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Protect Routes with Spatie Permission

3 min read


Protect Routes with Spatie Permission

As developers, it is our responsibility to implement robust security measures to protect our applications and the data they handle. Web application security is a complex and ever-evolving area. As a PHP framework, Laravel is a popular choice when it comes to handling permissions and roles. This package can Protect Routes and be used to enhance security using a neat trick - a silent 404 error.

Using Spatie Permission to Protect Routes for Role-Based Access Control

It is possible to manage user permissions and roles in a Laravel application using the spatie/laravel-permission package. With this, you can assign roles to users and set up permissions for those roles. For example, you might have an 'Admin' & 'User' role that has access to certain routes but don't want People with Role 'User' to know about admin routes and access them.

Intercepting Unauthorized Access

Consider the code snippet provided:

public function render($request, Throwable $exception)
    if ($exception instanceof \Spatie\Permission\Exceptions\UnauthorizedException) {
        return abort(404);
    return parent::render($request, $exception);

Using the above code, we override the render method of the default exception handler. Whenever an UnauthorizedException is thrown from Spatie Permissions, we simply abort the request with a 404 error instead of showing the typical "Unauthorized" response. Those without the 'Admin' role or the required permissions will see a standard "Page Not Found" error.

Let's understand it with an example. We have a Route admin* and only want users with role admin to access this page and wants to hide it for other roles and guest users. In this way you can Protect Routes and keep them hidden for public thus avoiding exploiting and attacks.

What makes this a good idea?

  • A stealthy security strategy keeps potential attackers in the dark about which routes and resources are off-limits. This reduces the chances that they will probe further or attempt to exploit potential vulnerabilities.

  • By sticking with a familiar error code, you aren't alarming your legitimate users with security error messages that may seem intimidating or confusing.

  • Using Spatie Permission, you can improve your application's security with just a few lines of code. This is a testament to the power of the Laravel ecosystem.

Final thoughts

Especially in today's digital age, developers need to be ever-vigilant about the security of their applications. Packages like spatie/laravel-permission make our job easier by offering robust tools for managing user roles and permissions. As well as strengthening our defenses, we can protect our applications and their users further by using strategies such as the silent 404.


The silent 404 might seem trivial, but it represents a larger approach to web security: always keep attackers guessing and never reveal more than is necessary. With such strategies, combined with Laravel and packages such as Spatie Permission, developers can create safer, more resilient web applications. Keep coding and stay safe!

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Aniket Singh

Aniket Singh

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Full-stack developer with a knack for Merging creativity with technical expertise for standout solutions.

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