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[1.4.x] Made is_safe_url() reject URLs that start with control charac…


This is a security fix; disclosure to follow shortly.
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timgraham committed Mar 10, 2015
1 parent 3b20558 commit 2342693b31f740a422abf7267c53b4e7bc487c1b
Showing with 30 additions and 2 deletions.
  1. +8 −1 django/utils/
  2. +19 −0 docs/releases/1.4.20.txt
  3. +3 −1 tests/regressiontests/utils/
@@ -4,6 +4,7 @@
import sys
import urllib
import urlparse
import unicodedata
from email.utils import formatdate
from django.utils.datastructures import MultiValueDict
@@ -232,9 +233,10 @@ def is_safe_url(url, host=None):
Always returns ``False`` on an empty url.
if url is not None:
url = url.strip()
if not url:
return False
url = url.strip()
# Chrome treats \ completely as /
url = url.replace('\\', '/')
# Chrome considers any URL with more than two slashes to be absolute, but
@@ -248,5 +250,10 @@ def is_safe_url(url, host=None):
# allow this syntax.
if not url_info[1] and url_info[0]:
return False
# Forbid URLs that start with control characters. Some browsers (like
# Chrome) ignore quite a few control characters at the start of a
# URL and might consider the URL as scheme relative.
if unicodedata.category(unicode(url[0]))[0] == 'C':
return False
return (not url_info[1] or url_info[1] == host) and \
(not url_info[0] or url_info[0] in ['http', 'https'])
@@ -5,3 +5,22 @@ Django 1.4.20 release notes
*March 18, 2015*
Django 1.4.20 fixes one security issue in 1.4.19.
Mitigated possible XSS attack via user-supplied redirect URLs
Django relies on user input in some cases (e.g.
:func:`django.contrib.auth.views.login` and :doc:`i18n </topics/i18n/index>`)
to redirect the user to an "on success" URL. The security checks for these
redirects (namely ``django.utils.http.is_safe_url()``) accepted URLs with
leading control characters and so considered URLs like ``\x08javascript:...``
safe. This issue doesn't affect Django currently, since we only put this URL
into the ``Location`` response header and browsers seem to ignore JavaScript
there. Browsers we tested also treat URLs prefixed with control characters such
as ``%08//`` as relative paths so redirection to an unsafe target
isn't a problem either.
However, if a developer relies on ``is_safe_url()`` to
provide safe redirect targets and puts such a URL into a link, they could
suffer from an XSS attack as some browsers such as Google Chrome ignore control
characters at the start of a URL in an anchor ``href``.
@@ -98,7 +98,9 @@ def test_is_safe_url(self):
self.assertFalse(http.is_safe_url(bad_url, host='testserver'), "%s should be blocked" % bad_url)
for good_url in ('/view/?param=',

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