Use SubResource Integrity Checking for External Scripts

SubResource Integrity

Recently British Airways got hacked and more than 380.000 payment cards got compromised. So how could this have happened? Imagine that BA uses some external JavaScript library. If a hacker can change this external source and add his/her own code to the library, it is a piece of cake to steal any information that the user enters on the website. So how can you avoid this hack?

Add SubResource Integrity Checking for External Scripts

SubResource Integrity (SRI) checking add a hash value to the < script> tag, so if the external source gets modified the browser will refuse to load and execute it. For example:

<script src="" 

You can also use it for external stylesheets

<link rel="stylesheet" href="" 

Browser Support

Using we can see that all modern browsers support this. And if you need another reason to dump Internet Explorer... No SRI support.

Internet Explorer

From iamwire

Enabling SRI

Most external libraries get downloaded from a CDN server. Lots of CDNs provided a link with SRI automatically so there is no excuse not to use it (but SRI is still heavily underused by a lot of web sites, even though it has been available for over two years!).

For example, CloudFlare's CDN allows you to copy a link with SRI enabled:

CloudFlare with SRI

But even when the CDN doesn't provide an SRI link, it is easy to generate one yourself using SRI Hash Generator.

SRI Hash Generator

Using SRI with CSP

You can use Content Security Policy to require all your scripts and/or stylesheets to use SRI.

Content-Security-Policy: require-sri-for script;


What does the crossorigin attribute do? When you download resources from a source other than your own website the browser will check if it should do so using Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS). Therefore, the resource must be served with an Access-Control-Allow-Origin header that allows the resource to be shared with the requesting origin:

Access-Control-Allow-Origin: *

Call to Action

Dear web developers, always use SRI for your external scripts and stylesheets! It's very easy to use and will make your website a more secure place!