What is XSS (Cross-Site Scripting)

WebTech Team
Web development
05-12-2023
Web Security
web securityXSS

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) is a type of computer security vulnerability that arises when a website allows users to input data that is later displayed to other users without proper sanitization or validation. This vulnerability enables an attacker to inject malicious scripts, such as JavaScript, into web pages viewed by other users. XSS attacks can occur in various forms, including reflected, stored, and DOM-based XSS. Reflected XSS attacks occur when an attacker tricks a user into clicking a malicious link that sends the malicious script to the vulnerable web application. Stored XSS attacks involve an attacker injecting malicious code into a website, which is then displayed to other users as they interact with the site. DOM-based XSS attacks exploit vulnerabilities in the Document Object Model (DOM) of a web page, allowing an attacker to execute scripts in a user's browser. The consequences of XSS attacks can be severe. Attackers can use XSS to steal user data, such as login credentials, cookies, and other sensitive information. They can also perform actions on behalf of the victim, like sending emails, making purchases, or accessing restricted areas of the site. In some cases, XSS can be used to launch other types of attacks, such as phishing scams or drive-by downloads. To prevent XSS attacks, web developers should follow secure coding practices, such as properly validating and sanitizing user input, using Content Security Policy (CSP) to restrict the sources of scripts, and employing other security measures like input filtering and output encoding. Users should also be cautious when clicking on links or interacting with unfamiliar websites, and always ensure they are using up-to-date browsers and security software.