CWE

Common Weakness Enumeration

A Community-Developed List of Software Weakness Types

CWE/SANS Top 25 Most Dangerous Software Errors
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ID

CWE-84: Improper Neutralization of Encoded URI Schemes in a Web Page

Weakness ID: 84
Abstraction: Variant
Structure: Simple
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
The web application improperly neutralizes user-controlled input for executable script disguised with URI encodings.
+ Relationships

The table(s) below shows the weaknesses and high level categories that are related to this weakness. These relationships are defined as ChildOf, ParentOf, MemberOf and give insight to similar items that may exist at higher and lower levels of abstraction. In addition, relationships such as PeerOf and CanAlsoBe are defined to show similar weaknesses that the user may want to explore.

+ Relevant to the view "Research Concepts" (CWE-1000)
+ Relevant to the view "Development Concepts" (CWE-699)
+ Modes Of Introduction

The different Modes of Introduction provide information about how and when this weakness may be introduced. The Phase identifies a point in the software life cycle at which introduction may occur, while the Note provides a typical scenario related to introduction during the given phase.

PhaseNote
Architecture and Design
Implementation
+ Applicable Platforms
The listings below show possible areas for which the given weakness could appear. These may be for specific named Languages, Operating Systems, Architectures, Paradigms, Technologies, or a class of such platforms. The platform is listed along with how frequently the given weakness appears for that instance.

Languages

(Language-Independent classes): (Undetermined Prevalence)

+ Common Consequences

The table below specifies different individual consequences associated with the weakness. The Scope identifies the application security area that is violated, while the Impact describes the negative technical impact that arises if an adversary succeeds in exploiting this weakness. The Likelihood provides information about how likely the specific consequence is expected to be seen relative to the other consequences in the list. For example, there may be high likelihood that a weakness will be exploited to achieve a certain impact, but a low likelihood that it will be exploited to achieve a different impact.

ScopeImpactLikelihood
Integrity

Technical Impact: Unexpected State

+ Observed Examples
ReferenceDescription
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in Microsoft Outlook Web Access (OWA) component in Exchange Server 5.5 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via an email message with an encoded javascript: URL ("jav&#X41sc
ript:") in an IMG tag.
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in Novell Groupwise WebAccess 6.5 before July 11, 2005 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via an e-mail message with an encoded javascript URI (e.g. "j&#X41vascript" in an IMG tag).
Encoded script within BBcode IMG tag.
Encoded "javascript" in IMG tag.
Encoded "javascript" in IMG tag.
+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Implementation

Strategy: Input Validation

Resolve all URIs to absolute or canonical representations before processing.

Phase: Implementation

Strategy: Input Validation

Carefully check each input parameter against a rigorous positive specification (whitelist) defining the specific characters and format allowed. All input should be neutralized, not just parameters that the user is supposed to specify, but all data in the request, including tag attributes, hidden fields, cookies, headers, the URL itself, and so forth. A common mistake that leads to continuing XSS vulnerabilities is to validate only fields that are expected to be redisplayed by the site. We often encounter data from the request that is reflected by the application server or the application that the development team did not anticipate. Also, a field that is not currently reflected may be used by a future developer. Therefore, validating ALL parts of the HTTP request is recommended.

Phase: Implementation

Strategy: Output Encoding

Use and specify an output encoding that can be handled by the downstream component that is reading the output. Common encodings include ISO-8859-1, UTF-7, and UTF-8. When an encoding is not specified, a downstream component may choose a different encoding, either by assuming a default encoding or automatically inferring which encoding is being used, which can be erroneous. When the encodings are inconsistent, the downstream component might treat some character or byte sequences as special, even if they are not special in the original encoding. Attackers might then be able to exploit this discrepancy and conduct injection attacks; they even might be able to bypass protection mechanisms that assume the original encoding is also being used by the downstream component. The problem of inconsistent output encodings often arises in web pages. If an encoding is not specified in an HTTP header, web browsers often guess about which encoding is being used. This can open up the browser to subtle XSS attacks.

Phase: Implementation

With Struts, write all data from form beans with the bean's filter attribute set to true.

Phase: Implementation

Strategy: Attack Surface Reduction

To help mitigate XSS attacks against the user's session cookie, set the session cookie to be HttpOnly. In browsers that support the HttpOnly feature (such as more recent versions of Internet Explorer and Firefox), this attribute can prevent the user's session cookie from being accessible to malicious client-side scripts that use document.cookie. This is not a complete solution, since HttpOnly is not supported by all browsers. More importantly, XMLHTTPRequest and other powerful browser technologies provide read access to HTTP headers, including the Set-Cookie header in which the HttpOnly flag is set.

Effectiveness: Defense in Depth

+ Weakness Ordinalities
OrdinalityDescription
Primary
(where the weakness exists independent of other weaknesses)
+ Memberships
This MemberOf Relationships table shows additional CWE Categories and Views that reference this weakness as a member. This information is often useful in understanding where a weakness fits within the context of external information sources.
NatureTypeIDName
MemberOfCategoryCategory990SFP Secondary Cluster: Tainted Input to Command
+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
PLOVERXSS using Script Via Encoded URI Schemes
Software Fault PatternsSFP24Tainted input to command
+ Content History
Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganizationSource
PLOVER
Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganizationSource
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigital
updated Time_of_Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings, Weakness_Ordinalities
2010-04-05CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Related_Attack_Patterns
2010-06-21CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Description, Name, Potential_Mitigations
2011-03-29CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Potential_Mitigations
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2011-06-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2012-10-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Potential_Mitigations
2013-02-21CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Potential_Mitigations
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2017-05-03CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Potential_Mitigations, Related_Attack_Patterns
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Applicable_Platforms, Causal_Nature
Previous Entry Names
Change DatePrevious Entry Name
2008-04-11XSS using Script Via Encoded URI Schemes
2010-06-21Failure to Resolve Encoded URI Schemes in a Web Page

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Page Last Updated: November 14, 2017