Skip to content
/ csrf Public

Cross Site Request Forgery (CSRF) prevention middleware for Goji (a Go micro-framework)


Notifications You must be signed in to change notification settings


Repository files navigation


GoDoc Build Status

Goji v2 users: A new version with support for Goji v2 and any other context.Context aware muxes/applications (i.e. not just Goji!) is available in the goji/ctx-csrf repo.

goji/csrf is a HTTP middleware library that provides cross-site request forgery (CSRF) protection. It includes:

  • The csrf.Protect middleware/handler that can be used with goji.Use to provide CSRF protection on routes attached to a router or a sub-router.
  • A csrf.Token function that provides the token to pass into your response, whether that be a HTML form or a JSON response body.
  • ... and a csrf.TemplateField helper that you can pass into your html/template templates to replace a {{ .csrfField }} template tag with a hidden input field.

This library is designed to work with the Goji micro-framework, which is a simple web framework for Go that is broadly compatible with other parts of the Go ecosystem. It makes use of Goji's web.C request context, which doesn't rely on a global map, and is therefore safe to attach to your top-level router (if you so wish).

The library also assumes HTTPS by default: sending cookies over vanilla HTTP is risky and you're likely to get hurt.


goji/csrf is easy to use: add the middleware to your stack with the below:


... and then collect the token with csrf.Token(c, r) before passing it to the template, JSON body or HTTP header (you pick!). goji/csrf inspects HTTP headers (first) and the form body (second) on subsequent POST/PUT/PATCH/DELETE/etc. requests for the token.

HTML Forms

Here's the common use-case: HTML forms you want to provide CSRF protection for, in order to protect malicious POST requests being made:

package main

import (


func main() {
    // Add the middleware to your router.
    goji.Get("/signup", ShowSignupForm)
    // POST requests without a valid token will return a HTTP 403 Forbidden.
    goji.Post("/signup/post", SubmitSignupForm)


func ShowSignupForm(c web.C, w http.ResponseWriter, r *http.Request) {
    // signup_form.tmpl just needs a {{ .csrfField }} template tag for
    // csrf.TemplateField to inject the CSRF token into. Easy!
    t.ExecuteTemplate(w, "signup_form.tmpl", map[string]interface{
        csrf.TemplateTag: csrf.TemplateField(c, r),
    // We could also retrieve the token directly from csrf.Token(c, r) and 
    // set it in the request header - w.Header.Set("X-CSRF-Token", token)
    // This is useful if your sending JSON to clients or a front-end JavaScript
    // framework.

func SubmitSignupForm(c web.C, w http.ResponseWriter, r *http.Request) {
    // We can trust that requests making it this far have satisfied
    // our CSRF protection requirements.

JSON Responses

This approach is useful if you're using a front-end JavaScript framework like Ember or Angular, or are providing a JSON API.

We'll also look at applying selective CSRF protection using Goji's sub-routers, as we don't handle any POST/PUT/DELETE requests with our top-level router.

package main

import (

func main() {
    r := web.New()
    // Our top-level router doesn't need CSRF protection: it's simple.
    r.Get("/", ShowIndex)

    api := web.New()
    r.Handle("/api/*", s)
    // ... but our /api/* routes do, so we add it to the sub-router only.

    s.Get("/api/user/:id", GetUser)
    s.Post("/api/user", PostUser)

    graceful.ListenAndServe(":8000", r)

func GetUser(c web.C, w http.ResponseWriter, r *http.Request) {
    // Authenticate the request, get the :id from the route params, 
    // and fetch the user from the DB, etc.

    // Get the token and pass it in the CSRF header. Our JSON-speaking client 
    // or JavaScript framework can now read the header and return the token in 
    // in its own "X-CSRF-Token" request header on the subsequent POST.
    w.Header().Set("X-CSRF-Token", csrf.Token(c, r))
    b, err := json.Marshal(user)
    if err != nil {


Setting Options

What about providing your own error handler and changing the HTTP header the package inspects on requests? (i.e. an existing API you're porting to Go). Well, goji/csrf provides options for changing these as you see fit:

func main() {
    CSRF := csrf.Protect(
            // Note that csrf.ErrorHandler takes a Goji web.Handler type, else 
            // your error handler can't retrieve the error reason from the context.
            // The signature `func UnauthHandler(c web.C, w http.ResponseWriter, r *http.Request)`
            // is a web.Handler, and the simplest to use if you'd like to serve
            // "pretty" error pages (who doesn't?).

    goji.Get("/signup", GetSignupForm)
    goji.Post("/signup", PostSignupForm)


Not too bad, right?

If there's something you're confused about or a feature you would like to see added, open an issue with your code so far.

Design Notes

Getting CSRF protection right is important, so here's some background:

  • This library generates unique-per-request (masked) tokens as a mitigation against the BREACH attack.
  • The 'base' (unmasked) token is stored in the session, which means that multiple browser tabs won't cause a user problems as their per-request token is compared with the base token.
  • Operates on a "whitelist only" approach where safe (non-mutating) HTTP methods (GET, HEAD, OPTIONS, TRACE) are the only methods where token validation is not enforced.
  • The design is based on the battle-tested Django and Ruby on Rails approaches.
  • Cookies are authenticated and based on the securecookie library. They're also Secure (issued over HTTPS only) and are HttpOnly by default, because sane defaults are important.
  • Go's crypto/rand library is used to generate the 32 byte (256 bit) tokens and the one-time-pad used for masking them.

This library does not seek to be adventurous.


BSD licensed. See the LICENSE file for details.


Cross Site Request Forgery (CSRF) prevention middleware for Goji (a Go micro-framework)







No packages published