Could I propose that you post this question over on the eXist mailing list?  The discussion here is getting a little off topic from TEI.  I believe you're already subscribed to exist-open, but for anyone who isn't, please join at


On Fri, Mar 10, 2017 at 11:07 AM, Omar Siam <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Why does this work?;response:stream-binary(%20xs:base64Binary(%20data(httpclient:get(xs:anyURI(%22,%20false(),%20())//httpclient:body))%20,%20%22image/jpg%22)

Also works perfectly like this


Works in /exist/apps/... and in /exist/rest/..., it does not work on /exist/xmlrpc and /xml/restxq

So I sincerely doubt that it is a misconfiguration of our proxy servers.

Who thought that the _query parameter needs to work *everywhere*?

Also have a look at this:;response:stream(%20xs:base64Binary(%20data(httpclient:get(xs:anyURI(%22,%20false(),%20())//httpclient:body))%20,%20%22image/jpg%22)

Or if you prefer:


Where in did you state that it is absolutely mandatory to add smash _query= before the request hits exist-db? Like the apache config snippet does.

What sort of trap is this? Please be explicit about what "service, servlet or filter" I need to disable to stop this.

Best Regards


Am 10.03.2017 um 16:44 schrieb Joe Wicentowski:
Hi all,

For anyone considering moving an application from your own computer and putting it on the public internet, the eXist documentation states a helpful admonition: 

"For any live application it is recognised best practice to keep the attack surface of the application as small as possible. There are two aspects to this: 1. Reducing the application itself to the absolute essentials. 2. Limiting access routes to the application. eXist-db is no exception and should be configured for your production systems so that it provides only what you need and no more." (from

As applied to the server, the issue is that the eXist server's REST interface is exposed to the public.  Essentially, the "/data" URL at is being mapped onto the eXist server's own URL, http://localhost:8080/exist/rest/db/apps/tei-abstracts/data.  eXist's REST interface ( is a convenient way to expose the documents in your collection for browsing and downloading.  But this powerful interface does allow users with access to it to execute arbitrary XQuery.  Matthias's solution (already applied, it appears!) keeps the original "/rest" URLs exposed, while filtering requests to prevent users from executing arbitrary code.  This is a good step, but in general, good practice is to prevent these "/rest" URLs from being exposed to the public, using eXist's robust URL rewriting functions to limit what visitors are able to see and access.

Like many open source projects, the built-in documentation is uneven.  For anyone getting started with eXist, I'd highly recommend Adam Retter and Erik Siegel's book, _eXist_ (O'Reilly, 2014):

The whole book is really well done and approachable.  I wrote a review at  


On Fri, Mar 10, 2017 at 8:33 AM, Piotr Bański <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Dear Mathias,

What a pretty cat(ch)! Thanks for sharing :-)

Best regards,


On 03/10/17 14:26, Mathias Göbel wrote:
Dear TEI-Community,

thank you for offering an increasing number of documents stored in
outstanding great databases like eXist-db and available via REST. Would
those guys using eXist-db consider to capture&redirect the "_query"
parameter (or at least a set of function names) to avoid offering an
open proxy like in this example:;response:stream-binary(%20xs:base64Binary(%20data(httpclient:get(xs:anyURI(%22,%20false(),%20())//httpclient:body))%20,%20%22image/jpg%22)

If you are using Apache you might want to

        RewriteEngine on
        RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} _query=
        RewriteRule (.*) $1? [R=permanent]

Mathias Göbel
Research and Development

Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Göttingen State and University Library
D-37070 Göttingen

Papendiek 14 (hist. building, room 2.408
+49 551 39-20184 (Tel.)
+49 551 39-33856 (Fax.)

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Piotr Bański, Ph.D.
Senior Researcher,
Institut für Deutsche Sprache,
R5 6-13
68-161 Mannheim, Germany