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Browser Silent Exploitation (2018) POC

Since 2010 I was following the browser exploits of (Silent Java drive by) methods and techniques, and after 2016 I’ve never heard of another “silent drive by” on the Markets, but another critical thing came through, Browser Local storage.

This is a working example of a HTML/JavaScript browser storage exploitation.

As an example, to show how an attacker could force any PC system to download a executable file onto the system just directing the victim to visit a webpage no clicks needed.

Unlike the old Java Drive by methods which have been patched for many years, which used jar applets to allow VBS to execute on the local systems browser TMP folder.

This exploit works by using the browser Local Storage abilities, 90% of web browsers have built in Local Storage cache abilities which allow the them to store files onto the system and reference to these files later when re visiting the website. This allows the browser to reload images and video / SWF content of the website faster than it would normally load the content on the webpage by download.

Now when the victim re-visit a website on a browser with Local Storage cache enable by default it will load the website faster than it would loading from the first time. And the web browser will load the website resources from the local system rather than downloading them again.

What this means is when a site is coded to store its video or image data to the browsers Local Storage cache, the browser automatically downloads the file with no user input or knowledge to the end user this file is then stored on their PC.

trojan.exe = is a file the attacker wishes to have the PC download it by viewing the webpage.

extract.exe = the file that when run will extract trojan.exe from the browsers Local Storage cache and execute it.

The thing is for example Firefox stores this Local Storage cache in a SQL database format on the local HDD, It stores this data in such a way that the image files and video files are not directly on the system but rather there base64 encodings of the file are stored here as a database table value to load from later.

Here is where this exploit comes to play 🙂

With this POC example provided in my GitHub Repo you can see it uses simple CSS/JavaScript with html to store an exe file to the browser cache of any visitor to the webpage.

So, any user visiting this page will automatically download the trojan.exe onto their system no user input dialogs or notices the exe file is on their system as soon as page is done loading.

But the file is on their systems browser cache database which now needs to be extracted and ran on the system now that it is downloaded.

This is where the attacker send them the extract.exe

the Trojan.exe file is the file they must now run to have the Trojan.exe downloaded from viewing the webpage be extracted and ran on the system.

The extract.exe as of version 1.0 is only designed to work in this POC.

The extract.exe DOES NOT download any file it makes no internet connection at all – It simply extracts and runs the file that was silently downloaded and placed onto the system from the website viewing.

The advantages of using this method is that the attacker can indeed force any system viewing any site to download the file just by viewing the webpage. This makes the download ad placement of the file onto their system extremely undetectable AT ALL.

This would also allow attackers to force the file onto victim’s system even if they have a strict firewall in place.

POC contents:

Exploit.js = a java script file that will download the virus silently into the system.

Trojan.exe = example of a cmd trojan that will be downloaded.

index.html = a web page that has the malicious content.

Extract.exe = a file to translate the base 64 code and extract it from the browser storage.


Zero Day Twig PHP template engine

Twig is a modern template engine for PHP, its flexible, fast, and secure template engine for PHP.If you have any exposure to other text-based template languages, such as Smarty, Django, or Jinja, you should feel right at home with Twig. It’s both designer and developer friendly by sticking to PHP’s principles and adding functionality useful for templating environments.

ExploitDB link:

Well, Twig {Latest version} is affected to Server-Side Template Injection and {{Command execution}}.


Twig <=2.4.4 contain SSTI vulnerability which allow attackers to execute commands within the Parameters, by just using {{COMAND TO EXECUTE}} instead of using the expected values “Normal integer or normal string”, depends on the vulnerable application, which takes deferent params by GET or POST.


Example: by injecting this in a search param http://localhost/search?search_key={{4*4}} >        Output: 16

2. POC:



OUTPUT: list of files/directories etc….

See the screenshot bellow how its executing the command and printing out the results, this could be also {{ rm * }} which will delete the entire application 🙂

PHP and MySQL: Secure coding

php mysql secure coding

With all the languages out there used by websites, one of the most dynamic ones is PHP, mostly used in websites such as Amazon, Wikipedia, and Facebook.

PHP is very popular to use, generally because it is easy to learn, easy to install and does not require the user to write code.

Yet, in spite of PHP’s popularity, security is not a very popular issue among its users.

For this reason, in order to make your PHP apps more secure, I will be explaining how you can do that.

One of the solutions is creating a PHP web app that connects to a MySQL back end database.

This will create a layered security structure.

There is no definite method of blocking attacks, but using the layered security concept, we can limit our exposure to them.

Two of the attacks we will lessen are SQL Injection (SQLi) and Cross Site Scripting (XSS). Both of these attacks are performed by taking advantage of applications that do not properly handle user input.


XSS happens when an application sends the users browser back input that has not been checked for code. If an attacker were to enter something similar to the text below in a form field, it would cause the browser to execute the code and create a pop up on the screen displaying the text “XSS”.


Similarly SQLi is caused by an attacker running unplanned SQL code against the database. An example would be if an attacker were to enter the following in a form, the browser would display all the data in the user table:

;select * from users;

I will use PHP built-in methods such as htmlspecialchars(), mysqli_real_escape_strings() and use prepared statements to help prevent the attacks mentioned above.

In this training contact  list app example , the database will store the following fields:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • email address



As a privileged user I ran the following code to create the is attached at the end of this post as createdb.sql.

mysql -uroot -p -h mysql

CREATE DATABASE `contactsSchema` ;
USE contactsSchema;
CREATE TABLE `contactsTable` (
    `id` int(11) NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,
    `first` VARCHAR(40) DEFAULT NULL,
    `last` VARCHAR(64) DEFAULT NULL,
    `email` VARCHAR(256) DEFAULT NULL
    PRIMARY KEY (`id`)
CREATE USER 'contactsUser'@'localhost' identified by 'superSecretPassword';
    ON contactsSchema.contactsTable TO 'contactsUser'@'localhost';

INSERT INTO contactsTable (id, first, last, email)
values(null, 'Alexander', 'Bell', '');

For the application, I will drop the authenticated login functionality that will be discussed in a later post .

In the PHP page, which is attached at the bottom as index.php, you will see some  PHP code that makes this contacts app more secure.

1. strip_tags()

#User passed in vars
isset ( $_REQUEST['i'] ) ? $i = strip_tags($_REQUEST['i']) : $i = "";
isset ( $_REQUEST['s'] ) ? $s = strip_tags($_REQUEST['s']) : $s = "";

I am only allowing variables from the user that I am specifying. Next I am running strip_tags() on them to remove any html tags in the text. This however does not get all extra characters.

2. mysqli_real_escape_string()

$first=mysqli_real_escape_string($db, $first);

In the above code snippet, the mysqli_real_escape_string() method is used to escape any special characters.
This is used as the variable is provided by the user. Anything the user enters should be sanitized.
However mysqli_real_escape_string() does not protect against all threats.

3. Prepared Statement

if ($stmt = mysqli_prepare($db,
 "INSERT INTO contactsTable SET first=?, last=?, email=?, id=''")) {

               mysqli_stmt_bind_param($stmt, "sss", $first, $last, $email);

In this code we are using prepared statements to limit the functionality of the query.
In this example, I am only passing in variables to execute in this query,
it prevents nested queries, which are a common SQLi attack.


4. htmlspecialchars()

function displayResults($first, $last, $email) {

       echo "&lt;tr&gt; &lt;td&gt;" . htmlspecialchars($first)  . "&lt;/td&gt;";
       echo "&lt;td&gt;" . htmlspecialchars($last)  . "&lt;/td&gt;";
       echo "&lt;td&gt;" . htmlspecialchars($email)  . "&lt;/td&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;";

In the above example, I am disabling code that may be stored in the database or passed in by the end user from being rendered as executable html in the browser. The command htmlspecialchars() replaces characters like < with markup equivalent such as &LT;.


In this example application, I have applied multiple layers of security to prevent attacks such as cross site scripting and SQL injection. Clearly this is a simple application, but the code is reusable and you can build on it when you create your own applications.

Code Examples Used in Writeup:


CREATE DATABASE `contactsSchema` ;
USE contactsSchema;
CREATE TABLE `contactsTable` (
    `id` int(11) NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,
    `first` VARCHAR(40) DEFAULT NULL,
    `last` VARCHAR(64) DEFAULT NULL,
    `email` VARCHAR(256) DEFAULT NULL
    PRIMARY KEY (`id`)
CREATE USER 'contactsUser'@'localhost' identified by 'superSecretPassword';
    ON contactsSchema.contactsTable TO 'contactsUser'@'localhost';

INSERT INTO contactsTable (id, first, last, email)
values(null, 'Alexander', 'Bell', '');


//file: index.php 
//purpose: example contact list
//version: 1.0 
//date: 2012/08/30
#User passed in var run strip tags on input
isset ( $_REQUEST['i'] ) ? $i = strip_tags($_REQUEST['i']) : $i = "";
isset ( $_REQUEST['s'] ) ? $s = strip_tags($_REQUEST['s']) : $s = "";
isset ( $_REQUEST['st'] ) ? $st = strip_tags($_REQUEST['st']) : $st = "";
isset ( $_REQUEST['first'] ) ? $first = strip_tags($_REQUEST['first']) : $first = "";
isset ( $_REQUEST['last'] ) ? $last = strip_tags($_REQUEST['last']) : $last = "";
isset ( $_REQUEST['email'] ) ? $email = strip_tags($_REQUEST['email']) : $email = "";

#Database Connection 
function connectDB(&amp;$db){
 $db = mysqli_connect($db_host, $db_user, $db_pass, $db_name);
 if (mysqli_connect_errno()) {
 print "&lt;br&gt; Houston we have a problem! &lt;br&gt;
 There seems to be an error connecting to the MySQL Database. 
 &lt;br&gt; The error we hit was: &lt;br&gt; " . htmlspecialchars(mysqli_connect_error()) .
 "&lt;br&gt; error code " . htmlspecialchars(mysql_errno());
//Add new entries to DB
function addContact($db, $first, $last, $email) { 
 $first=mysqli_real_escape_string($db, $first);
 $last=mysqli_real_escape_string($db, $last);
 $email=mysqli_real_escape_string($db, $email);
 if ($stmt = mysqli_prepare($db, "INSERT INTO contactsTable SET first=?, last=?, email=?, id=''")) {
 mysqli_stmt_bind_param($stmt, "sss", $first, $last, $email); 
 } else {
 echo "Error Adding Contact";
//Table Header 
function resultTableHeader() {
 echo "&lt;table width=60%&gt;
 &lt;tr&gt; &lt;td bgcolor=#D8D8D8 width=30%&gt; &lt;b&gt;&lt;u&gt; First &lt;/b&gt; &lt;/u&gt; &lt;/td&gt;
 &lt;td bgcolor=#D8D8D8 width=30%&gt; &lt;b&gt;&lt;u&gt; Last &lt;/b&gt; &lt;/u&gt; &lt;/td&gt; 
 &lt;td bgcolor=#D8D8D8 width=40%&gt; &lt;b&gt;&lt;u&gt; eMail &lt;/b&gt; &lt;/u&gt; &lt;/td&gt; &lt;/tr&gt;";
//Results Display
function displayResults($first, $last, $email) {
 echo "&lt;tr&gt; &lt;td&gt;" . htmlspecialchars($first) . "&lt;/td&gt;";
 echo "&lt;td&gt;" . htmlspecialchars($last) . "&lt;/td&gt;";
 echo "&lt;td&gt;" . htmlspecialchars($email) . "&lt;/td&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;";
//Coonect to the DB to begin
echo "
&lt;title&gt; Contacts &lt;/title&gt; 
&lt;h3&gt; Contact List &lt;/h3&gt;
&lt;table width=60%&gt; 
 &lt;td bgcolor=#D8D8D8 width=30%&gt; &lt;a href=index.php?s=1&gt;Add New &lt;/a&gt; &lt;/td&gt;
 &lt;td bgcolor=#D8D8D8 width=30%&gt; &lt;a href=index.php?s=2&gt;Search&lt;/a&gt; &lt;/td&gt;
 &lt;td bgcolor=#D8D8D8 width=40%&gt; &lt;a href=index.php&gt;Back&lt;/a&gt; &lt;/td&gt;
if ($s == Null) { //If no options, just query the whole table
 $query="SELECT first, last, email FROM contactsTable"; 
 $result=mysqli_query($db, $query); 
 while($row=mysqli_fetch_row($result)) {
 displayResults($row[0], $row[1], $row[2]);
 echo "&lt;/table&gt;";
}elseif ($s == 1) { //Add new entry
 if ($first == Null) { //If we don't have user input yet
 echo "&lt;form method=post action="index.php"&gt; ";
 echo " 
 &lt;td&gt; &lt;input type=text name="first" value=""&gt;&lt;/input&gt; &lt;/td&gt; 
 &lt;td&gt; &lt;input type=text name="last" value=""&gt;&lt;/input&gt; &lt;/td&gt; 
 &lt;td&gt; &lt;input type=text name="email" value=""&gt;&lt;/input&gt; &lt;/td&gt; 
 &lt;tr&gt; &lt;td colspan=3 align=center&gt;&lt;input type=hidden name="s" value="1"&gt;
 &lt;input type=submit name="Submit" value="Submit"&gt; &lt;/td &lt;/tr&gt;

 } elseif ($first != Null) {
 addContact($db, $first, $last, $email) ;
 echo "Added new Entry &lt;br&gt;" . 
 htmlspecialchars($first) . "&lt;br&gt;" .
 htmlspecialchars($last) . "&lt;br&gt;" . 
 htmlspecialchars($email) . "&lt;br&gt;";
}elseif( $s == 2) {
 if ($st == Null) { 
 echo "Enter Search Term: 
 &lt;form method=post action="index.php"&gt;
 &lt;input type=text name="st" value=""&gt; 
 &lt;input type=hidden name="s" value="2"&gt;
 &lt;input type=submit value="Submit" name="Submit"&gt; 
 &lt;/form&gt;" ;
 } else { 
 $st=mysqli_real_escape_string($db, $st);
 if ($stmt = mysqli_prepare($db, "SELECT first, last, email FROM contactsTable WHERE 
 first LIKE CONCAT('%', ? ,'%') or
 last LIKE CONCAT('%', ? ,'%') or
 email LIKE CONCAT('%', ? ,'%')")){
 mysqli_stmt_bind_param($stmt, "sss", $st, $st, $st); 
 mysqli_stmt_bind_result($stmt, $first, $last, $email);
 while(mysqli_stmt_fetch($stmt)) {
 displayResults($first, $last, $email);
 echo "&lt;/table&gt; ";
echo "