Nginx SSI Information Disclosure

Stack of rocks


The Transfer-Encoding HTTP header is defined by RFC2616 as:

The Transfer-Encoding general-header field indicates what (if any)
type of transformation has been applied to the message body in order
to safely transfer it between the sender and the recipient. This
differs from the content-coding in that the transfer-coding is a
property of the message, not of the entity.

Transfer-Encoding: Chunked

When Transfer-Encoding: Chunked is in use, each chunked portion of the body must be preceded by it’s length in hexadecimal format followed by a \r\n. The last line of the body should be 0 indicating transfer is complete.

<link rel=”stylesheet” href=”/css/normalize.min.css”>
<link rel=”stylesheet” href=”/css/test.min.css”>

Information Disclosure

The reason this leads to information disclosure is each SSI section of the webpage is proceeded by it’s size which the following example will illustrate. The message body shows fb as the size of the first chunck. Then 6b is used to show the SSI portion while 401 is the length of the remaining body. This makes it clear that the CSS files are being added via SSI.

<!doctype html>
…html header content omitted…
<link rel=”stylesheet” href=”/css/normalize.min.css”>
<link rel=”stylesheet” href=”/css/test.min.css”>
…rest of body omitted…


Fixing this is quite easy, simply add the following to the server configuration block.

server {
chunked_transfer_encoding off;


Testing can be done using the SocketHttpRequest PowerShell module from my github page: Running the following commands will return the raw HTTP response headers and body.

Import-Module SocketHttpRequest.psd1
$httpRequest = @'
GET / HTTP/1.0
$Result = Invoke-SocketHttpRequest -IP -Port 443 -UseTls -HttpRequest $httpRequest -FullResponse
Write-Host "$($Result.response.headers)"
Write-Host "$($Result.response.body)"

 by the author.



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