Tech Tip – X-Frame-Options Introduced

TechTip
Questions
  • What is X-Frame-Options response header? What is the implication of setting it ?
  • What are the different options for X-Frame-Options response header?
  • What are the other considerations ?
  • Does Single Sign-On Web Agent have support for X-Frame-Options response header?
Answers

The X-Frame-Options HTTP response header can be used to indicate whether or not a browser should be allowed to render a page in a “frame” or “iframe”. Sites can use this to avoid Clickjacking attacks, by ensuring that their content is not embedded into other sites

X-Frame-Options Header Types

There are three possible values for the X-Frame-Options header:

  • DENY, which prevents any domain from framing the content. The “DENY” setting is recommended unless a specific need has been identified for framing.
  • SAMEORIGIN, which only allows the current site to frame the content.
  • ALLOW-FROM uri, which permits the specified ‘uri’ to frame this page. (e.g., ALLOW-FROMhttp://www.example.com

 

Browser Support

The following browsers support X-Frame-Options headers.

Browser DENY/SAMEORIGIN Support Introduced ALLOW-FROM Support Introduced
Chrome 4.1.249.1042 Not supported/Bug reported
Firefox (Gecko) 3.6.9 (1.9.2.9) 18.0
Internet Explorer 8.0 9.0
Opera 10.50
Safari 4.0 Not supported/Bug reported

 

Note :

  • X-Frame-Options Deprecated While the X-Frame-Options header is supported by the major browsers, it was never standardized and has been deprecated in favour of the frame-ancestors directive from the CSP Level 2 specification.

 

Single Sign-on Web Agent support for X-Frame-Options

Single Sign-on Web Agent r12.5 (as of CR5) does not have support for XFrameOptions ACO Parameter.

It also drops the X-Frame-Options header even if the header is set from the Web Server directly.

For e.g To configure Apache to send the X-Frame-Options header for all pages, you will add following configuration to your site’s configuration (httpd.conf):

 

Header always append X-Frame-Options SAMEORIGIN

However, even when you have this, if the WebSite is protected by SiteMinder web agent, it drops this header from reaching to the client/browser.

In other words, Single Sign-on Web Agent doesn’t honor the web-server setting for X-Frame-Options.

 

Single Sign-on Web Agent r12.51 CR4 and above does have support for XFrameOptions ACO Parameter.

The options for the XFrameOptions parameter are the same as the values for the X-Frame-Options response header:

Options: DENY, SAMEORIGIN, ALLOW-FROM uri

r12.51 CR4 and above Web Agent, also do honor this header if it is being set by the WebServer itself and let the header pass to the client/browser.

References

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