Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) in APIs


With the introduction of JavaScript and Document Object Model (DOM) in web browsers, manipulating an HTML document's objects and properties using JavaScript became possible. As a result, a malicious script loaded by one web page could interact with the resources from another web page and retrieve sensitive information using the latter's DOM. This vulnerability of the DOM could be exploited by forgery attacks, such as a CSRF attackCross-site request forgery attack, where a malicious request is forged to make it look like it’s been made by a legitimate user. This is used to gain access to private data and perform malicious actions., through which attackers could gain unauthorized access to different resources. Here is an example scenario:

Suppose that John is lured into visiting This site responds with JavaScript code that then makes a call to, where John logs in without any hesitation. As a consequence, the JavaScript code downloaded from obtains access to the DOM elements of and, by virtue, to John's sensitive data.

The origin problem

The example that we saw above demonstrates an unrestricted interaction between two web pages belonging to different origins, which could lead to a potential data breach. An origin is defined as a combination of scheme (protocol), hostname, and port number (if specified). Two URLs are said to have the same origin if and only if they have the same schemes, hostnames, and port numbers.

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