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PHP Security: Cross-Site Scripting Attacks (XSS)

A cialis cross-site scripting attack is one of the top 5 security attacks carried out on a daily basis across the Internet, and your PHP scripts may not be immune.

Also known as XSS, the attack is basically a type of code injection attack which is made possible by incorrectly validating user data, which usually gets inserted into the page through

a web

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form or using an altered hyperlink. The code injected can be any malicious client-side code, such as JavaScript, Vb Script, HTML, CSS, Flash, and others. The code is used to save harmful data on the server or perform a malicious action within the user’s browser. Unfortunately, cross-site scripting attacks occur mostly, because developers are failing to deliver secure code.

Cross-site scripting attacks can be grouped in two major categories, based on how they deliver the malicious payload: non-persistent XSS, and persistent XSS.

Non-persistent XSS

In this, the actual malicious code is not stored on the server but rather gets passed through it and presented to the victim, is the more popular XSS strategy of the two delivery methods. The attack is launched from an external source, such as from an e-mail message or a third-party website.


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is an example for this,

<? Php

echo “you searched for:”.$_GET[“query”];


The example can be a very insecure results page where the search query is displayed back to the user. The problem here is that the $_GET["query"] variable isn’t validated or escaped, therefore an attacker can easily inject the malicious code.

Persistent XSS

This type of attack happens when the malicious code has already slipped through the validation process and it is stored in a data store. This could be a comment, log file, notification message, or any other section on the website which required user input at one time. Later, when this particular information is presented on the website, the malicious code gets executed.

Preventing Cross-Site Scripting Attacks

In order to implement a solid security measure which prevents XSS attacks, we should be mindful of data validation, data sanitization, and output escaping.

Data validation

Data validation is the process of ensuring that your application is running with correct data. If your PHP script expects an integer for user input, then any other type of data would be discarded.

Data sanitization

Data sanitization focuses on manipulating the data to make sure it is safe by removing any unwanted bits from the data and normalizing it to the correct form.

Output escaping

n order to protect the integrity of displayed/output data, you should escape generic cialis online the data when presenting it to the user. This prevents the browser from applying any unintended meaning to any special sequence of characters that may be found.

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