Migrating tools.wmflabs.org to HTTPS

Starting 2019-01-03, GET and HEAD requests to http://tools.wmflabs.org will receive a 301 redirect to https://tools.wmflabs.org. This change should be transparent to most visitors. Some webservices may need to be updated to use explicit https:// or protocol relative URLs for stylesheets, images, JavaScript, and other content that is rendered as part of the pages they serve to their visitors.

Three and a half years ago @yuvipanda created T102367: Migrate tools.wmflabs.org to https only (and set HSTS) about making this change. Fifteen months ago a change was made to the 'admin' tool that serves the landing page for tools.wmflabs.org so that it performs an http to https redirect and sets a Strict-Transport-Security: max-age:86400 header in its response. This header instructs modern web browsers to remember to use https instead of http when talking to tools.wmflabs.org for the next 24 hours. Since that change there have been no known reports of tools breaking.

The new step we are taking now is to make this same redirect and set the same header for all visits to tools.wmflabs.org where it is safe to redirect the visitor. As mentioned in the lead paragraph, there may be some tools that this will break due to the use of hard coded http://... URLs in the pages they serve. Because of the HSTS header covering tools.wmflabs.org, this breakage should be limited to resources that are loaded from external domains.

Fixing tools should be relatively simple. Hardcoded URLs can be updated to be either protocol relative (http://example.org//example.org) or explicitly use the https protocol (http://example.orghttps://example.org). The proxy server also sends an X-Forwarded-Proto: https header to the tool's webservice which can be detected and used to switch to generating https links. Many common web application frameworks have support for this already:

If you need some help figuring out how to fix your own tool's output, or to report a tool that needs to be updated, join us in the #wikimedia-cloud IRC channel.

Written by bd808 on Jan 3 2019, 9:06 PM.
Principal Software Engineer
yuvipanda, MusikAnimal
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Some tools may even be FIXED as a result of this :) T210297