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Re: [cors] Allow-Credentials vs Allow-Origin: * on image elements?

From: Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>
Date: Wed, 07 Jul 2010 10:28:06 +0200
To: public-webapps@w3.org, "Charlie Reis" <creis@chromium.org>
Message-ID: <op.vfgsgodh64w2qv@annevk-t60>
On Fri, 02 Jul 2010 23:05:41 +0200, Charlie Reis <creis@chromium.org>  
> Hi all--
>   I'm trying to understand one of the example use cases in the CORS
> specification and how the various rules about credentials apply, and I'm
> wondering whether there's an issue to resolve.
>   In the "Not tainting the canvas element" example at
> http://dev.w3.org/2006/waf/access-control/#use-cases, it looks like the
> images will be requested from http://narwhalart.example using <img> tags.
>  If so, it's possible the user agent will send cookies on the GET request
> for the images.
>   If I understand correctly, that implies that the HTTP response would  
> have
> to include "Access-Control-Allow-Credentials: true," because cookies are
> considered credentials.  However, I also see that providing
> "Access-Control-Allow-Credentials: true" means that * cannot be used for
> Access-Control-Allow-Origin.  The use case mentions that the server could
> make the images accessible to all origins, though.

Right. The server would have to know the origin of the request for that to  
work given the current constraints in the CORS specification. The current  
constraints are there as at least one implementor was afraid it would  
otherwise be to easy to configure the server in such a way as to reveal  
confidential information.

>   Is the server allowed to omit the Access-Control-Allow-Credentials  
> header
> and use * for Access-Control-Allow-Origin, despite the presence of  
> cookies
> on the image's GET request?

Not per CORS. In theory HTML5 could phrase the requirements around <img>  
fetching to be different, but that does not seem like a good idea.

>   Also, what is the reason that * is not allowed for responses that allow
> credentials?  I've seen it documented in several places, but I'm not sure
> why that's the case.  In cases like images or perhaps web fonts, it seems
> impractical to prevent credentials from being sent (unlike  
> XmlHttpRequests).

See above.

>   On a similar note, are the image's GET requests required to carry  
> Origin
> HTTP headers?

They are required to carry an Origin header but the current requirements  
also indicate that the header will just give "null" rather than an origin.

I believe the plan is to change HTML5 once CORS is somewhat more stable  
and use it for various pieces of infrastructure there. At that point we  
can change <img> to transmit an Origin header with an origin. We could  
also decide to change CORS and allow the combination of * and the  
credentials flag being true. I think * is not too different from echoing  
back the value of a header.

Anne van Kesteren
Received on Wednesday, 7 July 2010 08:28:52 UTC

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