By- October 06, 2015
If you’ve been keeping up with recent browser developments you may have noticed that in the past few weeks both Chrome and Firefox have started to support subresource integrity, with companies like Github making an active push for other sites to make use of the functionality. This is a low-risk change that offers tremendous security gains for your users, so we just pushed out an update that makes it easier to start using subresource integrity on your website.
As is the nature of loading arbitrary code, this has always opened up websites to the possibility of being attacked through their CDN: an insecure or malicious CDN holds the potential to insert malicious code onto any website to which it serves assets. Subresource integrity serves to mitigate this attack by ensuring that all loaded resources contain the exact content expected by the website. This is done through the use of a cryptographic digest, computed on all fetched resources, that is then compared against an expected digest. This provides the browser the capability of detecting resources that have been tampered with, allowing it the opportunity to abort the loading of the resources before any malicious code is executed.
Protecting a resource is done by adding the “integrity” attribute to an asset’s HTML tag:
<script src="https://example.com/include.js" integrity="sha256-Rj/9XDU7F6pNSX8yBddiCIIS+XKDTtdq0//No0MH0AE=" crossorigin="anonymous"></script>
It’s an elegant solution to a very serious risk, and it’s a solution we recommend implementing. It won’t secure all of your users, with Microsoft Edge still not supporting the feature, but it can serve as a valuable line of defense in the event of a breach of your CDN. Many of the popular web frameworks provide libraries that make it easy to enable subresource integrity on your assets, and further instructions on making use of the technology are available on the Mozilla Developer Network.
Going forward, all Tinfoil Security scans will flag external resources that are not protected by subresource integrity. Give it a try by signing up for our 30-day free trial.