Cross-site Scripting (XSS) Affecting ejs package, versions <2.5.5



    Attack Complexity High
    Confidentiality High

    Threat Intelligence

    EPSS 0.06% (25th percentile)
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6.1 medium

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  • Snyk ID npm:ejs:20161130
  • published 6 Dec 2016
  • disclosed 27 Nov 2016
  • credit Snyk Security Research Team

How to fix?

The vulnerability can be resolved by either using the GitHub integration to generate a pull-request from your dashboard or by running snyk wizard from the command-line interface. Otherwise, Upgrade ejs to version 2.5.5 or higher.


ejs is a popular JavaScript templating engine. Affected versions of the package are vulnerable to Cross-site Scripting by letting the attacker under certain conditions control and override the filename option causing it to render the value as is, without escaping it. You can read more about this vulnerability on the Snyk blog.

There's also a Remote Code Execution & Denial of Service vulnerabilities caused by the same behaviour.


ejs provides a few different options for you to render a template, two being very similar: ejs.render() and ejs.renderFile(). The only difference being that render expects a string to be used for the template and renderFile expects a path to a template file.

Both functions can be invoked in two ways. The first is calling them with template, data, and options:

ejs.render(str, data, options);

ejs.renderFile(filename, data, options, callback)

The second way would be by calling only the template and data, while ejs lets the options be passed as part of the data:

ejs.render(str, dataAndOptions);

ejs.renderFile(filename, dataAndOptions, callback)

If used with a variable list supplied by the user (e.g. by reading it from the URI with qs or equivalent), an attacker can control ejs options. This includes the filename option, which will be rendered as is when an error occurs during rendering.

ejs.renderFile('my-template', {filename:'<script>alert(1)</script>'}, callback);

The fix introduced in version 2.5.3 blacklisted root options from options passed via the data object.

Disclosure Timeline

  • November 28th, 2016 - Reported the issue to package owner.
  • November 28th, 2016 - Issue acknowledged by package owner.
  • December 06th, 2016 - Issue fixed and version 2.5.5 released.