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HP Security Research Threat Intelligence Briefing - Episode 6

joy_forsythe ‎08-01-2013 07:29 PM - edited ‎08-01-2013 07:30 PM

"Wait, I'm not clear on what's happening here. Is this even possible? Just by giving an application a single piece of XML, you can cause it to steal other files for you?"


Those were a customer’s words when an XML External Entity injection vulnerability was reported on his system. XML is a simple, logical way to represent data and many developers are unaware of the flaws they could be introducing. In this podcast episode, we review some of the risks associated with processing user-supplied XML documents and learn about countermeasures for mitigating them.


The following topics will be covered:

  • XML External Entity Injection (XXE)
  • XML Entity Expansion Injection (XEE)
  • Server-Side Request Forgery Attacks (SSRF)
  • Case Study: Attacking RESTful APIs


The threats presented in this podcast have been well known since the early 2000s, but even popular frameworks like Spring MVC are still vulnerable to XXE among other technologies. By sharing this analysis, we hope to emphasize how important it is to process XML documents securely in your organization.


Modern web applications make extensive use of XML documents. These documents are used to store, transform and transmit data. If your company is exposing a public RESTful API that consumes XML messages - perhaps as a backend service for your organization’s mobile apps - then chances are high that your organization is vulnerable to these types of attack. 

To learn more on this interesting topic listen to Episode 6 of the HP Threat Intelligence Briefing Podcast, available on the Web and iTunes, and read the companion report for more details.

Until the next time we meet, be vigilant and stay secure.


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