Bypassing XSS Filters

salam u alikum
I found this Explanation in some blog
Since the time bug bounties have started, a lot of security
vulnerabilities can be seen reported. From the college students to Hard
Core Security Researchers, all researchers have been into it. Cross-site
scripting or XSS is one such type of security flaw which is very
frequently reported as this can be found much more easily than other
flaws. But wait, are you sure this can be found easily always? Well, we
Most testers use two payloads, i.e., “><img src=aa
onerror=alert(1);> and <script>alert(1)</script>; and try
them out at most of the injection points. If you are also following the
same approach, then you are likely to find XSS in most of conditions,
but not in ALL of them. What about those which do not lie in this
category (say the application has got a filter, or say they encode some

So instead of just passing random payloads, it’s pretty obvious to
first understand where and how the payloads are getting reflected (if
any). It simply means, if you can understand the request and response
properly, you can be the champion. So we will be talking about the
“approach for bypassing XSS filters” in this article.

Here we will mention some of the unique XSS vulnerabilities we found recently.
Case 1:
This is one which I loved personally. While testing an
application there were five columns on the EDIT profile page and all
were vulnerable to improper sanitization. All the payloads were getting
reflected in Attribute of input tag, however the only problem with all
of them was they were not allowing more than 14 characters in each
field. As I started with the following:

[Image: a1.png]
[Image: a2.png]
Successfully injected and complete the input tag and displayed “aaaa” on the page. So I injected:
[Image: a3.png]

Injected successfully but didn’t executed my script due to length
based filtration and page was tampered. Tried several other payloads,
and then got to know that only 14 characters were allowed. Suddenly
thought of comments and along with partial payloads. So I broke my
payload into three parts and then injected in three columns

Part1: “><script>/*
[Image: a4.png]
Part 2: */alert(1);/*
[Image: a5.png]
Part 3: */</script><!—
[Image: a6.png]
So once injected in HTML page, it was something like
<input value=””>script>/* BLAH BLAH BLAH */alert(1);/* BLAH BLAH BLAH */</script><!—
[Image: a7.png]
Where BLAH BLAH BLAH are the page contents which I commented using
the Multiline javascript comments and thus my XSS payload got executed

Case 2:
While testing a FILE upload functionality, I intercepted the request
using burp. While the contents of file were being transferred as an XML,
the inputs were getting echoed on the page which was used to show the
progress of the upload. So I tried to include a CDATA into the XML file
and thought of including my XSS payload in between the CDATA. This
worked fine and I got an XSS. The response where XSS was being echoed
was something like below.

The payload used in this scenario was :
Complete Payload:
Case 3:
While testing a .NET (.aspx) application which was sanitizing almost
all the inputs (both falling in attributes as well as in main HTML).
There was a module to modify the USER Details. At first I tried with the
following string as the first name value:

Page redirected to Error Page, thought <script> might be blocked. So passed this:
Page redirected to Error Page, thought “tags” might be blocked. And
as this string was not passing in any attribute so only way to inject
HTML or JS required a TAG. So I tried with full width encoding. Here is a
complete chart which you can refer for the same. . Using
this I encoded the right angular bracket (>) and left angular
bracket (<) to %uff1e and %uff1c respectively. Resulting payload with
XSS script:

This time payload got injected but did not got executed. When I
analyzed the source code, got to see that due to length based filtering
some part of payload was not injected which was in fact defacing the
site. So I made another account. This time I thought to encode half of
the payload instead of encoding the complete payload. So I encoded
(<) to %uff1c but left (>) as it is. This reduced the length of my
payload by 22 characters. Therefore I passed:

And voila, this worked and I was able to report an XSS.
Case 4:
The inputs I was sending were getting reflected at around 5 places in
the response page. Two of them were in main HTML, where “angular
brackets” were filtered. Two of them were falling in input tag
attributes, where “double quotes” were filtered. However, one of them
was getting into JavaScript, which seemed to be a potential injection
point to me. The only mistake developers had done was, they forgot to
use “add-slash” with the single quotes and double quotes being passed in
JavaScript. As JavaScript if a HOTSPOT for XSS, I started my hit and
trial with it.

The place where my values were injecting was:
var a=(“bbbbb”, “abcdef”);’ — where bbbb was my injection point.
Obviously, there was no point of injecting “><img src stuff. So
at the very first I tried to take the things out of the variable, then
function and then execute.

aaa”aaa, “abcdef”);’ alert(1);
This got blocked as “SPACES” were not allowed in the input. So I used “plus sign”. And the page got redirected to an error page.
This didn’t work as “comma” was not allowed. Next:
It still didn’t work. I wondered why it was not working. Then deeply
analyzed the code, and realized, I was supposed to close the string, so I
entered this:

aaa”aaa);’+alert(1); var c=”
Again there was something wrong; string was not getting closed
properly. At this point, I was able to inject the payload easily but was
unable to execute it properly. So next:

aaa”aaa);’+alert(1);+var size=’(“444
And finally a pop up. This payload actually, closed the string, took
my value out of the function, executed the alert(1), made another
variable in the same manner as previous one was made (in which values
were getting injected), and then left the double quote opened so as to
complete the actual string in the page.

So the main point which I wanted to explain from this article is,
don’t just “BRUTE FORCE” the payloads, instead try to analyze the
injection point and then make the payload.

Case 5:
This one I found on one of the BUG BOUNTY sites and was also out of
my favourite ones. While exploring the site, I got to see a Word-press
based blog being employed which moreover was using a theme which used an
older version of “timthumb.php” and to the surprise this was not
properly patched. Developers have patched the XSS in the file but

When I tried<bb>aa
The page echoed only aaaa aa and <bb> was sanitized in an
awesome manner. Then I tried RFI and tried to include a PHP file on the
server (by first uploading to a free web host), but the page came up
with an error that PHP files are not allowed. Again proper validation.
Everything was fine until I tried with a JS file.

When I uploaded JS file on my free web hosting account and then included it in timthumb with the following URL:
the page said:
File type not supported: data/www/wp_blog/wp-content/themes/yamidoo_pro/scripts
Where abcd/xyz/pqr was the internal path disclosure and the MD5 was the hash of the (
Being very obvious, I modified the URL to
And BOOM. My js file was here. But as we know PHP files were not
supported, I tried with .cgi and .inc, both went waste as the file
started getting downloaded instead of executing there.

So I lowered down my mind from RFI to XSS and uploaded a HTML page on my free hosting account with malicious javascript into it.
[Image: a8.png]
And named the file shubham.html
When I included the file to the using the following URL:
Again the error came
Unable to Open Image:
[Image: a9.png]
So modified the URL to
And as this was a page with malicious script, I got three Message
boxes and confirmed the XSS on the site. As this was a stored XSS, and
complete page can be made with whatever malicious script, this was
patched within a day by the site to which I reported.

[Image: a10.png]
[Image: a11.png]

About The Author

Salman Rafiq
Salman Rafiq is the Founder of 'My Basic Tricks'. I am a Security Researcher and Ethical Hacker, with experience in various aspects of Information Security and Other then I am SEO expert and a Blogger. My all efforts is to make internet more Security..


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