XSS in Rails Applications

Mar 8th, 2009

Comments: 0
Category: Ruby On Rails

XSS in Rails Applications

I’m doing some research at the moment for a presentation I’m doing for the Scotland on Rails conference, later this month. As part of that I’ve been downloading some sample Rails applications to get an idea of common security issues that I can discuss.
Interestingly on popular applications that I’ve downloaded so far, I’m 2 for 2 on the exact same problem.
Both of them have XSS vulnerabilities from the user–>admin sides of the site. So the end-user pages have output encoding to restrict XSS but the admin sections don’t consistently provide the same protection.
It’s also interesting that both applications seem to be relying on output encoding as a defence as opposed to input validation. In my experience the best defence is a combination of the two…
Of course that leads to some potentially nasty exploits around stealing admin credentials from the site in question. Hey looks like I’ll have some stuff to talk about anyway 🙂

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