CodeQL documentation

Jinja2 templating with autoescape=False

ID: py/jinja2/autoescape-false
Kind: problem
Security severity: 6.1
Severity: error
Precision: medium
   - security
   - external/cwe/cwe-079
Query suites:
   - python-security-extended.qls
   - python-security-and-quality.qls

Click to see the query in the CodeQL repository

Cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks can occur if untrusted input is not escaped. This applies to templates as well as code. The jinja2 templates may be vulnerable to XSS if the environment has autoescape set to False. Unfortunately, jinja2 sets autoescape to False by default. Explicitly setting autoescape to True when creating an Environment object will prevent this.


Avoid setting jinja2 autoescape to False. Jinja2 provides the function select_autoescape to make sure that the correct auto-escaping is chosen. For example, it can be used when creating an environment Environment(autoescape=select_autoescape(['html', 'xml'])


The following example is a minimal Flask app which shows a safe and an unsafe way to render the given name back to the page. The first view is unsafe as first_name is not escaped, leaving the page vulnerable to cross-site scripting attacks. The second view is safe as first_name is escaped, so it is not vulnerable to cross-site scripting attacks.

from flask import Flask, request, make_response, escape
from jinja2 import Environment, select_autoescape, FileSystemLoader

app = Flask(__name__)
loader = FileSystemLoader( searchpath="templates/" )

unsafe_env = Environment(loader=loader)
safe1_env = Environment(loader=loader, autoescape=True)
safe2_env = Environment(loader=loader, autoescape=select_autoescape())

def render_response_from_env(env):
    name = request.args.get('name', '')
    template = env.get_template('template.html')
    return make_response(template.render(name=name))

def unsafe():
    return render_response_from_env(unsafe_env)

def safe1():
    return render_response_from_env(safe1_env)

def safe2():
    return render_response_from_env(safe2_env)


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