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    How To Defend Websites From XXS Attacks?

    Alexander Johnson

    By Alexander Johnson - Mar 15, 2024 | Updated On: 15 March, 2024 | 2 min read

    By Alexander Johnson , 2 min read - Mar 15, 2024

    Updated On: 15 March, 2024

    Defend Websites From XXS Attacks. Image Credit: Social Media.

  • Cross-site scripting, also known as XXS attacks, is one of the most penetrating cybersecurity threats faced by web apps and websites today.

    So, let’s take a look at the attack briefly and find out some of the measures to defend websites from XXS attacks.

    Most XSS attacks are pretty easy to conduct and can have disastrous repercussions for impacted users.

  • What Are Cross-Site Scripting Attacks?

    Cross-site scripting attacks include threat actors injecting harmful code into websites. From there, the scripts are performed in the affected users’ browsers. Because XSS attacks make it possible to plant harmful code on otherwise trustworthy websites, people can easily fall prey to this scam.

    Primarily, there are three types of Cross-Site scripting attacks.

    • Non-persistent or reflected XSS attacks
    • DOM-based XSS attacks
    • Persistent or stored attacks

    Defend Websites From XXS Attacks – Secure Coding to Prevent XSS Attacks

    First and foremost, engineers should strive to create websites and online applications that are devoid of the vulnerabilities that allow XSS attacks to occur.

    Defend Websites From XXS Attacks

    Defend Websites From XXS Attacks. Image Credit: Social Media.

    Above all, any site that accepts input must be appropriately screened and validated. Unrecognized strings, code, and scripts in the input should be ignored. It is preferable to deliver an error notice to the user because the input could not be interpreted appropriately rather than accept the input and risk receiving harmful code.

  • Similarly, encoding is necessary. It entails converting data from HTML or JavaScript into an entity that cannot be performed. In that manner, if the output contains harmful code, the browser will not execute it.

    Secure Frameworks And A Content Security Policy

    Another way to defend websites from XXS attacks is to use frameworks that automatically escape CSS by design, such as Ruby on Rails or ReactJS. These frameworks include techniques to reduce risks by handling much of the heavy labor for encoding and filtering output.

    Furthermore, users and developers can set up CSP headers to control the source of resource loading and prevent attackers from executing scripts. As a strong CSP works like a bouncer at the door and ensures nothing dark is uploaded onto the web page, it highly assists in preventing a website from XXS attacks.

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  • XXS Protection at the Network Level

    Web Application Firewall (WAF), at the network level, platforms may identify some types of XSS assaults. To accomplish this, enable your WAF to examine traffic and block data containing common XSS attack signatures, such as URL requests with obfuscated code.

    Defend Websites From XXS Attacks

    Defend Websites From XXS Attacks. Image Credit: Social Media.

    Protecting at the network level is very useful because it is a bodyguard for servers and clients in different cases. Still, an attack is possible if the exploiters do not leverage standard attack techniques.

    Application Scanning

    After creating applications, developers should use scanners to detect XSS concerns. There are various free XSS scanners accessible on GitHub, and commercial software composition analysis (SCA) tools have XSS scanning capabilities.

    They can be imported via third-party modules or dependencies that you include in your application. As a result, it’s critical to develop an inventory of your application’s dependencies and check that they are not vulnerable to known XSS attacks. SCA tools can also aid in this endeavor.

  • Taking Advantage of Cookie Attributes

    Developers and consumers should employ cookie attributes and HTTP-only cookies to modify how JavaScript and browsers interact with cookies, lowering the impact of XSS attacks.

    Furthermore, updating dependencies, plugins, and libraries on the application environment could also work to prevent multiple attacks, including cross-site scripting.

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