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ASGI middleware for protecting against CSRF attacks

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ASGI middleware for protecting against CSRF attacks


pip install asgi-csrf


See the OWASP guide to Cross Site Request Forgery (CSRF) and their Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) Prevention Cheat Sheet.

This middleware implements the Double Submit Cookie pattern, where a cookie is set that is then compared to a csrftoken hidden form field or a x-csrftoken HTTP header.


Decorate your ASGI application like this:

from asgi_csrf import asgi_csrf
from .my_asgi_app import app

app = asgi_csrf(app, signing_secret="secret-goes-here")

The middleware will set a csrftoken cookie, if one is missing. The value of that token will be made available to your ASGI application through the scope["csrftoken"] function.

Your application code should include that value as a hidden form field in any POST forms:

<form action="/login" method="POST">
    <input type="hidden" name="csrftoken" value="{{ request.scope.csrftoken() }}">

Note that request.scope["csrftoken"]() is a function that returns a string. Calling that function also lets the middleware know that the cookie should be set by that page, if the user does not already have that cookie.

If the cookie needs to be set, the middleware will add a Vary: Cookie header to the response to ensure it is not incorrectly cached by any CDNs or intermediary proxies.

The middleware will return a 403 forbidden error for any POST requests that do not include the matching csrftoken - either in the POST data or in a x-csrftoken HTTP header (useful for JavaScript fetch() calls).

The signing_secret is used to sign the tokens, to protect against subdomain vulnerabilities.

If you do not pass in an explicit signing_secret parameter, the middleware will look for a ASGI_CSRF_SECRET environment variable.

If it cannot find that environment variable, it will generate a random secret which will persist for the lifetime of the server.

This means that if you do not configure a specific secret your user's csrftoken cookies will become invalid every time the server restarts! You should configure a secret.

Always setting the cookie if it is not already set

By default this middleware only sets the csrftoken cookie if the user encounters a page that needs it - due to that page calling the request.scope["csrftoken"]() function, for example to populate a hidden field in a form.

If you would like the middleware to set that cookie for any incoming request that does not already provide the cookie, you can use the always_set_cookie=True argument:

app = asgi_csrf(app, signing_secret="secret-goes-here", always_set_cookie=True)

Other cases that skip CSRF protection

If the request includes an Authorization: Bearer ... header, commonly used by OAuth and JWT authentication, the request will not be required to include a CSRF token. This is because browsers cannot send those headers in a context that can be abused.

If the request has no cookies at all it will be allowed through, since CSRF protection is only necessary for requests from authenticated users.

If you have paths that should always be protected even without cookies - your login form for example (to avoid login CSRF attacks) you can protect those paths by passing them as the always_protect parameter:

app = asgi_csrf(

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