Framework for least-privilege integration of libraries
Last updated 7 years ago by willemdegroef .
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Node.js is a popular JavaScript server-side frame-work with an efficient runtime for cloud-based event-driven architectures. Its strength is the presence of thousands of third party libraries which allow developers to quickly build and deploy applications.These very libraries are a source of security threats as a vulnerability in one library can (and in some cases did) compromise one’s entire server.

In order to support the least-privilege integration of libraries we develop NodeSentry, the first security architecture for server-side JavaScript. Our policy enforcement infrastructure supports an easy deployment of web-hardening techniques and access control policies on interactions between libraries and their environment, including any dependent library

This work has been presented at the 2014 Annual Computer Security Applications Conference.

NodeSentry: Least-privilege Library Integration for Server-side JavaScript. Willem De Groef, Fabio Massacci and Frank Piessens. In Proceedings of the 30th Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC), pages 446-455, 2014. PDF | BibTeX | presentation

Installation Instructions

Install this module directly: npm install nodesentry


  • Build status: Build Status
  • Dependencies: Dependencies
  • NPM Module: NPM version


Two examples showcase the real-life use case of the library.

Adding custom HTTP headers

This example shows how you can add a custom HTTP header to any outgoing HTTP response of your HTTP server. Please note that NodeSentry requires you to enable all harmony features of V8/Node.js when running node (use node --harmony).

/* Enable NodeSentry */
var Policy = require("nodesentry").Policy;

/* This policy says that before a call to `ServerResponse.writeHead()` is
 * actually invoked, a custom header gets added to the response object.
 * More information on the Node.js API for HTTP server interactions on
 * */
var policy = new Policy()
        .do(function(response) {
            return response.setHeader("X-NodeSentry", "What Else?!");
}).build() // build the actual policy object

/* Use `safe_require` to enforce generated policy */
var http = safe_require("http", policy);
//var http = require("http");

/* Pre-existing/unmodified application code */
var port = 12345;
var server = http.createServer(function(req, res) {
    res.writeHead(200, {'Content-Type': 'text/plain'});
    return res.end('Hello World\n');

This example is also used in the file test/, as part of our test suite.


This software is licensed under the MIT License. See the LICENSE file for more information.

Copyright 2014 -- iMinds-DistriNet, KU Leuven

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