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Date: Fri, 18 Dec 2009 16:58:57 +0200
From: "MustLive" <>
To: <>
Subject: XSS vulnerabilities via errors at requests to DB

Hello participants of Full-Disclosure.

Let's continue a series of my articles about the most common places of XSS.

Earlier I wrote already about XSS vulnerabilities at 404 pages
And already at 2008 I planned to tell about one interesting and widespread
vector of XSS attacks - it's the attacks via errors at requests to DB.

I had occasions to discover Cross-Site Scripting vulnerabilities in
different web applications, and also in browsers and web servers. And
besides XSS holes at Error 404 pages, I also often found XSS vulnerabilities
in messages about errors at requests to databases (XSS via SQL Error).

Standard vector of the attack in case of XSS via SQL Error - it's setting of
XSS-code as value of parameter which is sending to DB (at this it's needed
that this SQL query becomes incorrect). Which will lead to showing of web
application's message about error at request to DB, with mentioning of the
query's line where there is an error, and to executing of JavaScript code in
browser of the user.



Such vulnerabilities I found multiple times at different sites and in
different web applications, particularly in WordPress
(, Relay (
and Hydra Engine (

For example, in WordPress to execute JS-code in error message, it was needed
to send special symbol (in this case %A0), which I wrote about already in
detail (



In some cases (particularly in PHP-applications which use MySQL), it's
needed to use not script tag, but body tag to conduct XSS attack, so the
code will be completely showed in message about error in SQL query. As, for
example, in case of vulnerability at



Note, that already in 2006 there was found vulnerability in PHP
(, which concerned with function mysql_error.
Which returns value of error of last SQL-query to MySQL in unfiltered form,
which can lead to XSS attack. This vulnerability was found in PHP 4.4.x and
5.1.x. So web applications, which use this function and show its results,
can be vulnerable to XSS.

So web developers always need to check their projects on presence of XSS
vulnerabilities in messages about errors at requests to DB. To not allow
such vulnerabilities.

Best wishes & regards,
Administrator of Websecurity web site 

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