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Java / XML

Explain about XEE/XXE XML security Attacks.

XML Entity Expansion (XEE) also known as XML Expansion/XML Bomb, is an attack that consumes unsuspected vast memory resources. Usually attacker leverages a feature of XML whereby entity references can reference another entity.

In DTD/XML External Entity (XXE) attacks, the victim is made to disclose sensitive/privileged information through weaknesses in the XML parser and the ability of the attacker to modify XML used by the service.

Mitigation strategies:

  • Don't use DTDs: Disable DTDS in your parser.
  • XML Schema validation: XML comes packed with schemal validation. For easy validation, you can pass the XML data file and the XML schema definition file to the validating XML parser.
  • Whitelist definitions: Filter and allow only certain definitions, and block everything that doesn't fit your syntax or regular expression match.
  • Blacklist: Block known bad patterns.

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