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Opened 4 years ago

Last modified 4 years ago

#49136 new defect (bug)

White screen in password protected posts, referrer policy

Reported by: derfuchs98's profile derfuchs98 Owned by:
Milestone: Awaiting Review Priority: normal
Severity: normal Version: 5.3.2
Component: Posts, Post Types Keywords:
Focuses: privacy Cc:



Under some circumstances WP is displaying a white screen refering to URL ..../wp-login.php?action=postpass after entering either correct or incorrect password into password protected posts. It turns out this behaviour occurs reproducably in case WP site is set to no-referrer policy e.g. by Nginx configuration. This behaviour was observed since about July last year.

Steps to reproduce

  1. Force no-referrer policy in Nginx .conf file

add_header Referrer-Policy no-referrer;
service nginx restart

  1. Protect any post by password
  1. Verify no-referrer policy in e.g. Chrome F12->network
  1. Enter password into your password protected post
  1. /wp-login.php?action=postpass white screen pops up, no error message, no debugg hints.

These steps reproduce in any WP configuration (under ubuntu server 18.04 LTS, LEMP stack) with or without themes/plugins. Exception: Safari and Edge (as of August last year) do not show white screenn. Reason: These browsers do not support referrer policy.

Work around

Set referrer policy to any other policy than no-referrer. In my case strict-origin-when-cross-origin did the job.


This issue might not be too common but it might become more relevant due to GDPR in Europe.

It seems that wp-login.php requires a reference to the calling URL to be able to redirect to that URL after verifying the password. In case of no-referrer policy this reference is not disclosed, hence wp-login.php cannot return to its caller.

If that is the case in order to ensure stable operation of password protected posts WP must not allow no-referrer policy but should force any other secure policy.

Change History (2)

This ticket was mentioned in Slack in #accessibility by afercia. View the logs.

4 years ago

#2 @afercia
4 years ago

  • Focuses privacy added; accessibility removed

This ticket was discussed during today's accessibility bug-scrub. @derfuchs98 thanks for your report! Not sure this issue relates to web content accessibility (as in WCAG and the like). Adjusting the ticket properties accordingly.

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