Whitelist Guide

Domain whitelisting is a security model that controls access to external domains over which you application has no control. Cordova's default security policy allows access to any site. Before moving your application to production, you should formulate a whitelist and allow access to specific network domains and subdomains.

Cordova adheres to the W3C Widget Access specification, which relies on the <access> element within the app's config.xml file to enable network access to specific domains. For projects that rely on the CLI workflow described in The Command-Line Interface, this file is located in the project's top-level directory. Otherwise for platform-specific development paths, locations are listed in the sections below. (See the various Platform Guides for more information on each platform.)

The following examples demonstrate whitelist syntax:

Amazon Fire OS Whitelisting

Platform-specific whitelisting rules are found in res/xml/config.xml.

Android Whitelisting

Platform-specific whitelisting rules are found in res/xml/config.xml.

NOTE: On Android 2.3 and before, domain whitelisting only works for href hyperlinks, not referenced resources such as images and scripts. Take steps to avoid scripts from being injected into the application.

Navigating to non-whitelisted domains via href hyperlink causes the page to open in the default browser rather than within the application. (Compare this to iOS's behavior noted below.)

iOS Whitelisting

The platform's whitelisting rules are found in the named application directory's config.xml file.

Origins specified without a protocol, such as www.apache.org rather than http://www.apache.org, default to all of the http, https, ftp, and ftps schemes.

Wildcards on the iOS platform are more flexible than in the W3C Widget Access specification. For example, the following accesses all subdomains and top-level domains such as .com and .net:

    <access origin="*.google.*" />

Unlike the Android platform noted above, navigating to non-whitelisted domains via href hyperlink on iOS prevents the page from opening at all.

BlackBerry 10 Whitelisting

The whitelisting rules are found in www/config.xml.

BlackBerry 10's use of wildcards differs from other platforms in two ways:

  • Any content accessed by XMLHttpRequest must be declared explicitly. Setting origin="*" does not work in this case. Alternatively, all web security may be disabled using the WebSecurity preference described in BlackBerry Configuration:

      <preference name="websecurity" value="disable" />
  • As an alternative to setting *.domain, set an additional subdomains attribute to true. It should be set to false by default. For example, the following allows access to google.com, maps.google.com, and docs.google.com:

      <access origin="http://google.com" subdomains="true" />

    The following narrows access to google.com:

      <access origin="http://google.com" subdomains="false" />

    Specify access to all domains, including the local file:// protocol:

(For more information on support, see BlackBerry's documentation on the access element.)

iOS Changes in 3.1.0

Prior to version 3.1.0, Cordova-iOS included some non-standard extensions to the domain whitelisting scheme supported by other Cordova platforms. As of 3.1.0, the iOS whitelist now conforms to the resource whitelist syntax described at the top of this document. If you upgrade from pre-3.1.0, and you were using these extensions, you may have to change your config.xml file in order to continue whitelisting the same set of resources as before.

Specifically, these patterns need to be updated:

  • apache.org (no protocol): This would previously match http, https, ftp, and ftps protocols. Change to "*://apache.org/*" to include all protocols, or include a line for each protocol you need to support.

  • http://apache.* (wildcard at end of domain): This would previously match all top-level-domains, including all possible two-letter TLDs (but not useful domains like .co.uk). Include a line for each TLD which you actually control, and need to whitelist.

  • h*t*://ap*he.o*g (wildcards for random missing letters): These are no longer supported; change to include a line for each domain and protocol that you actually need to whitelist.

Windows Phone Whitelisting

The whitelisting rules for Windows Phone 7 and 8 are found in the app's config.xml file.

Tizen Whitelisting

Whitelisting rules are found in the app's config.xml file. The platform relies on the same subdomains attribute as the BlackBerry platform. (For more information on support, see Tizen's documentation on the access element.)