OWASP ModSecurity Core Rule Set (CRS)

The 1st Line of Defense Against Web Application Attacks

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The OWASP ModSecurity Core Rule Set (CRS) is a set of generic attack detection rules for use with ModSecurity or compatible web application firewalls. The CRS aims to protect web applications from a wide range of attacks, including the OWASP Top Ten, with a minimum of false alerts.

The Core Rule Set provides protection against many common attack categories, including:

SQL Injection (SQLi)
Cross Site Scripting (XSS)
Local File Inclusion (LFI)
Remote File Inclusion (RFI)
Remote Code Execution (RCE)
PHP Code Injection
HTTP Protocol Violations
Session Fixation
Scanner Detection
Metadata/Error Leakages
Project Honey Pot Blacklist
GeoIP Country Blocking

The Core Rule Set is free software, distributed under Apache Software License version 2.

New Features in CRS 3

CRS 3 includes many coverage improvements, plus the following new features: For a full list of changes in this release, see the CHANGES document.


CRS 3 requires an Apache/IIS/Nginx web server with ModSecurity 2.8.0 or higher.

Our GitHub repository is the preferred way to download and update CRS.

HTTPSgit clone https://github.com/SpiderLabs/owasp-modsecurity-crs.git
SSHgit clone git@github.com:SpiderLabs/owasp-modsecurity-crs.git

After download, copy crs-setup.conf.example to crs-setup.conf. Optionally edit this file to configure your CRS settings. Then include the files in your webserver configuration:

Include /.../crs-setup.conf
Include /.../rules/*.conf

For detailed installation instructions, see the INSTALL document. Also review the CHANGES and KNOWN_BUGS documents.

You can update the rule set using the included script util/upgrade.py.

Handling False Positives and Advanced Features

Advanced features are explained in the crs-setup.conf and the rule files themselves. The crs-setup.conf file is generally a very good entry point to explore the features of the CRS.

We are trying hard to reduce the number of false positives (false alerts) in the default installation. But sooner or later, you may encounter false positives nevertheless.

Christian Folini's tutorials on installing ModSecurity, configuring the CRS and handling false positives provide in-depth information on these topics.


We strive to make the OWASP ModSecurity CRS accessible to a wide audience of beginner and experienced users. We are interested in hearing any bug reports, false positive alert reports, evasions, usability issues, and suggestions for new detections.

Create an issue on GitHub to report a false positive or false negative (evasion). Please include your installed version and the relevant portions of your ModSecurity audit log.

Sign up for the mailing list to ask general usage questions and participate in discussions on the CRS.

Join the #modsecurity channel on Freenode IRC to chat about the CRS.

Core Team