Solr Security

The authoritative guide on security is in the Reference Guide. The rest of this page is tips and tricks beyond what is mentioned in the Refguide.

Security announcements

Current state of affairs

There is (as of 5.3) no role-based restrictions on the Admin UI, so be aware that anyone with access to Admin UI will be able to do anything with your system.

Need for firewall

Even though you add SSL or Authentication plugins, it is still strongly recommended that the application server containing Solr be firewalled such the only clients with access to Solr are your own. A default/example installation of Solr allows any client with access to it to add, update, and delete documents (and of course search/read too), including access to the Solr configuration and schema files and the administrative user interface.

If there is a need to provide query access to a Solr server from the open internet, it is highly recommended to use a proxy, such as one of these.

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)

Solr has no known cross-site scripting vulnerabilities.

Quick XSS tip:

Problem: What if you want the browser to highlight text, but you also want to protect yourself from XSS and escape the HTML output? Solution: One solution is to escape the HTML output and then reapply the em tags. Now the rest of the snippet is safe and the browser will recognize the highlighted text.

For example, with groovy/grails you could have the following in your controller:

snippet = snippet.encodeAsHTML()
snippet = snippet.replaceAll('&lt;em&gt;', '<em>')
snippet = snippet.replaceAll('&lt;/em&gt;', </em>)

Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)

Even if a Solr instance is protected by good firewalls so that "bad guys" have no direct access, that instance may be at risk to potential "Cross-Site Request Forgery" based attacks if the following are all true:

  1. Some number of "good guys" have direct access to that Solr instance from their web browsers.
  2. A "bad guy" knows/guesses the host:port/path of the Solr instance (even though they can not access it directly)
  3. The bad guy can trick one of the good guy into clicking a maliciously crafted URL, or loading a webpage that contains malicious javascript.

This is because Solr's most basic behavior is to receive updates and deletes via HTTP. If you have a firewall or other security measure restricting Solr's /update handler so it only accepts connections from approved hosts/clients, but you are approved then you could inadvertently be tricked into loading a web page that initiates an HTTP Connection to Solr on your behalf.

It's important to keep this in mind when thinking about what it means to "secure" an instance of Solr (if you have not already).

A basic technique that can be used to mitigate the risk of a possible CSRF attack like this is to configure your Servlet Container so that access to paths which can modify the index (ie: /update, /update/csv, etc...) are restricted either to specific client IPs, or using HTTP Authentication.

Document Level Security

Manifold CF (Connector Framework)

One way to add document level security to your search is through Apache ManifoldCF. ManifoldCF "defines a security model for target repositories that permits them to enforce source-repository security policies".

It works by adding security tokens from the source repositories as metadata on the indexed documents. Then, at query time, a Search Component adds a filter to all queries, matching only documents the logged-in user is allowed to see. ManifoldCF supports AD security out of the box.

Write Your Own RequestHandler or SearchComponent

*Stub - this is incomplete*

If ManifoldCF does not solve your need, first consider writing a ManifoldCF plugin. Or roll your own.

If you need permission based authentication -- where user A can update document 1 and 2, but not 3 -- you will need to augment the request with user information. Either you can add parameters to the query string (?u=XXX&p=YYY) or use a custom dispatcher filter that augments the context:

public class CustomDispatchFilter extends SolrDispatchFilter
  protected void execute( HttpServletRequest req, SolrRequestHandler handler, SolrQueryRequest sreq, SolrQueryResponse rsp)
    // perhaps the whole request
    sreq.getContext().put( "HttpServletRequest", req );

    // or maybe just the user
    sreq.getContext().put( "user", req.getRemoteUser());

    core.execute( handler, sreq, rsp );

public class AuthenticatingHandler extends RequestHandlerBase
  public void handleRequestBody(SolrQueryRequest req, SolrQueryResponse rsp) throws Exception {

    HttpServletRequest httpreq = (HttpServletRequest)
      req.getContext().get( "HttpServletRequest" );

    if( httpreq.isUserInRole( "editor" ) ) {

    String user = (String)req.getContext().get( "user" );

Streaming Consideration

If streaming is enabled, you need to make sure Solr is as secure as it needs to be. When streaming is enabled, the parameters "stream.url" will go to a remote site and download the content. Likewise, "stream.file" will read a file on disk.

Streaming is disabled by default and is configured from solrconfig.xml

  <requestParsers enableRemoteStreaming="false" ... />

Indirect compromise through Tika vulnerabilities

One of the contrib modules that Solr includes is called SolrCell. This module adds the Extracting Request Handler. This component utilizes Apache Tika to parse rich documents like PDF and Microsoft Office and index the document contents into Solr.

The Tika software has had some security vulnerabilities. It would be theoretically possible for an attacker to upload a specially crafted file to be processed by Tika running inside Solr, or to trick an administrator into uploading such a file, and in that way compromise the Solr install.

For reasons not related to security, it is strongly recommended that this contrib module is never used in production. Tika can crash, and if such a crash happens in the SolrCell module, Solr will crash too. If that advice is followed, it would be very difficult to utilize Tika vulnerabilities to compromise Solr.

SolrSecurity (last edited 2018-08-26 12:24:01 by ShawnHeisey)