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ISSUE-4: Policy combination

From: Adam Barth <w3c@adambarth.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2011 11:35:44 -0800
Message-ID: <CAJE5ia-7aySsVcQK_D=gPKObTzVT0TfM-qjnh5MtEPcmdYj7GQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-webappsec@w3.org
One of our open issues is about how to deal with multiple CSP policies
for a given resource.  At TPAC, one resolution we discussed was the
following:

1) If a resource has multiple HTTP headers containing CSP policies,
enforce all of the policies.  Because CSP policies only reduce
privileges (never grant privileges), that effectively means that an
action is allowed only if it is allowed by all the CSP policies.

2) If a resource has a CSP policy from an HTTP header, then we ignore
any CSP policies that might be contained in <meta> elements.
Otherwise, the user agent enforces all the CSP policies found in
<meta> elements.

Another resolution (which I advocate) is the following:

A) The first CSP policy the user agent encounters for a document wins.

IMHO, approach (A) is better than approach (1+2) for two reasons.
First, it's simpler.  CSP is already more complex that it should be.
Adding more complexity is costly, both now in terms of implementation
and in the future in terms of constraints.

Second, approach (1+2) constrains future evolution of CSP.  For
example, suppose we wanted to include
http://wiki.whatwg.org/wiki/Meta_referrer as a CSP directive.  How
would we define the combination of policies containing referrer
directives?  We'd have to define some ordering like "never < origin <
always", but where does default fit in?

These are, in some sense, the same concern.  We can implement
combination today, but it imposes constrains on the future that we
might wish we didn't have later.

Adam
Received on Thursday, 8 December 2011 19:36:55 GMT

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