To set up strict-dynamic CSP source it's required to maintain a unique nonce value per request. The recommended way to do it according to this article is with:

set_secure_random_alphanum $cspNonce 32;

Though I'm using official nginx docker image, which does not have nginx_set_misc module installed and this line fails with error:

nginx: [emerg] unknown directive "set_secure_random_alphanum" in /etc/nginx/security-headers-master.conf:54

I have two options:

– install not official nginx image with lua support,

– use available nginx variable, e.g. $request_id, as a nonce value.

As far as I see according to nginx documentation it can fit:

$request_id – unique request identifier generated from 16 random bytes, in hexadecimal (1.11.0)

Please share your thoughts about it.


If you compile nginx with the NGX_OPENSSL flag, $request_id value will be sufficient for a CSP nonce because it's a 128-bit cryptographically strong random number returned by OpenSSL's RAND_bytes(). Otherwise, the value will be pseudo-random which means that an attacker who deduces the state of your server's PRNG may be able to forge the correct request_id / CSP nonce in their XSS payload. In practice, I wouldn't worry about this too much because the attack is not straightforward and would require sending a lot of traffic to the server, but it's worth keeping this in mind.

One thing to watch out for is making sure that the request_id value isn't used for anything else that might be sensitive in your application, because you will be exposing it to the user in the source of the HTML page.

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