Zend\Escaper

Escaping Cascading Style Sheets

CSS is similar to Javascript for the same reasons. CSS escaping excludes only basic alphanumeric characters and escapes all other characters into valid CSS hexadecimal escapes.

Examples of Bad CSS Escaping

In most cases developers forget to escape CSS completely:

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<?php header('Content-Type: application/xhtml+xml; charset=UTF-8'); ?>
<!DOCTYPE html>
<?php
$input = <<<INPUT
body {
    background-image: url('http://example.com/foo.jpg?</style><script>alert(1)</script>');
}
INPUT;
?>
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head>
    <title>Unescaped CSS</title>
    <meta charset="UTF-8"/>
    <style>
    <?php echo $input; ?>
    </style>
</head>
<body>
    <p>User controlled CSS needs to be properly escaped!</p>
</body>
</html>

In the above example, by failing to escape the user provided CSS, an attacker can execute an XSS attack fairly easily.

Examples of Good CSS Escaping

By using escapeCss method in the CSS context, such attacks can be prevented:

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<?php header('Content-Type: application/xhtml+xml; charset=UTF-8'); ?>
<!DOCTYPE html>
<?php
$input = <<<INPUT
body {
    background-image: url('http://example.com/foo.jpg?</style><script>alert(1)</script>');
}
INPUT;
$escaper = new Zend\Escaper\Escaper('utf-8');
$output = $escaper->escapeCss($input);
?>
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head>
    <title>Escaped CSS</title>
    <meta charset="UTF-8"/>
    <style>
    <?php
    // output will look something like
    // body\20 \7B \A \20 \20 \20 \20 background\2D image\3A \20 url\28 ...
    echo $output;
    ?>
    </style>
</head>
<body>
    <p>User controlled CSS needs to be properly escaped!</p>
</body>
</html>

By properly escaping user controlled CSS, we can prevent XSS attacks in our web applications.

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