What is a Cross-Site Scripting Attack (XSS)

What is Cross Site Scripting (XSS) Attack? and Measures to Prevent them

Cross Site Scripting (XSS) Software Attack

Hacking a website is one of the disastrous nightmares for people running their websites. It disturbs the individual’s settings and is also an easy gateway to access the personal information of the website owner. Malicious content and inappropriate advertisements injected by a hacker can immediately lower the reputation and goodwill of the website owner. Hence it is always advised to keep a check on the website codes and keep on changing the passwords in a month or two. This helps to improvise the security levels and keep one safe.

What is a Cross-Site Scripting Attack (XSS)?

A cross-Site Scripting attack is a form of attack where the hacker injects malicious JavaScript into the affected website’s browser. This is an initial attack and doesn’t harm the server of the website. This can lead to the running of inappropriate content and ruining one’s image in the professional pool. It is highly observed among often used websites by people and websites that have low-security measures. JavaScript is an initial browser programming language that can help to bring about changes to the browser. It can also be used to connect to the server working with the help of PHP language by sending a background request. 

This background request is attacked by the hackers to add malicious codes in the JavaScript and gather client information as well. This gives easy access to the hackers to gather all the important and confidential information of the website for their gain and ruin the content of the website.

Disadvantages of Cross-Site Scripting Attack?

Let us have a glance at some of the harmful damages caused due to XSS attack:

  • Injection of malicious codes in the JavaScript of the authenticated user
  • Easy access to the hacker of the personal and confidential information
  • Easy access for the hacker to run inappropriate and image ruining commercials or data
  • The exploited vulnerability of the authenticated user
  • Targeted users by the hacker to gain popularity to sell their ads

Types of Cross-Site Scripting Attacks

  1. Stored Cross-Site Scripting
  2. Reflected Cross-Site Scripting
  3. Self-Cross Site Scripting
  4. Blind Cross-Site Scripting
  5. DOM-based Cross-site Scripting

Measures to avoid Cross-Site Scripting Attack

Limit the JavaScript handling People

JavaScript codes of a single website handled by many people can also create hassle and issues for the website security. Therefore, it is advised to limit access of the JavaScript and avoid the initial damage to the code.

Restrict HTML Usage

Though HTML helps to make a site look attractive and visitor-friendly, on the other hand, it is also an opportunity for hackers to detect vulnerabilities of the website. Therefore, it is advised to make a site user-friendly and easy to access with the help of external options rather than internal ones.

Do not click on Random Cookies

Cookies are one of the easiest ways for JavaScript to read its language and work accordingly. Hence the unverified cookies used by the hackers help to gain the confidential data of the website easily and let the JavaScript read the malicious code of the website easily.

Use WAF to Prevent Cross-Site attacks

The use of a Web application firewall helps to prevent cross-site attacks and various other attacks. Hence it is necessary to use a firewall for the website’s safety and avoid injecting malicious codes in JavaScript.

Actions to be Taken after Identification of Cross-Site Attack

  1. Identify the Malicious Codes – Identifying and removing malicious codes help one to get back online to the business immediately. It also helps to avoid further damage. 
  2. Remove Backdoors – Backdoor is another way to damage a website. Therefore, such issues should be removed immediately and keep all other files safe and secure. 
  3. Patch Vulnerabilities – Patch the vulnerabilities once they are identified. This prevents further damage and keeps other files safe. 
  4. Update Passwords – Update passwords and other important credentials after cleaning the website. This helps to prevent re-hacking of the website and avoiding damage by the back-doors.
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