- How does Cross Site Scripting work?
- What are the disadvantages if someone successfully executes Cross Site Scripting on your website?
- Beyond website modifications, XSS also impacts your browser/computer
- I’ve never encountered XSS as a visitor to websites… have I?
- How do I prevent XSS issues on my WordPress website?
Cross Site Scripting (XSS) becomes possible when forms are not properly closed or do not filter the information you can enter.
The term “XSS” stands for Cross Site Scripting, and it was adapted because “CSS” (Cascading Style Sheets) already existed.
How does Cross Site Scripting work?
When a form does not use “htmlspecialchars,” and all characters entered in an input field can be fully processed, it gives the opportunity to execute PHP on the website/server.
Through XSS, you can issue commands to the server. Consider what you can do with that capability—modifying, saving, executing files, and other tasks that are typically limited to website administrators.
What are the disadvantages if someone successfully executes Cross Site Scripting on your website?
- Your website’s appearance can be modified.
- Pages that were meant to be private or for paid users only may become visible.
- Information from you and your visitors can be stolen (e.g., information in cookies).
- Phishing code can be added to your site, resulting in a quick Google ban.
- Trojans can be offered to visitors’ computers without your knowledge.
- Keystrokes on the keyboard can be logged (e.g., what you type when logging into your bank’s website).
- Your browser can crash due to a forced error overload.
- And more…
Beyond website modifications, XSS also impacts your browser/computer
– Through the browser, the webcam can be activated, and a recording started.
– Listening through the microphone is possible.
– Files can be saved.
And so on…
I’ve never encountered XSS as a visitor to websites… have I?
Have you seen the popup: “Do you want to leave this page?” In many cases, you can click [x] to close it. However, if you cannot close it and you find yourself on a website that isn’t very trustworthy, assume that there are pieces of code under the “leave page” and “go back” buttons that you’d rather not execute on your PC.
In such cases, it’s best to close the browser completely! (Use Task Manager in Windows to end the browser process)
How do I prevent XSS issues on my WordPress website?
You can check the WPscan database to see if any of your plugins have vulnerabilities.
Keeping WordPress up-to-date is essential, especially if it’s not properly secured. WordPress sometimes updates twice a month when Cross Site Scripting vulnerabilities are found!
The best practice is to ensure that your WordPress website is secured. When your website is secure and a hacker or script cannot easily place or modify files, you prevent a significant portion of potential issues.