Adonis includes a middleware called Shield to protect your applications from malware attacks and fake requests. It includes commonly required security features like CSRF protection and many more.


Adonis includes shield middleware by default with every new installation of Adonis application. If you are upgrading from an older application (below 2.0.6), it is very much likely that you do not have it setup inside kernel.js file.

installing middleware module

npm i --save adonis-middleware

setting up provider

Inside boostrap/app.js file, you need to include the app middleware provider to use Shield.

const providers = [

registering middleware

Finally you are required to register it as a global middleware inside app/Http/kernel.js file.

const globalMiddlewares = [

CSRF Protection

CSRF Protection is the first step towards keeping your application secure from unidentified requests. It helps you in making sure that actions like create, read and delete are taken by right people from right place.

A classic example of CSRF is to have a form to create a user. Now your form will have a secret token which is generated on your webpage only. While submitting the form you send this secret token to your save request handler. Which ensures that the save request is initiated from an identified place.

Any attackers who are trying to create users from a CURL request or any other mechanism will not have that secret token and as a result they will not be able to create a user.


Configuration for CSRF is saved inside config/shield.js file under csrf object.

csrf: {
  enable: true,
  methods: ['POST', 'PUT', 'DELETE'],
  filterUris: []  
enable (boolean)

Defines whether or not to activate CSRF protection. Setting it to false will disable it.

methods (array)

An array of http request methods or verbs to validate for CSRF token.

filterUris (array)

An array of url's to ignore. You can pass routes pattern or regular expressions here.

filterUris: ['/user/(.+)'] // will match /user*

Validating Requests

All requests according to above config are validated automatically. Shield will attempt to read values from various inputs to get the token and if failed an exception will be thrown.

  1. Request body or query string can have _csrf field.
  2. Header called csrf-token or x-csrf-token or x-xsrf-token.

Accessing Token

You can access CSRF token inside your views and controllers using following helper methods.

Note Below methods will be undefined if you have disabled CSRF protection.

csrfField returns an input field with hidden type. Make sure to filter it through safe filter to render the html without escaping it.

 {{ csrfField | safe }}
 {{ csrfToken }}

Error Handling

On validation failure 401 error is thrown with error code as EBADCSRFTOKEN. You can use this code to show custom error message.

App.on('error', function (error, request, response) {
  if (error.code === 'EBADCSRFTOKEN') {
    response.status(error.status).send('You are not allowed to access this resource.')

Content Security Policy

Content Security Policy (CSP) helps you in defining the trusted sources for loading and executing script, styles, fonts and various other resources.

Configuration for CSP is stored inside config/shield.js file under csp object.

csp: {
  directives: {
  reportOnly: false,
  setAllHeaders: false,
  disableAndroid: true


Directives helps you in defining policies to be applied on different resource types. You can get list of all directives from

For inline script execution you can use @nonce keyword inside your directives.

directives: {
  scriptSrc: ['self', '@nonce']

Now you can access nonce inside your views using view helper method.

<script nonce="{{ cspNonce }}">

By default Shield will set the required HTTP headers to enforce CSP policies when loading your webpages. But you can also access these values as meta tags inside your views.

  {{ cspMeta | safe }}


reportOnly will thrown an error, instead will return a warning and will execute all scripts.'csp-report', function * (request, response) {  


setAllHeaders Shield sets different http headers for different browsers, it you want to disable this behavior, you can this value to true and all headers will be set. Browsers Support


Android is buggy with CSP, you can disable it for android in case you face any troubles.

Malware Protection

Malware protection helps in protecting your website from XSS attacks, unwanted iframe embeds, content type sniffing and stopping IE from executing unwanted scripts in context of your webpage.

Configuration for below methods is defined under config/shield.js file.


Protecting from XSS attacks. Older versions of IE leads to vulnerability defined here, so you can disable it for older versions of IE by setting the value to false.

xss: {
  enabled: true,
  enableOnOldIE: false

No Sniff

Majority of modern browsers will try to detect the Content-type of a request by sniffing it's content. Which means a file ending in .txt can be executed as javascript file, if it contains javascript code. To disable this behavior set nosniff to true.

  nosniff: true

No Open

This setting will stop IE from executing unknown script in context of your website.

  noopen: true