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OWASP Periodic Table of Vulnerabilities - Cross-Site Request Forgery

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Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)

Root Cause Summary

A vulnerable application processes a transaction using an existing session, without verifying that the transaction was intended to be initiated by the user and not a malicious 3rd-party site. CSRF is also known as Session Riding or Confused Deputy.

Browser / Standards Solution

Change default browser behavior to look for policy file for cross-domain writes instead of "default allow", transitioning through CSP framework.



Framework Solution


Perimeter Solution


Generic Framework Solution

Automatically generate and check tokens for all POST requests by default, following the Synchronizer Token Pattern with configuration-based exclusion list for transactions which must not or need not be protected against CSRF. Disallow state changes via GET requests, enforcing RFC.

Custom Framework Solution


Custom Code Solution


Discussion / Controversy

CSRF tokens will be made obsolete by a browser/standards solution that allows a site owner to specify which external web sites are allowed to initiate transactions. The current HTTP specification by design allows any web site to initiate POST requests to any other web site on the behalf of its users.


OWASP - Top 10 2013-A8-Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)

OWASP - Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)

OWASP - Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) Prevention Cheat Sheet

OWASP - OWASP CSRF Tester Project

OWASP - Testing for CSRF (OWASP-SM-005)

CWE-352: Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)

WASC - Cross Site Request Forgery

CAPEC-62:Cross Site Request Forgery (aka Session Riding)