Struts XSS Vulnerability

1. Information

A Cross Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerabilty has been identified in Struts by For further information, see...

2. Impact

The following GA quality versions of Struts are vulnerable:

  • Struts 1.0.x
  • Struts 1.1
  • Struts 1.2.4
  • Struts 1.2.7

N.B. i.e. Struts 1.2.8 and Struts 1.3.x do NOT have this vulnerability.

3. Solutions/Options

There are three possible courses of action users can take to guard against this vulnerability:

  • Configure an unknown Struts Action (Struts Version 1.1 onwards)
  • Upgrade to Struts 1.2.8
  • Configure your Servlet Container to use a Custom Error Page for 404 / Not Found errors

3.1 Configure an unknown Struts Action

From Struts 1.1 onwards it is possible to configure one action in the struts-config.xml for mappings which are Not Found. This action should be configure to forward to a custom error page (which doesn't include the Request's path!).

To do this you specify the unknown attribute on ONE of your action mappings and forward to a custom error page, for example...

           <action forward="/CustomNotFoundError.jsp" unknown="true" />

Ralph Hauser reports that the above "doesn't validate with the 1.2 DTD". I tried it in the struts-examples webapp for Struts 1.2.7 and it worked fine for me - niallp. However, if the above doesn't work, then add a "path" element to the action mapping:

           <action path="/unknown" forward="/CustomNotFoundError.jsp" unknown="true" />

3.2 Upgrading to Struts 1.2.8

Struts has been modified to remove this vulnerability in Struts 1.2.8. For further information on Struts 1.2.8, see:

3.3 Configure Servlet Container to use a Custom Error Page

Check your servlet container's documentation to see if you can configure a custom error page for 404 / Not Found status.

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