Why no "secure=true" on nginx proxy to Confluence?

In this document :

It specifically says to avoid setting secure=true. However, that can leave you open to malicious networks stealing your JSESSIONID cookies and impersonating your session.

Why should we not set secure on the tomcat connector? Is it possible to get nginx to secure the cookie somehow instead?

1 answer

0 votes
Ann Worley Atlassian Team Jun 23, 2017

The communication on the Tomcat connector (port 8090 in the example) is not secure, as it is only set up for communication between NGINX and Confluence. The client traffic is not received over that port. The proxy serves the content over SSL so the connections to the client are encrypted. The documentation you linked assumes the proxy is running on the same host as Confluence, and mentions that the NGINX>Confluence traffic is unencrypted:

  • "External client connections with NGINX are secured using SSL. Connections between NGINX and Confluence Server are unsecured.
  • Confluence Server and NGINX run on the same machine."


Thanks for the explanation of how secure proxies work but the secure flag on the connector has little relevance to what you've explained. 

It does mean that the cookie is delivered without the secure flag and can be extracted by malicious networks. 

I note the example also has SSLv2 enabled, which was deprecated 6 years before Atlassian was founded.

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