Vulnerability A3 Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) Description:

People want you to store your favorite links here. However, you are not into that, you just want to do some XSS magic to the page. Add an alert with the message ‘Ex1’ to the page (My Sites:) screen


For almost all levels I will be using Burpsuite. Burpsuite is an interception proxy that lets us modify the HTTP request / response by intercepting the data between the browser and the web server.

Let’s try injecting the javascript “<script>alert(‘Ex1’);</script>” into one of the input fields.


It looks like we have some input validation. Since there was no data intercepted by Burp, we can deduct that the input validation is done via HTML or javascript on the client side. Let’s take a look at the source.

<input type="text" placeholder="Name of site" maxsize="10" class="form-control" pattern="[A-Za-z]+" required="" name="name">
<input class="form-control" placeholder="URL of site" type="url" required="" maxsize="15" name="url">

Both forms have some HTML input validation, the site-name input field has a pattern with allowed regex “[A-Za-z]+”, maxsize of 10 characters. URL field have type=”url” and maxsize=”15”.

Since all the data is on the client side, we can just simply delete all the validations. Let’s try deleting the pattern and max size from the site-name field first and resubmitting our payload (right-click on the site-name field, InspectElement and delete the pattern and maxsize attributes).


Ok, we were able to submit the payload however, there was no pop-up and there was no request intercepted by Burp. This means that
1) Since no request was intercepted with Burp, the functionality of the URL embedding to the page is via JavaScript 2) The

Let’s go back to the source and look for JavaScript objects. Fair enough, we see the following .js file included in the page.

 * Created by Ivan on 12.3.2015 г..
$(function() {
    var Exercises = {
        ex1: {

            initialize: function() {
                $("#messages").text("People want you to store your favorite links here. However, you are not into that, you just want to do some XSS magic to the page. Add an alert with the message 'Ex1' to the page (My Sites:)");
                var nativeAlert = window.alert;
                var lastAlert = null;
                window.alert = function(msg) {
                    lastAlert = msg;
                $("form.ex1").submit(function(evt) {
                    var siteName = $(".ex1 input[type='text']").val().trim().replace(/</g, "&lt;").replace(/>/g, "&gt;");
                    var siteURL = $(".ex1 input[type='url']").val().trim().replace(/</g, "&lt;").replace(/>/g, "&gt;");

                    $("<p class='lead'><span class='label label-success'>" + siteName + "</span>" + siteURL + "</p>").appendTo(".ex1.links-place");
                    if (testForScript("Ex1", [siteName, siteURL], lastAlert)) {

                        $("#messages").text("You made it to exercise 2. You will be redirected to it in 10 seconds.")




//start it

function spitRegex(text) {
    return  new RegExp("<script>\\s*alert\\(['\"]{1}" + text + "['\"]{1}\\);*\\s*<\\/script>", "g");

function testForScript(patternText, variablesToCheck, lastAlert) {
    var regex = spitRegex(patternText);
    for (var i = 0; i < variablesToCheck.length; i++) {
        if (regex.test(variablesToCheck[i])) {
            if (lastAlert === patternText) {
                return true;

    return false;

On line 18 and 19 we can see that <> signs are substituted with &lt; and &gt; which is the sanitation function.

Again, since JavaScript is executed by the browser, all the data is controlled by the user on the client-side. Let’s start the Browser Developer Tools and remove the sanitizing part (the selected javascript until trim()).


Now let’s resubmit our JavaScript payload again.


And… level 1 complete.