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I have a contact form, within this contact form is a textarea.

If i fill out the contact form and in the test area, i enter one line of text, e.g.

Example

The form completes and i am notified via email. However, if inside of the textarea i do the following:

Example

Example

I get the following:

403 - Forbidden

Forbidden
You don't have permission to access /contact_us.php on this server.

I get this in the apache error log:

[Thu Mar 13 08:06:54 2014] [error] [client my.ip.my.ip] ModSecurity: Rule 7fd0751d6280 [id "950901"][file "/etc/modsecurity/owasp-crs/activated_rules/modsecurity_crs_41_sql_injection_attacks.conf"][line "77"] - Execution error - PCRE limits exceeded (-8): (null). [hostname "www.test.com"] [uri "/index.php"] [unique_id "UyFK-mAcYdcAACwKBI8AAAAE"]
[Thu Mar 13 08:06:59 2014] [error] [client my.ip.my.ip] ModSecurity: Rule 7fd0751d6280 [id "950901"][file "/etc/modsecurity/owasp-crs/activated_rules/modsecurity_crs_41_sql_injection_attacks.conf"][line "77"] - Execution error - PCRE limits exceeded (-8): (null). [hostname "www.test.com"] [uri "/contact_us.php"] [unique_id "UyFLA2AcYdcAACwKBJAAAAAE"]
[Thu Mar 13 08:06:59 2014] [error] [client my.ip.my.ip] ModSecurity: Rule 7fd075bb3940 [id "-"][file "/etc/modsecurity/owasp-crs/activated_rules/modsecurity_crs_55_application_defects.conf"][line "27"] - Execution error - PCRE limits exceeded (-8): (null). [hostname "www.test.com"] [uri "/contact_us.php"] [unique_id "UyFLA2AcYdcAACwKBJAAAAAE"]
[Thu Mar 13 08:06:59 2014] [error] [client my.ip.my.ip] ModSecurity: Warning. Match of "rx (?i:(<meta.*?(content|value)=\\"text/html;\\\\s?charset=|<\\\\?xml.*?encoding=))" against "RESPONSE_BODY" required. [file "/etc/modsecurity/owasp-crs/activated_rules/modsecurity_crs_55_application_defects.conf"] [line "23"] [id "981220"] [msg "[Watcher Check] No charset was specified in the HTTP Content-Type header nor the HTML content's meta tag."] [data "Content-Type Response Header: text/html"] [tag "WASCTC/WASC-15"] [tag "APP_DEFECT/MISCONFIGURATION"] [tag "http://code.google.com/p/browsersec/wiki/Part2#Content_handling_mechanisms"] [hostname "www.test.com"] [uri "/contact_us.php"] [unique_id "UyFLA2AcYdcAACwKBJAAAAAE"]
[Thu Mar 13 08:06:59 2014] [error] [client my.ip.my.ip] ModSecurity: Rule 7fd074f08b10 [id "-"][file "/etc/modsecurity/owasp-crs/activated_rules/modsecurity_crs_55_application_defects.conf"][line "41"] - Execution error - PCRE limits exceeded (-8): (null). [hostname "www.test.com"] [uri "/contact_us.php"] [unique_id "UyFLA2AcYdcAACwKBJAAAAAE"]
[Thu Mar 13 08:06:59 2014] [error] [client my.ip.my.ip] ModSecurity: Warning. Match of "rx (<meta.*?(content|value)=\\"text/html;\\\\s?charset=utf-8|<\\\\?xml.*?encoding=\\"utf-8\\")" against "RESPONSE_BODY" required. [file "/etc/modsecurity/owasp-crs/activated_rules/modsecurity_crs_55_application_defects.conf"] [line "36"] [id "981222"] [msg "[Watcher Check]  The charset specified was not utf-8 in the HTTP Content-Type header nor the HTML content's meta tag."] [data "Content-Type Response Header: text/html"] [tag "WASCTC/WASC-15"] [tag "MISCONFIGURATION"] [tag "http://websecuritytool.codeplex.com/wikipage?title=Checks#charset-not-utf8"] [hostname "www.test.com"] [uri "/contact_us.php"] [unique_id "UyFLA2AcYdcAACwKBJAAAAAE"]

How could i fix this issue so that the form submits without issue?

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You can adjust the PCRE match and recursion limits by adding SecPcreMatchLimit and SecPcreMatchLimitRecursion statements to the nodsecurity.conf file e.g.

SecPcreMatchLimit 10000
SecPcreMatchLimitRecursion 10000

but be aware that there can be performance issues with this so don't set it too large.

For the other errors from modsecurity_crs_55_application_defects.conf you should read the file and then look at the links it provides to understand the issue and (in this case) make the necessary changes to your application.

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