Cross-site Scripting (XSS) is a prevalent security vulnerability in web applications that allows attackers to inject malicious scripts into web pages viewed by users. In this blog post, we will explore the concept of reflected XSS, compare it with stored and DOM XSS, and discuss if reflected XSS can also be stored or DOM XSS.
Reflected XSS occurs when a web application includes unsanitized user input in its response. The attacker crafts a URL containing the malicious script and sends it to the victim. When the victim clicks on the link, the web application reflects the script back to the user’s browser, where it is executed. Since the script is not stored on the server, the attack relies on social engineering to trick users into clicking the malicious link.
Stored XSS, also known as persistent XSS, differs from reflected XSS in that the malicious script is saved on the server. The attacker submits the malicious payload through a form, comment, or any input field that is stored in the web application’s database. When users access the affected page, their browsers execute the stored script.
Key differences between reflected and stored XSS include:
Key differences between reflected and DOM XSS include:
However, it is essential to note that reflected XSS cannot be stored XSS, as these are distinct attack types with different mechanisms. Reflected XSS relies on user interaction and is not stored on the server, while stored XSS is saved on the server and does not require user interaction to execute the malicious script.
Understanding the differences between reflected, stored, and DOM XSS is crucial in developing secure web applications. While there are instances where a reflected XSS vulnerability can also be a DOM XSS vulnerability, it is essential to remember that reflected and stored XSS are separate attack types. Developers should employ proper input validation, output encoding, and secure coding practices to protect web applications from XSS vulnerabilities.
Check out the following links to learn more: