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From André Warnier>
Subject Re: Filter by HTTP_REFERER
Date Wed, 02 Nov 2011 09:42:42 GMT
Casper Wandahl Schmidt wrote:
> Den 02-11-2011 10:17, André Warnier skrev:
>> Pid * wrote:
>>> On 31 Oct 2011, at 18:25, Christopher Schultz
>>> <> wrote:
>>>> Hash: SHA1
>>>> Richardo,
>>>> On 10/31/2011 12:33 PM, Ricardo Bayley wrote:
>>>>> You are right. What I intend to do is prevent hot linking.
>>>> We get what you are trying to do: you'll just have to write your own
>>>> code to do it. Tomcat ships with a Filter called RequestFilter that
>>>> you can subclass if you need that kind of flexibility. If you don't
>>>> need such flexibility, just write it yourself: it's pretty much a
>>>> one-liner.
>>> It'll still be fragile and open to exploitation. An AJAX call can set
>>> any request headers it likes. You be better off using authentication
>>> if you want anything more than a casual defence.
>>> p
>>>>> My webapp, is working as a REST webservice.
>>>>> So I would like to have tomcat reply only when requests come from
>>>>> specific sites.
>>>> You mean when the requests are referred from specific sites, right?
>>>> - -chris
>> I think that a bit of clarification is in order now.
>> 1) When receiving a request, Tomcat "knows" from which client IP this 
>> request is coming.
>> This is because there is a TCP connection nbetween the client and 
>> Tomcat, and the TCP/IP stack on the Tomcat machine "knows" the IP 
>> address and TCP port from which the remote client is making this 
>> connection.
>> Tomcat can allow/block requests originating from specific IP 
>> addresses, using the RemoteAddress filter (See 

>> or the Remote IP Valve (also mentioned there).
>> This is fairly efficient, because Tomcat already has the information 
>> needed to make the decision.
>> 2) Because Tomcat has the client's remote IP address, it can also make 
>> a "reverse DNS lookup", to find out which domain name corresponds to 
>> this IP address, and then allow/deny the request based on the remote 
>> host's domain name.  This is done via the RemoteHost filter 
>> ( 
>> It is less efficient than option (1), because a DNS lookup has to take 
>> place.
>> Furthermore, this DNS lookup is not guaranteed to succeed, because not 
>> all IP addresses are mapped in reverse to a hostname.
>> I also wonder what happens exactly when the remote host's IP address 
>> corresponds to multiple DNS names, as can happen.
>> 3) the HTTP "Referer" header in a HTTP request is a different animal.
>> First, as pointed out by Pid, it can be easily faked by a client.
>> (So anything based on this should certainly /not/ be considered as any 
>> kind of security-enhancing feature).
>> Second, it works as follows :
>> Imagine a browser B, some website W, and the Tomcat web server T.
>> The browser B gets a web page from site W. This is now the browser's 
>> "current page", and its origin is (to the browser) something like : 
>> "http://website-W/some-document.html".
>> In that page, there is a URL link to the Tomcat website on T, for 
>> example something like :
>> <a href="http://website-T/some-REST-url">click here</a>.
>> When the user clicks on that link, the browser will send a HTTP 
>> request to Tomcat on server T.  And the browser, in this request, will 
>> add a "Referer:" header containing "http://website-W/some-document.html".
>> That is because the request originates from the current page, which 
>> had been obtained from "http://website-W/some-document.html".  That is 
>> what "referrer" means.
>> As you can see, this is different from cases (1) and (2), because (1) 
>> and (2) refer to the client's own IP address or name, while (3) refers 
>> to another server altogether.
>> Now the point is to know exactly what Ricardo wants, as per this phrase :
>> >>> So I would like to have tomcat reply only when requests come from
>> >>> specific sites.
>> Does that mean :
>> - Tomcat should reject requests coming from workstations that are not 
>> themselves within a particular range of IP addresses ? (for example, 
>> only from some customer LANs L1, L2, L3,..) of which the IP addresses 
>> are known in advance ?
>> OR
>> - Tomcat should reject requests coming from clients whose own IP 
>> addresses cannot be resolved to hostnames that are members of some DNS 
>> domain (like "*" or "*") ?
>> OR
>> - Tomcat should reject requests (from any client), unless these 
>> requests come from a link which itself appears only on some websites ?
>> (and the possibility of a malicious client "faking" such a "Referer" 
>> can be ignored).
> According to OP he want's to avoid hot-linking which would be this last 
> case or have I misunderstood something?

Well, "hot-linking" is not a term he himself mentioned, it is a term someone else 
mentioned, after interpreting the above phrase that he wrote.  It is not so clear to me 
what he really wants.

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