Server-Side Request Forgery (SSRF) Attack in Node.js


Server-Side Request Forgery (SSRF) is a type of security vulnerability that occurs when an attacker is able to exploit a web application to send HTTP requests from the server-side to a third-party resource that the attacker controls, without the knowledge or permission of the user or the server administrator.

In Node.js, SSRF attacks can occur when an attacker is able to control the input parameters of a request, such as a URL or an IP address. Here are some best practices to prevent SSRF attacks in your Node.js application:

  1. Use a whitelist approach: One of the most effective ways to prevent SSRF attacks is to use a whitelist approach for validating user input. This means that you only allow requests to known and trusted resources, and reject any requests that do not match the whitelist. You can use a library like url-parse to parse URLs and validate them against a whitelist:
const url = require('url');
const validHosts = ['', ''];

app.get('/api/external', (req, res) => {
  const urlObj = url.parse(req.query.url);
  if (validHosts.includes(urlObj.hostname)) {
    // Valid URL, continue with request
  } else {
    // Invalid URL, reject request
  1. Use network-level protection: Another way to prevent SSRF attacks is to use network-level protection, such as a firewall or a proxy server, to block outgoing requests to known malicious or unauthorized destinations. You can also use tools like mod_security to detect and block HTTP requests that match specific patterns or signatures.
  2. Use environment variables: When making external requests, it’s important to avoid hard-coding sensitive information such as API keys or database credentials in your code. Instead, use environment variables to store and access this information at runtime. This can help prevent attackers from being able to read or steal sensitive information from your code.
  3. Use a security-focused library: Finally, it’s important to use a security-focused library when making external requests in your Node.js application. Libraries like got or axios provide features such as URL normalization, automatic redirects, and HTTPS enforcement, which can help prevent SSRF attacks. For example:
const got = require('got');

app.get('/api/external', async (req, res) => {
  try {
    const response = await got(req.query.url, {
      followRedirect: true,
      rejectUnauthorized: true
  } catch (error) {
    res.status(500).send('Error: ' + error.message);

By following these best practices, you can help prevent SSRF attacks in your Node.js application. However, it’s important to note that these are just some of the many steps you can take to improve the security of your application. It’s always a good idea to stay up-to-date with the latest security best practices and to perform regular security audits of your application to ensure that you’re not leaving any vulnerabilities open to attack.

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