DOM XSS using web messages

This lab demonstrates a simple web message vulnerability.

Reproduction and proof of concept

  1. The home page contains an addEventListener() call that listens for a web message.

    window.addEventListener('message', function(e) {
        document.getElementById('ads').innerHTML =;
  1. Create payload:

<iframe src="" onload="this.contentWindow.postMessage('<img src=1 onerror=print()>','*')">

When the iframe loads, the postMessage() method sends a web message to the home page. The event listener, which is intended to serve ads, takes the content of the web message and inserts it into the div with the ID ads. However, in this case it inserts our img tag, which contains an invalid src attribute. This throws an error, which causes the onerror event handler to execute the payload.


  1. Store the exploit in the exploit server and Deliver it to the victim.


An attacker needs to use the exploit server to post a message to the target site that causes the print() function to be called.