HawkScan Test Info for Cross Site Scripting (DOM Based)

Cross Site Scripting (DOM Based)


Plugin Id: 40026 | CWE: 79


To mitigate the risk of Cross-site Scripting (XSS) attacks, the following measures can be taken:

  1. Input validation: Validate and sanitize all user input before displaying it on a web page. This includes input from forms, URLs, cookies, and any other source of user-supplied data. Use a combination of whitelisting and blacklisting techniques to ensure that only safe and expected input is accepted.

    Example in PHP:

    $input = $_POST['input'];
    $sanitizedInput = htmlspecialchars($input, ENT_QUOTES, 'UTF-8');
  2. Output encoding: Encode all user-generated content before displaying it on a web page. This prevents the browser from interpreting the content as executable code.

    Example in Java:

    String userContent = "<script>alert('XSS');</script>";
    String encodedContent = OWASP.encoder().forHtml(userContent);
  3. Content Security Policy (CSP): Implement a Content Security Policy to restrict the types of content that can be loaded and executed on a web page. This can help prevent the execution of malicious scripts by limiting the sources from which scripts can be loaded.

    Example in HTML:

    <meta http-equiv="Content-Security-Policy" content="script-src 'self'">
  4. Secure cookie handling: Set the HttpOnly flag on cookies to prevent them from being accessed by client-side scripts. This can help mitigate the risk of cookie theft through XSS attacks.

    Example in JavaScript:

    document.cookie = "sessionid=123; HttpOnly";
  5. Regular security updates: Keep all software and libraries up to date to ensure that known vulnerabilities are patched. This includes web servers, frameworks, and any third-party components used in the application.


Cross-site Scripting (XSS) is an attack technique that involves injecting malicious code into a web application, which is then executed by the user’s browser. This can lead to various security risks, including account hijacking, data theft, and the delivery of fraudulent content.

XSS attacks can be classified into three types: non-persistent, persistent, and DOM-based. Non-persistent and DOM-based attacks require user interaction, such as clicking on a malicious link or submitting a form on a vulnerable website. Persistent attacks occur when the injected code is stored on a website and executed whenever a user accesses the affected page.

Attackers can exploit XSS vulnerabilities to steal sensitive information, manipulate website content, redirect users to malicious websites, or perform actions on behalf of the user. These attacks compromise the trust relationship between the user and the website, potentially leading to severe consequences.


The risks associated with Cross-site Scripting (XSS) attacks include:

  1. Account hijacking: Attackers can steal user session cookies through XSS attacks, allowing them to impersonate the victim and gain unauthorized access to their accounts.

  2. Data theft: XSS attacks can be used to extract sensitive information from a user’s browser, such as login credentials, personal data, or financial information.

  3. Fraudulent content: Attackers can modify the content of a website to display misleading or malicious information, leading to phishing attempts, malware downloads, or other fraudulent activities.

  4. System compromise: If a vulnerable web application allows the execution of code under the local machine zone, an attacker can exploit XSS to execute arbitrary code on the user’s system, potentially leading to full system compromise.

It is crucial for web developers and organizations to implement proper security measures to prevent XSS attacks and protect user data. Regular security testing, secure coding practices, and ongoing vulnerability management are essential to mitigate the risks associated with XSS vulnerabilities.