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Showing posts from November, 2015

The secret message hidden in every HTTP/2 connection

If you spy on an HTTP/2 connection starting up you'll notice that it sends an almost-but-not-quite valid HTTP request at the very start of the connection. Like this:


Written a little more clearly that's:

PRI * HTTP2.0 SM
The HTTP verb is PRI and the body contains just SM. Put them together and you get... PRISM. This occurs right at the start of the connection to ensure that the server really supports HTTP/2.0. It is detailed in Section 3.5 of RFC7540 as follows:

In HTTP/2, each endpoint is required to send a connection preface as a final confirmation of the protocol in use and to establish the initial settings for the HTTP/2 connection. The client and server each send a different connection preface. The client connection preface starts with a sequence of 24 octets, which in hex notation is: 0x505249202a20485454502f322e300d0a0d0a534d0d0a0d0a That is, the connection preface starts with the string "PRI * HTTP/2.0\r\n\r\nSM\r\n\r\n&q…