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Lot of articles underline that XSS vulnerabilities can be very dangerous for the website on which they exist. I wonder how much is this true when we find these XSS vulnerabilities on the frontend of a website, in fields such as the search forms ?

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Read about the Apache foundation XSS story. You will be amazed :) – AK_ Jun 9 '14 at 11:13

Cross-site scripting vulnerabilities are extremely dangerous, because they allow the attacker to control the victim's browser to some extend.

This can be used for all kinds of malicious actions:

  • stealing sensitive cookies or reading personal pages (the user account, private messages etc.)
  • making requests on the victim's behalf (e. g., ordering products via the victim's account and sending them to an arbitrary address)
  • exploting the trust of the victim in the site; for example, an attacker might render a fake login form and prompt the user to enter the password. Or they might trick the user into downloading a malicious file which looks like it's served by the site.
  • attacking the server through a privileged account

So while XSS may look less dangerous than, say, SQL injections at first site, it's actually a major threat for both your users and your server.

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Don’t forget IE’s capability to execute arbitrary ActiveX controls on trusted sites which can result in execution of arbitrary commands on the victim’s machine. – Gumbo Jun 9 '14 at 10:58
@Gumbo Can you explain that a bit more? I didn't know that yet and have not read of it. – Xatenev Jun 9 '14 at 12:26
@Xatenev new ActiveXObject("WScript.Shell").run("calc") – Gumbo Jun 9 '14 at 12:33
@Gumbo Oh haha, that works? n1 to know, thnaks – Xatenev Jun 9 '14 at 12:33
@Xatenev This works only on sites which are configured as trusted sites. – Gumbo Jun 9 '14 at 12:36

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