html – What are the integrity and crossorigin attributes?

The Question :

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Bootstrapcdn recently changed their links. It now looks like this:

<link href="" 
integrity="sha256-MfvZlkHCEqatNoGiOXveE8FIwMzZg4W85qfrfIFBfYc= sha512-dTfge/zgoMYpP7QbHy4gWMEGsbsdZeCXz7irItjcC3sPUFtf0kuFbDz/ixG7ArTxmDjLXDmezHubeNikyKGVyQ==" 

What do the integrity and crossorigin attributes mean? How do they affect the loading of the stylesheet?

The Question Comments :

The Answer 1

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Both attributes have been added to Bootstrap CDN to implement Subresource Integrity.

Subresource Integrity defines a mechanism by which user agents may verify that a fetched resource has been delivered without unexpected manipulation Reference

Integrity attribute is to allow the browser to check the file source to ensure that the code is never loaded if the source has been manipulated.

Crossorigin attribute is present when a request is loaded using ‘CORS’ which is now a requirement of SRI checking when not loaded from the ‘same-origin’. More info on crossorigin

More detail on Bootstrap CDNs implementation

The Answer 2

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integrity – defines the hash value of a resource (like a checksum) that has to be matched to make the browser execute it. The hash ensures that the file was unmodified and contains expected data. This way browser will not load different (e.g. malicious) resources. Imagine a situation in which your JavaScript files were hacked on the CDN, and there was no way of knowing it. The integrity attribute prevents loading content that does not match.

Invalid SRI will be blocked (Chrome developer-tools), regardless of cross-origin. Below NON-CORS case when integrity attribute does not match:

enter image description here

Integrity can be calculated using: Or typing into console (link):

openssl dgst -sha384 -binary FILENAME.js | openssl base64 -A

crossorigin – defines options used when the resource is loaded from a server on a different origin. (See CORS (Cross-Origin Resource Sharing) here: It effectively changes HTTP requests sent by the browser. If the “crossorigin” attribute is added – it will result in adding origin: <ORIGIN> key-value pair into HTTP request as shown below.

enter image description here

crossorigin can be set to either “anonymous” or “use-credentials”. Both will result in adding origin: into the request. The latter however will ensure that credentials are checked. No crossorigin attribute in the tag will result in sending a request without origin: key-value pair.

Here is a case when requesting “use-credentials” from CDN:


A browser can cancel the request if crossorigin incorrectly set.

enter image description here



The Answer 3

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Technically, the Integrity attribute helps with just that – it enables the proper verification of the data source. That is, it merely allows the browser to verify the numbers in the right source file with the amounts requested by the source file located on the CDN server.

Going a bit deeper, in case of the established encrypted hash value of this source and its checked compliance with a predefined value in the browser – the code executes, and the user request is successfully processed.

Crossorigin attribute helps developers optimize the rates of CDN performance, at the same time, protecting the website code from malicious scripts.

In particular, Crossorigin downloads the program code of the site in anonymous mode, without downloading cookies or performing the authentication procedure. This way, it prevents the leak of user data when you first load the site on a specific CDN server, which network fraudsters can easily replace addresses.


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