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  • Protect your website from click-jacking attack by implementing CSP (Content Security Policy) header

    CSP is one of the OWASP top 10 secure headers and often recommended by security experts or tools to implement it. There are many options to build the policy to enforce how you want to expose your web resources.

    One of the directives called frame-ancestors which was introduced in CSP version 2 gives more flexibility compared to the X-Frame-Options header. frame-ancestors works in the same fashion as the X-Frame-Options to allow or disallow the resources getting embedded using iframe, frame, object, embed, and applet element.

    I think X-Frame-Options will be obsolete in the near future when CSP is fully compatible with all the major browsers. As I write, CSP frame-ancestors works with all the latest browser version except IE.

    I don’t know when Microsoft will allow support on IE. You can always check the browser compatibility at Can I Use site.

    Let’s take a look at the following implementation procedure.

    Apache HTTP

    mod_headers is the pre-requisite to inject any headers in Apache. Depending on the OS and version but if you are using Ubuntu and Apache 2.4 then you can use a2enmod headers to enable it.

    [email protected]:/etc/apache2# a2enmod headers
    Enabling module headers.
    To activate the new configuration, you need to run:
      systemctl restart apache2
    [email protected]:/etc/apache2# systemctl restart apache2
    [email protected]:/etc/apache2#

    Note: all the configuration you can do it in either httpd.conf file or any effective configuration file you are using.

    DENY from ALL

    Similar to X-Frame-Options DENY. If you don’t want any site (including self) to embed then add the following.

    Header set Content-Security-Policy "frame-ancestors none;"

    Save the file and restart the Apache HTTP to take effect.

    I tried to embed the site and as you can see it was getting blocked.

    Allow from self but DENY others

    Similar to X-Frame-Options SAMEORIGIN, you can add the following.

    Header set Content-Security-Policy "frame-ancestors 'self';"

    Allow from self and multiple domains

    X-Frame-Options didn’t have an option to allow from multiple domains. Thanks to CSP, you can do as below.

    Header set Content-Security-Policy "frame-ancestors 'self' geekflare.com gf.dev geekflare.dev;"

    The above will allow the content to be embedded from self, geekflare.com, gf.dev, geekflare.dev. Change these domains with yours.

    Nginx

    The concept and directive are the same as above explained in the Apache HTTP section except for the way you add the header. Headers in Nginx should be added under the server block in a corresponding configuration file.

    DENY all

    add_header Content-Security-Policy "frame-ancestors none;";

    DENY all but not self

    add_header Content-Security-Policy "frame-ancestors 'self';";

    Allow from multiple domains

    add_header Content-Security-Policy "frame-ancestors yoursite.com example.com;";

    The above example will allow embedding content on yoursite.com and example.come. After making changes, don’t forget to restart Nginx server to test the policy.

    WordPress

    It depends on how you are hosting WordPress.

    If self-hosted like a cloud or VPS, then you might be using a web server such as Apache or Nginx. If so, then you can follow the above mentioned to implement in web server instead of WordPress. However, if you on shared hosting or no access to modify webservers, then you can leverage a plugin.

    To implement CSP in WordPress, you can use the Content Security Policy Pro plugin.

    Verification

    Once you are done with the implementation, you can either use browser inbuilt developer tools or secure headers test tool.

    Conclusion

    CSP is one of the powerful, secure headers to prevent web vulnerabilities. I hope the above instructions guide you on how to implement frame-ancestors in Apache and Nginx.