XSS via JQLite DOM manipulation functions in AngularJS

Type github
Reporter GitHub Advisory Database
Modified 2020-08-05T21:47:02



XSS may be triggered in AngularJS applications that sanitize user-controlled HTML snippets before passing them to JQLite methods like JQLite.prepend, JQLite.after, JQLite.append, JQLite.replaceWith, JQLite.append, new JQLite and angular.element.


JQLite (DOM manipulation library that's part of AngularJS) manipulates input HTML before inserting it to the DOM in jqLiteBuildFragment.

One of the modifications performed expands an XHTML self-closing tag.

If jqLiteBuildFragment is called (e.g. via new JQLite(aString)) with user-controlled HTML string that was sanitized (e.g. with DOMPurify), the transformation done by JQLite may modify some forms of an inert, sanitized payload into a payload containing JavaScript - and trigger an XSS when the payload is inserted into DOM.

This is similar to a bug in jQuery htmlPrefilter function that was fixed in 3.5.0.

Proof of concept

javascript const inertPayload = `<div><style><style/><img src=x onerror="alert(1337)"/>` Note that the style element is not closed and <img would be a text node inside the style if inserted into the DOM as-is. As such, some HTML sanitizers would leave the <img as is without processing it and stripping the onerror attribute.

javascript angular.element(document).append(inertPayload); This will alert, as <style/> will be replaced with <style></style> before adding it to the DOM, closing the style element early and reactivating img.


The issue is patched in JQLite bundled with angular 1.8.0. AngularJS users using JQuery should upgrade JQuery to 3.5.0, as a similar vulnerability affects jQuery <3.5.0.


Changing sanitizer configuration not to allow certain tag grouping (e.g. &lt;option&gt;&lt;style&gt;&lt;/option&gt;) or inline style elements may stop certain exploitation vectors, but it's uncertain if all possible exploitation vectors would be covered. Upgrade of AngularJS to 1.8.0 is recommended.