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CSRF troubleshooting

When you get 401 Unauthorized or 400 Bad Request responses when your application sends requests to Ory Identities APIs, it is likely that the Ory anti-Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) mechanisms are triggered.

This document describes common scenarios where you can face CSRF problems and gives advice for solving them.


To learn more about CSRF and how Ory Identities protects against it, read the Ory threat models and security profile documentation and the OWASP attack description.

To debug issues related to cookies or anti-CSRF defenses, use tools like the Chrome DevTools. In Chrome DevTools, go to the Application tab and open the Cookies section. Look for Cookie and Set-Cookie HTTP headers. Inspecting the Network tab and looking for the same headers can also help you find the root cause of your problems.


Ory Identities uses HTTP cookies to store sessions when accessed via a browser. Learn more about the cookie-based security model in Ory.

Public Suffix Domains

If you're encountering a 403 security_csrf_violation error, it can be that you are using a domain that's on the public suffix list (PSL). It's not possible to set cookies on a domain that's on the PSL. To fix this, you need to use a sub-domain that's not on the PSL.

For example, you may encounter this error when using the domain for your application. To resolve it, host your application and API on separate sub-subdomains of such as and Ensure that your application's settings specify the cookie domain as to restrict cookies to the appropriate sub-subdomain. This configuration will help you bypass the limitations imposed by being on the public suffix list, resolving the error and allowing proper cookie functionality. After making these adjustments, test your application to ensure that the security_csrf_violation error no longer occurs.

Ory Identities

Accessing cookies from client-side JavaScript

The cookies Ory Identities sets can't be accessed directly from client-side JavaScript because the HttpOnly flag is set. This flag can't be modified.

Accessing APIs from client-side JavaScript / AJAX

When building Single-Page Apps (SPAs) in Angular or React.js and you want the application to access the Ory Identities Public API you need to configure your AJAX request to include cookies, because AJAX doesn't send cookies by default default.

For example, when using the browser's fetch function, you need to set credentials: 'include'.

Accessing APIs from a server-side application

When building a server-side application, make sure to include the Cookie header from the client when fetching the self-service flows, for example, GET /self-service/login/flows?id=...:

export default (req: Request, res: Response) => {
// ...
.getLoginFlow({ id: flow, cookie: req.header("cookie") })

A complete example looks as follows:

Without forwarding the Cookie HTTP header you can't fetch the flow due to a security error. This prevents leaks of personal information when users copy and paste, for example, the login URL.

Ory OAuth2

Before starting to debug cookie and CSRF issues, make sure to check out the Chrome Developer Tools (or any comparable technology) Cookies tabs in the Application tab

Google Chrome Developer Tools - Application Tab - Cookies

as well as the network tab - look for Cookie and Set-Cookie HTTP Headers:

Google Chrome Developer Tools - Network Tab - Cookies

Running flows in separate browsers or browser windows

You are running the OAuth2 flow in separate browsers, or in a browser with incognito mode. The Brave browser is also known for notoriously discarding cookies when used in "No-Tracking" mode.

Running multiple OAuth2 flows simultaneously

You are trying to do two OAuth2 flows at the same time in the same Browser.

You have changed the Cookie SameSite behavior. If this is the default value (you didn't change it), this shouldn't be an issue.

Using AJAX to call /oauth2/auth

You can't call /oauth2/auth using an AJAX request. It isn't allowed and not possible with OAuth2. This endpoint can only be accessed using a normal browser request by clicking a link or redirecting the end-user's browser to that endpoint.

Further reading

Read this document for CRSF troubleshooting specific to self-hosted Ory Kratos Identity Server instances.