Implement cookie HTTP header flag with HTTPOnly & Secure to protect a website from XSS attacks
Do you know you can mitigate most common XSS attacks using
Secure flag with your cookie?
Without having HttpOnly and Secure flag in the HTTP response header, it is possible to steal or manipulate web application session and cookies.
It’s better to manage this within the application code. However, due to developers’ unawareness, it comes to Web Server administrators.
I will not talk about how to set these at the code level. You can refer here.
Implementation Procedure in Apache
1. Ensure you have
mod_headers.so enabled in Apache HTTP server
2. Add following entry in httpd.conf
Header edit Set-Cookie ^(.*)$ $1;HttpOnly;Secure
3. Restart Apache HTTP server to test
Note: Header edit is not compatible with lower than Apache 2.2.4 version.
You can use the following to set HttpOnly and Secure flag in lower than 2.2.4 version. Thanks to Ytse for sharing this information.
Header set Set-Cookie HttpOnly;Secure
You can either leverage the browser’s inbuilt developer tools to check the response header or use online tool.
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