Term: Cross Site Scripting

Cross Site Scripting

Cross-Site Scripting, commonly known as XSS, is a type of security vulnerability typically found in web applications. It allows attackers to inject malicious scripts into web pages viewed by other users. Unlike many other types of cyber attacks, XSS targets the users of a web application rather than the application itself.

The fundamental cause of XSS vulnerabilities is the failure of a web application to validate input before returning it to the user’s browser. When a web application fails to properly sanitize user input, an attacker can include scripts in the input that will run in the user’s browser, often with the same privileges as legitimate scripts on the site.

There are three main types of XSS attacks: Stored XSS, Reflected XSS, and DOM-based XSS.

Stored XSS, also known as persistent XSS, occurs when the malicious script is permanently stored on the target server. The script is then served as legitimate content to other users. This could occur, for example, in a forum post or a comment field on a blog.

Reflected XSS, also known as non-persistent XSS, involves the malicious script being part of the URL, which is sent to the server via a GET request. The server then includes this script in its response, where it is executed in the user’s browser. This type of attack often involves some form of social engineering to trick the user into clicking on a malicious link.

DOM-based XSS, or Document Object Model-based XSS, occurs when a script manipulates the DOM in a way that allows attacker-controlled data to be executed. In this case, the server is not involved in serving the malicious script; instead, the script manipulates the client-side code of the web application.

The consequences of an XSS attack can range from minor annoyances to significant security breaches. Attackers can use XSS to steal sensitive information such as session cookies, enabling them to impersonate the user. They can also deface websites, redirect users to malicious sites, or carry out other harmful actions.

To prevent XSS attacks, web developers should properly validate and sanitize all user input, encode output data that is rendered in a browser, use security headers to restrict script execution, and employ Content Security Policy (CSP) to limit the sources of scripts. Regular security testing and code reviews can also help identify and fix potential XSS vulnerabilities.

Securinc Team

Securinc is a leading cybersecurity consulting firm dedicated to helping businesses navigate the complex world of information security. Since our inception, we have been at the forefront of the cybersecurity industry, offering tailored solutions to organizations of all sizes.

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