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Improper Neutralization of Special Elements in Output Used by a Downstream Component ('Injection')


Severity Medium
Score 6.1/10


Mermaid is a JavaScript based diagramming and charting tool that uses Markdown-inspired text definitions and a renderer to create and modify complex diagrams. An attacker is able to inject arbitrary `CSS` into the generated graph allowing them to change the styling of elements outside of the generated graph, and potentially exfiltrate sensitive information by using specially crafted `CSS` selectors. The following example shows how an attacker can exfiltrate the contents of an input field by bruteforcing the `value` attribute one character at a time. Whenever there is an actual match, an `http` request will be made by the browser in order to "load" a background image that will let an attacker know what's the value of the character. This issue may lead to `Information Disclosure` via CSS selectors and functions able to generate HTTP requests. This also allows an attacker to change the document in ways which may lead a user to perform unintended actions, such as clicking on a link, etc. This issue affects versions 8.0.0-alpha.1 through 9.1.2 Users are advised to upgrade. Users unable to upgrade should ensure that user input is adequately escaped before embedding it in CSS blocks.

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CWE-74 - Injection

Listed as the number one web application security risk on the 'OWASP Top Ten', injection attacks are widespread and dangerous, especially in legacy applications. Injection attacks are a class of vulnerabilities in which an attacker injects untrusted data into a web application that gets processed by an interpreter, altering the program's execution. This can result in data loss/theft, loss of data integrity, denial of service, and even compromising the entire system.


Advisory Timeline

  • Published