Last updated Jul 18, 2024

Form token handling


Jira 4.1 and later.

Overview and Purpose

Jira 4.1 and later employs a token authentication mechanism which is utilised whenever Jira actions are performed either through link request or form submission. This provides Jira with a means to validate the origin and intent of the request, thus adding an additional level of security against XSRF (Cross-site request forgery). While the core Jira product and its bundled plugins use this token handling mechanism by default, non-bundled plugins or those developed by third parties may not.

This document provides instructions to Jira plugin developers on how to incorporate this token handling mechanism into Jira plugins.

Form Tokens

Jira 4.1 requires that WebWork actions possess tokens, which are then verified when the form is submitted back to the Jira server. This is an "opt in" mechanism, whereby actions must declare that they require a token to be present in the request.

Instructions for Plugin Developers

The following subsections provide details on how to protect code against XSRF by implement form token handling into your Jira plugin.

Please be aware that once form token handling has been implemented into a Jira plugin:

  • Any functions that use screen scraping, such as the 'create sub-task' function in FishEye, will be broken.
  • REST API end points will not be affected unless they use form encoding.

Jira WebWork Actions

To enable xsrf token checking for a particular Action class

  1. Locate the method that is called by the action execution (by default this method is called doExecute())
  2. Add the annotation to this method

Providing the token in HTML Forms

The token is included by default when using a jiraform

The token can be included into your own JSPs that don't use jiraforms, by adding the following code:

<webwork:component name="'atl_token'" value="/xsrfToken" template="hidden.jsp"/>

The following code can be added to Velocity Templates:

<input type="hidden" name="atl_token" value="$atl_token" />

You can do the following in JSPs:

MyAction.jspa?myParameter=true&atl_token=<webwork:property value="/xsrfToken"/>

or Velocity Templates:


Accessing the token programatically

To get hold of the current user's token, you will need to make the following call:

XsrfTokenGenerator xsrfTokenGenerator = ComponentManager.getComponentInstanceOfType(XsrfTokenGenerator.class);
String token = xsrfTokenGenerator.generateToken(request);


Scripts that access Jira remotely may have trouble acquiring or returning a security token, or maintaining an HTTP session with the server. There is a way for scripts to opt out of token checking by providing the following HTTP header in the request:

X-Atlassian-Token: no-check

XSRF protection in Confluence.

For more information, refer to the Open Web Application Security Project page.

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