skip to navigation
skip to content

django-debreach 1.4.0

Adds middleware and context processors to give some protection against the BREACH attack in Django.

Basic/extra mitigation against the BREACH attack for Django projects.

When combined with rate limiting in your web-server, or by using something like django-ratelimit, the techniques here should provide at least some protection against the BREACH attack.


Install from PyPI using:

$ pip install django-debreach




CSRF token masking (for Django < 1.10)

Django 1.10+ provides built-in support for masking CSRF tokens so you should use that. Including the middleware in a Django 1.10 project will raise an ImproperlyConfigured exception.

To mask CSRF tokens in the template add the debreach.context_processors.csrf context processor to the end of your TEMPLATE_CONTEXT_PROCESSORS:


And add the debreach.middleware.CSRFCryptMiddleware to your middleware, before django.middleware.csrf.CSRFMiddleware:


This works by xor-ing the CSRF token when it is added to the template, so that {% csrf_token %} now produces a hidden field with a value that is "<random-string>$<actual-csrf-token-xor-ed-with-random-string>". Then, when the form is POSTed, the middleware xors the CSRF token back into it’s original form. This ensures that the CSRF content is never the same between requests. If you are passing the token using the X-CSRFToken header (e.g. using XHR) that header will also be processed in the same way.

Note that values that are unchanged by django-debreach, or rather, don’t contain a delimiting $, will be left unmodified. The middleware will also not operate on views marked as being exempt from CSRF protection using the django.views.decorators.csrf.csrf_exempt decorator.

CSRF protection using csrf_protect

If you don’t use the CSRF middleware from django but, instead, apply the django.views.decorators.csrf.csrf_protect decorator to selected views, and don’t want to use the debreach.middleware.CSRFCryptMiddleware, then you can use the debreach.decorators.csrf_decrypt decorator.

To use the debreach.decorators.csrf_decrypt decorator simply wrap your CSRF protected view with the decorator, like so:

def view(request, *args, **kwargs):
    return HttpResponse('')

Content length modification

django-debreach also enables you to counter the BREACH attack by randomising the content length of each response. This is acheived by adding a random string of between 12 and 25 characters as a comment to the end of the HTML content. Note that this will only be applied to responses with a content type of text/html.

To enable content length modification for all responses, add the debreach.middleware.RandomCommentMiddleware to the start of your middleware, but after the GzipMiddleware if you are using that.:




If you wish to disable this feature for selected views, simply apply the debreach.decorators.random_comment_exempt decorator to the view.

If you only want to protect a subset of views with content length modification then it may be easier to not use the middleware, but to selectively apply the debreach.decorators.append_random_comment decorator to the views you want protected.

File Type Py Version Uploaded on Size
django-debreach-1.4.0.tar.gz (md5) Source 2016-08-13 7KB
django_debreach-1.4.0-py2-none-any.whl (md5) Python Wheel 2.7 2016-08-13 8KB