Module: ActionController::RequestForgeryProtection

Extended by:
AbstractController::Callbacks, AbstractController::Helpers
Defined in:


Controller actions are protected from Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) attacks by including a token in the rendered html for your application. This token is stored as a random string in the session, to which an attacker does not have access. When a request reaches your application, Rails verifies the received token with the token in the session. Only HTML and JavaScript requests are checked, so this will not protect your XML API (presumably you’ll have a different authentication scheme there anyway).

GET requests are not protected since they don’t have side effects like writing to the database and don’t leak sensitive information. JavaScript requests are an exception: a third-party site can use a <script> tag to reference a JavaScript URL on your site. When your JavaScript response loads on their site, it executes. With carefully crafted JavaScript on their end, sensitive data in your JavaScript response may be extracted. To prevent this, only XmlHttpRequest (known as XHR or Ajax) requests are allowed to make GET requests for JavaScript responses.

It’s important to remember that XML or JSON requests are also affected and if you’re building an API you’ll need something like:

class ApplicationController < ActionController::Base
  skip_before_action :verify_authenticity_token, if: :json_request?


  def json_request?

CSRF protection is turned on with the protect_from_forgery method, which checks the token and resets the session if it doesn’t match what was expected. A call to this method is generated for new Rails applications by default.

The token parameter is named authenticity_token by default. The name and value of this token must be added to every layout that renders forms by including csrf_meta_tags in the html head.

Learn more about CSRF attacks and securing your application in the Ruby on Rails Security Guide.

Defined Under Namespace

Modules: ClassMethods, ProtectionMethods

Constant Summary

Constants included from ActiveSupport::Callbacks


Method Summary

Methods included from ActiveSupport::Concern

append_features, extended, included

Methods included from AbstractController::Callbacks


Methods included from ActiveSupport::Callbacks