Cross-site Scripting (XSS) Affecting angular package, versions <1.8.0



    Attack Complexity Low
    User Interaction Required
    Scope Changed
    Confidentiality High
    Integrity High

    Threat Intelligence

    Exploit Maturity Proof of concept

Do your applications use this vulnerable package?

In a few clicks we can analyze your entire application and see what components are vulnerable in your application, and suggest you quick fixes.

Test your applications
  • Snyk ID SNYK-JS-ANGULAR-572020
  • published 11 Jun 2020
  • disclosed 11 Jun 2020
  • credit Unknown

Introduced: 11 Jun 2020

CVE NOT AVAILABLE CWE-79 Open this link in a new tab

How to fix?

Upgrade angular to version 1.8.0 or higher.


angular is a package that lets you write client-side web applications as if you had a smarter browser. It also lets you use HTML as your template language and lets you extend HTML’s syntax to express your application’s components clearly and succinctly.

Affected versions of this package are vulnerable to Cross-site Scripting (XSS). XSS may be triggered in AngularJS applications that sanitize user-controlled HTML snippets before passing them to JQLite methods like JQLite.prepend, JQLite.after, JQLite.append, JQLite.replaceWith, JQLite.append, new JQLite and angular.element.

JQLite (DOM manipulation library that's part of AngularJS) manipulates input HTML before inserting it to the DOM in jqLiteBuildFragment.

One of the modifications performed expands an XHTML self-closing tag.

If jqLiteBuildFragment is called (e.g. via new JQLite(aString)) with user-controlled HTML string that was sanitized (e.g. with DOMPurify), the transformation done by JQLite may modify some forms of an inert, sanitized payload into a payload containing JavaScript - and trigger an XSS when the payload is inserted into DOM.


const inertPayload = `<div><style><style/><img src=x onerror="alert(1337)"/>` 

Note that the style element is not closed and <img would be a text node inside the style if inserted into the DOM as-is. As such, some HTML sanitizers would leave the <img as is without processing it and stripping the onerror attribute.


This will alert, as <style/> will be replaced with <style></style> before adding it to the DOM, closing the style element early and reactivating img.


A cross-site scripting attack occurs when the attacker tricks a legitimate web-based application or site to accept a request as originating from a trusted source.

This is done by escaping the context of the web application; the web application then delivers that data to its users along with other trusted dynamic content, without validating it. The browser unknowingly executes malicious script on the client side (through client-side languages; usually JavaScript or HTML) in order to perform actions that are otherwise typically blocked by the browser’s Same Origin Policy.

Injecting malicious code is the most prevalent manner by which XSS is exploited; for this reason, escaping characters in order to prevent this manipulation is the top method for securing code against this vulnerability.

Escaping means that the application is coded to mark key characters, and particularly key characters included in user input, to prevent those characters from being interpreted in a dangerous context. For example, in HTML, < can be coded as &lt; and > can be coded as &gt; in order to be interpreted and displayed as themselves in text, while within the code itself, they are used for HTML tags. If malicious content is injected into an application that escapes special characters and that malicious content uses < and > as HTML tags, those characters are nonetheless not interpreted as HTML tags by the browser if they’ve been correctly escaped in the application code and in this way the attempted attack is diverted.

The most prominent use of XSS is to steal cookies (source: OWASP HttpOnly) and hijack user sessions, but XSS exploits have been used to expose sensitive information, enable access to privileged services and functionality and deliver malware.

Types of attacks

There are a few methods by which XSS can be manipulated:

Type Origin Description
Stored Server The malicious code is inserted in the application (usually as a link) by the attacker. The code is activated every time a user clicks the link.
Reflected Server The attacker delivers a malicious link externally from the vulnerable web site application to a user. When clicked, malicious code is sent to the vulnerable web site, which reflects the attack back to the user’s browser.
DOM-based Client The attacker forces the user’s browser to render a malicious page. The data in the page itself delivers the cross-site scripting data.
Mutated The attacker injects code that appears safe, but is then rewritten and modified by the browser, while parsing the markup. An example is rebalancing unclosed quotation marks or even adding quotation marks to unquoted parameters.

Affected environments

The following environments are susceptible to an XSS attack:
  • Web servers
  • Application servers
  • Web application environments

How to prevent

This section describes the top best practices designed to specifically protect your code:
  • Sanitize data input in an HTTP request before reflecting it back, ensuring all data is validated, filtered or escaped before echoing anything back to the user, such as the values of query parameters during searches.
  • Convert special characters such as ?, &, /, <, > and spaces to their respective HTML or URL encoded equivalents.
  • Give users the option to disable client-side scripts.
  • Redirect invalid requests.
  • Detect simultaneous logins, including those from two separate IP addresses, and invalidate those sessions.
  • Use and enforce a Content Security Policy (source: Wikipedia) to disable any features that might be manipulated for an XSS attack.
  • Read the documentation for any of the libraries referenced in your code to understand which elements allow for embedded HTML.