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  3. Client-side XPath injection (reflected DOM-based)

Client-side XPath injection (reflected DOM-based)

Description: Client-side XPath injection (reflected DOM-based)

Reflected DOM-based vulnerabilities arise when data is copied from a request and echoed into the application's immediate response within a part of the DOM that is then processed in an unsafe way by a client-side script. An attacker can leverage the reflection to control a part of the response (for example, a JavaScript string) that can be used to trigger the DOM-based vulnerability.

DOM-based XPath injection arises when a script incorporates controllable data into an XPath query. An attacker may be able to use this behavior to construct a URL that, if visited by another application user, will cause an arbitrary XPath query to execute, causing different data to be retrieved and processed by the application. Depending on the purpose for which the query results are used, it may be possible to subvert the application's logic, or cause unintended actions on behalf of the user.

Burp Suite automatically identifies this issue using static code analysis, which may lead to false positives that are not actually exploitable. The relevant code and execution paths should be reviewed to determine whether this vulnerability is indeed present, or whether mitigations are in place that would prevent exploitation.

Remediation: Client-side XPath injection (reflected DOM-based)

The most effective way to avoid DOM-based XPath injection vulnerabilities is not to incorporate into an XPath query any data that originated from an untrusted source. If the desired functionality of the application means that this behavior is unavoidable, then defenses must be implemented within the client-side code to prevent malicious data from modifying the XPath query in inappropriate ways. This may involve strict validation of specific items to ensure they do not contain any characters that may interfere with the structure of the query when it is parsed.

Vulnerability classifications

Typical severity

Low

Type index

0x00200361

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