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Date: Tue, 29 Nov 2016 11:14:10 +0100
From: Winni Neessen <>
Subject: [FD] XSS in tooltip plugin of Zurb Foundation 5

XSS vulnerabilty in the tooltip plugin of Zurb Foundation 5.x

URL to this advisory:


(Taken from
Foundation is the most advanced, responsive front-end framework in the 
world. The framework is mobile
friendly and ready for you to customize it any way you want to use it.

Vulnerability Type
Cross-Site-Scripting Vulnerability

CVE Reference

Vulnerability Details
The Foundation framework provides an easy way to insert tooltips into 
your code. The corresponding plugin
for this is *foundation.tooltip.js*. Unfortunately the plugin takes 
HTML-encoded code from the title
parameter and returns it as actual HTML, allowing an attacker to inject 
dynamic HTML/JS into an
application, if the application allows to inject user input into title 
fields of a tooltip'ed SPAN
entity. Even if the user input is correctly encoded, before adding it to 
the tooltip'ed SPAN, the
Foundation Tooltip JavaScript will re-decode it and inject the actul 
HTML code.

Example code
This code snippet shows a simple HTML page with encoded HTML in a 
tooltip, utilizing the Foundation
JS plugin.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html class="no-js" lang="en">
		<meta charset="utf-8">
		<meta content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0" name="viewport">
		<title>Foundation 5 Tooltip XSS example</title>
		<script src="/foundation/js/vendor/modernizr.js"></script>
		<link href="/css/vpnauth.css" rel="stylesheet">
		<link href="/css/font-awesome.min.css" rel="stylesheet">
		<span data-tooltip data-options="hover_delay: 50;" class="has-tip" 
title="&lt;script&gt;alert(&quot;Oh crap! 
XSS'ed&quot;);&lt;/script&gt;">This is a tooltip'ed SPAN</span>
		<!-- Begin Foundation JavaScript includes //-->
		<script src="/foundation/js/vendor/jquery.js"></script>
		<script src="/foundation/js/foundation/foundation.js"></script>
		//]]></script>		<!-- End Foundation JavaScript includes //-->

When opened in a browser, the encoded HTML from the title-parameter in 
line 12 will be grabbed by the
tooltip plugin and re-decoded to plain HTML in the output, causing the 
JavaScript to be injected into
the page. A JavaScript alert window will pop up.

Quick fix/Workaround
The problem lies in line 197 of *foundation.tooltip.js*:

var $tip = $(tip_template(this.selector($target), 
	classes = this.inheritable_classes($target);

The title attribute is read and provided as HTML without any 
sanitization. As a quick fix, one could
use the .text() function of jQuery to sanitize the read value from the 
title attribute. This might
not be a full fix for the issue, but at least worked in my examples.

Here is a diff for quick patching:

--- ./foundation.tooltip.js.orig        2016-11-28 16:57:31.000000000 
+++ ./foundation.tooltip.js     2016-11-29 10:45:16.000000000 +0100
@@ -196,3 +196,3 @@

-      var $tip = $(tip_template(this.selector($target), 
+      var $tip = $(tip_template(this.selector($target), 
            classes = this.inheritable_classes($target);

Affected versions
Succesfully tested in Zurb Foundation 5.5.1 and 5.5.3

- 2016-03-01: Opened issue with Zurb
- 2016-03-03: Reply from a Foundation DEV and assignment to a different 
developer to take care
- 2016-04-20: Nothing happend, thus I asked for an update on the issue. 
No reply.
- 2016-06-08: Still nothing happend. Asked for an update again. No 
- 2016-11-28: Still no reply, so I closed the ticket and announced the 
- 2016-11-29: Release of this advisory

The information contained within this advisory is supplied "as-is" with 
no warranties or guarantees
of fitness of use or otherwise. Permission is hereby granted for the 
redistribution of this advisory,
provided that it is not altered except by reformatting it, and that due 
credit is given. Permission
is explicitly given for insertion in vulnerability databases and 
similar, provided that due credit
is given to the author. The author is not responsible for any misuse of 
the information contained
herein and accepts no responsibility for any damage caused by the use or 
misuse of this information.
The author prohibits any malicious use of security related information 
or exploits by the author
or elsewhere.

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