score:77

React automatically escapes variables for you... It prevents XSS injection via string HTML with malicious Javascript.. Naturally, inputs are sanitized along with this.

For instance let's say you have this string

var htmlString = '<img src="javascript:alert('XSS!')" />';

if you try to render this string in react

render() {
    return (
        <div>{htmlString}</div>
    );
}

you will literally see on the page the whole string including the <span> element tag. aka in the browser you will see <img src="javascript:alert('XSS!')" />

if you view the source html you would see

<span>"<img src="javascript:alert('XSS!')" />"</span>

Here is some more detail on what an XSS attack is

React basically makes it so you can't insert markup unless you create the elements yourself in the render function... that being said they do have a function that allows such rendering its called dangerouslySetInnerHTML... here is some more detail about it


Edit:

Few things to note, there are ways to get around what React escapes. One more common way is when users define props to your component. Dont extend any data from user input as props!

score:330

ReactJS is quite safe by design since

  1. String variables in views are escaped automatically
  2. With JSX you pass a function as the event handler, rather than a string that can contain malicious code

so a typical attack like this will not work

const username = "<img onerror='alert(\"Hacked!\")' src='invalid-image' />";

class UserProfilePage extends React.Component {
  render() {
    return (
      <h1> Hello {username}!</h1>
    );
  }
}

ReactDOM.render(<UserProfilePage />, document.querySelector("#app"));
<script src="https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/react/15.1.0/react.min.js"></script>
<script src="https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/react/15.1.0/react-dom.min.js"></script>
<div id="app"></div>

but ...

❗❗❗Warning❗❗❗

There are still some XSS attack vectors that you need to handle yourself in React!

1. XSS via dangerouslySetInnerHTML

When you use dangerouslySetInnerHTML you need to make sure the content doesn't contain any javascript. React can't do here anything for you.

const aboutUserText = "<img onerror='alert(\"Hacked!\");' src='invalid-image' />";

class AboutUserComponent extends React.Component {
  render() {
    return (
      <div dangerouslySetInnerHTML={{"__html": aboutUserText}} />
    );
  }
}

ReactDOM.render(<AboutUserComponent />, document.querySelector("#app"))
<script src="https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/react/15.1.0/react.min.js"></script>
<script src="https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/react/15.1.0/react-dom.min.js"></script>
<div id="app"></div>

2. XSS via a.href attribute

Example 1: Using javascript:code

Click on "Run code snippet" -> "My Website" to see the result

const userWebsite = "javascript:alert('Hacked!');";

class UserProfilePage extends React.Component {
  render() {
    return (
      <a href={userWebsite}>My Website</a>
    )
  }
}

ReactDOM.render(<UserProfilePage />, document.querySelector("#app"));
<script src="https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/react/15.1.0/react.min.js"></script>
<script src="https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/react/15.1.0/react-dom.min.js"></script>
<div id="app"></div>

Example 2: Using base64 encoded data:

Click on "Run code snippet" -> "My Website" to see the result

const userWebsite = "data:text/html;base64,PHNjcmlwdD5hbGVydCgiSGFja2VkISIpOzwvc2NyaXB0Pg==";

class UserProfilePage extends React.Component {
  render() {
    const url = userWebsite.replace(/^(javascript\:)/, "");
    return (
      <a href={url}>My Website</a>
    )
  }
}

ReactDOM.render(<UserProfilePage />, document.querySelector("#app"));
<script src="https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/react/15.1.0/react.min.js"></script>
<script src="https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/react/15.1.0/react-dom.min.js"></script>
<div id="app"></div>

3. XSS via attacker controlled props

const customPropsControledByAttacker = {
  dangerouslySetInnerHTML: {
    "__html": "<img onerror='alert(\"Hacked!\");' src='invalid-image' />"
  }
};

class Divider extends React.Component {
  render() {
    return (
      <div {...customPropsControledByAttacker} />
    );
  }
}

ReactDOM.render(<Divider />, document.querySelector("#app"));
<script src="https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/react/15.1.0/react.min.js"></script>
<script src="https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/react/15.1.0/react-dom.min.js"></script>
<div id="app"></div>

Here are more resources


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