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Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2011 19:01:28 +0200
From: Jakub Narebski <>
To: Jamie Strandboge <>
Cc: Junio C Hamano <>,,
 dave b <>
Subject: Re: XSS security issue in gitweb for 'blob_plain' view with HTML files

On Fri, 3 July 2011, Jamie Strandboge wrote:

> ----
> I am reporting a persistent xss vector in gitweb, note this requires a
> user to have commit access to a repository that gitweb is configured
> to display. The vector is the fact that gitweb "serves" up xml files -
> which can (just as gitweb does) embed html that could be used to
> perform a cross-site scripting attack.
> e.g. (lol.xml).
> <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
> <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN"
> "">
> <html xmlns="" xml:lang="en-US" lang="en-US">
> <head>
> </head>
> <script>alert(1);</script>
> </html>
> and viewed at
> http://$HOSTNAME/$PATH_TO_GITWEB/?p=lolok;a=blob_plain;f=lol.xml
> ----
> Thanks in advance for your cooperation in coordinating a fix for this
> issue,

In short: This is a feature, not a bug.

Origin of current behavior:
The 'blob_plain' action (raw view) together with support for path_info
URLs were designed together so that gitweb could be used as a kind of
deploy platform.  For example you can browse git documentation from
'html' branch of git.git repository using gitweb, c.f.

Also, by default (and I think in most configurations) there isn't
anything worth stealing using cross-side scripting attack; there
is no login information, no cookies with sensitive information...

Proposal of solution:
Nevertheless gitweb include a germ of anti-XSS framework, namely
$prevent_xss gitweb configuration variable.

It is currently used to prevent displaying README.html from $GIT_DIR
of repository, but I think it can be reused for this situation (at
the cost of reduced feature set).  Namely if $prevent_xss is true,
we can simply serve all 'blob_plain' as either text/plain or 
application/octet-stream (with possible exception of *.jpg, *.gif
and *.png images).

Proposed patch:
Note that it includes unrelated fix for $prevent_xss feature.  It would
be split in separate patch (non-security related bugfix).

With this patch above lol.xml would be served as text/plain...

-- >8 --
diff --git i/gitweb/gitweb.perl w/gitweb/gitweb.perl
index 240dd47..a3c03f3 100755
--- i/gitweb/gitweb.perl
+++ w/gitweb/gitweb.perl
@@ -3595,7 +3595,7 @@ sub blob_mimetype {
 	my $fd = shift;
 	my $filename = shift;
-	if ($filename) {
+	if ($filename && !$prevent_xss) {
 		my $mime = mimetype_guess($filename);
 		$mime and return $mime;
@@ -6127,7 +6127,7 @@ sub git_blob_plain {
 	# want to be sure not to break that by serving the image as an
 	# attachment (though Firefox 3 doesn't seem to care).
 	my $sandbox = $prevent_xss &&
-		$type !~ m!^(?:text/plain|image/(?:gif|png|jpeg))$!;
+		$type !~ m!^(?:text/plain(?:; ?charset=.*)|image/(?:gif|png|jpeg))$!;
 	print $cgi->header(
 		-type => $type,
-- 8< --

Jakub Narebski

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