Web Application Penetration Testing

The Art of Identifying X$$ & WAF Bypass Fuzzing Technique

A smart way to hunt Cross-Site Scripting vulnerability

secureITmania
3 min readSep 30, 2023

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Introduction

Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities are among the most common security issues in web applications today. Exploiting an XSS vulnerability allows an attacker to inject malicious scripts into a trusted website, potentially compromising user data, session cookies, and even the entire application. To effectively hunt for XSS vulnerabilities, you need a systematic approach, especially when dealing with Web Application Firewalls (WAFs). In this article, we’ll explore the art of hunting XSS vulnerabilities and discuss techniques for bypassing WAFs.

1. Detect the WAF

Before you start hunting for XSS vulnerabilities, it’s crucial to confirm if the target application is behind a Web Application Firewall (WAF). WAFs are security systems that filter and monitor incoming web traffic, designed to protect web applications from various attacks, including XSS. In order to begin your hunting process, it’s important first to determine whether or not a WAF is present.

wafw00f usage WAF detect

2. Use Basic HTML Injection Payloads

Once you’ve confirmed the presence of a WAF, it’s a good practice to start with basic HTML injection payloads. These payloads are intentionally simple and benign, designed to test whether the application is susceptible to injection.

<h1>test</h1>
<a>click here</a>
<title>test</title>

The goal is to determine whether the application reflects or executes the injected code without WAF interference. If the application behaves unexpectedly or displays the payload, it’s a sign that an XSS vulnerability may exist.

HTML Injection Detection

3. Elevating from HTML Injection to XSS

Once you’ve confirmed HTML injection in any input field, you can proceed to evaluate whether it can be escalated into a full-blown XSS vulnerability.

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