requests to HTTPS.
Content Security Policy (CSP)
If your Django application is large, contains a lot of third-party code, and has a lot of inline scripts and styles scattered all over the project, then you should add CSP to your site.
For more information about CSP visit An Introduction to Content Security Policy
Django does not have a built-in method for creating a CSP header, so you can install Mozilla’s django-csp module and use your browser's console to track the security violations in your code.
Once you installed django-csp, add following lines to your settings.py
So, basically, your all inline scripts and styles will not be allowed anymore. All scripts and styles must be loaded from a resource. You can add ‘unsafe-inline’ to your script and style CSP headers, however, it negates the whole policy.
Its really important to clean your code from all these inline styles and scripts. However, some external resources such as Google Tag Manager or Google Analytics should be allowed in your CSP policy. To achieve that update your code like this:
Fore more information take a look django-csp documentation.
Note that this configuration depends on which external resources you are using so please first read the documentation and then apply changes to your site.
HTTP Strict Transport Security
When this policy is set, browsers will refuse to connect to your site for the given time period if you’re not properly serving HTTPS resources, or if your certificate expires.
Add the following lines to your settings.py:
Now your app is almost secure. Additionally you can scan your open ports by using nmap and try to google how to fix these open ports.
If you liked the post please visit Reverse Python and share it with your friends!