HawkScan Test Info for SOAP XML Injection

SOAP XML Injection


Plugin Id: 90029


To remediate the SOAP XML Injection vulnerability, the following steps can be taken:

  1. Input validation: Implement strict input validation to ensure that only valid XML data is accepted by the server. This can be done by using XML schema validation or by using a library or framework that provides XML parsing with built-in validation capabilities. For example, in Java, you can use the javax.xml.validation package to validate XML against a schema.

  2. Output encoding: Properly encode any user-supplied data that is included in XML responses to prevent it from being interpreted as XML code. This can be done by using XML encoding functions or libraries provided by the programming language or framework being used. For example, in PHP, you can use the htmlspecialchars function to encode special characters in XML.

  3. Least privilege principle: Ensure that the server running the SOAP service has the least privileges necessary to perform its functions. This can help mitigate the impact of a successful XML injection attack by limiting the attacker’s ability to access sensitive data or execute unauthorized actions.


The SOAP XML Injection vulnerability occurs when an attacker is able to inject malicious XML code into a SOAP request or response. This can happen when the server does not properly validate or sanitize user-supplied XML data, allowing the attacker to include their own XML code that will be interpreted by the server.

When the server interprets the injected XML code, it can lead to various security issues, such as:

  • Data exposure: The attacker may be able to access sensitive data by injecting XML code that retrieves or leaks information from the server’s database or file system.

  • Server-side request forgery (SSRF): The attacker can use the injected XML code to make requests to internal resources or external systems that the server has access to, potentially leading to further attacks or unauthorized actions.

  • Denial of Service (DoS): By injecting malicious XML code that triggers resource-intensive operations or infinite loops, the attacker can cause the server to consume excessive resources, leading to a denial of service for legitimate users.


The SOAP XML Injection vulnerability poses several risks to the affected system:

  • Data compromise: An attacker can exploit this vulnerability to access sensitive data stored on the server, such as user credentials, personal information, or proprietary business data.

  • Unauthorized actions: By injecting malicious XML code, an attacker can execute unauthorized actions on the server, such as modifying or deleting data, creating new user accounts, or altering system configurations.

  • System disruption: An attacker can leverage the vulnerability to cause a denial of service by overwhelming the server with resource-intensive operations or triggering infinite loops, rendering the system unavailable to legitimate users.

  • Reputation damage: If sensitive data is compromised or the system experiences prolonged downtime due to a successful XML injection attack, it can result in significant reputational damage for the organization responsible for the vulnerable SOAP service.