Girder maintains data security through a variety of mechanisms.

Default Authorization

Internally, endpoints default to requiring adminitrator permissions in order to use them. This means that, for example, when writing a plugin, a developer must consciously choose to allow non-administrator access. Basic administrator, user, or token access restrictions are applied before any other enpoint code is executed.

CORS (Cross-Origin Resource Sharing)

When a request is sent from a web browser that could modify the data in Girder, the web browser sends an Origin header. If this is not the same origin as where a user’s sessions was initiated, it is a Cross-Origin request, and is restricted based on the Girder CORS settings.

By default, all cross-origin requests that could modify data are refused. Different origins may be allowed via the System Configuration. For best security it is highly recommended that only a specific list of origins be allowed, and not all origins using the * token. When responding to a valid Cross-Origin request, Girder only responds that the specific origin is allowed, and does not reveal what other origins can be accessed.

If desired, cross-origin requests can be further restricted by specifying a list of permitted endpoint methods. The CORS specification always permits GET, HEAD, and a subset of POST requests. If set in the System Configuration, other methods can be restricted or allowed as desired.

CORS policy accepts requests with simple headers. If requests include other headers, they must be listed in the System Configuration, or the request will be refused. If the default isn’t changed, Girder will authorize a small set of headers that are typically needed when accessing the default web client from a different origin than the Girder server. Some configurations require additional headers to be allowed. For instance, if the Girder server is behind a proxy, the X-Requested-With, X-Forwarded-Server, X-Forwarded-For, X-Forwarded-Host, and Remote-Addr headers may also be needed. Changing the allowed headers overrides the default values. Therefore, to have the default allowed headers and the additional headers, the allowed headers should be changed to the combined list of the two:

Accept-Encoding, Authorization, Content-Disposition, Content-Type, Cookie,
Girder-Token, X-Requested-With, X-Forwarded-Server, X-Forwarded-For,
X-Forwarded-Host, Remote-Addr

Although the server always allows the Content-Type header, some cross-origin browsers may require it to be listed in the allowed headers. If this is the case, it muse be included in the allowed headers setting so that browsers will be informed that it is allowed.

Girder returns an error when a Cross-Origin request is made (one with the Origin header) that does not match the system configuration settings. Although most modern web browsers also enforce this, some additional security is added by enforcing it at the request level.