Obfuscated Files or Information: HTML Smuggling

Created the Wednesday 15 February 2023. Updated 4 months, 3 weeks ago.

Adversaries may smuggle data and files past content filters by hiding malicious payloads inside of seemingly benign HTML files. HTML documents can store large binary objects known as JavaScript Blobs (immutable data that represents raw bytes) that can later be constructed into file-like objects. Data may also be stored in Data URLs, which enable embedding media type or MIME files inline of HTML documents. HTML5 also introduced a download attribute that may be used to initiate file downloads.

Adversaries may deliver payloads to victims that bypass security controls through HTML Smuggling by abusing JavaScript Blobs and/or HTML5 download attributes. Security controls such as web content filters may not identify smuggled malicious files inside of HTML/JS files, as the content may be based on typically benign MIME types such as text/plain and/or text/html. Malicious files or data can be obfuscated and hidden inside of HTML files through Data URLs and/or JavaScript Blobs and can be deobfuscated when they reach the victim (i.e. Deobfuscate/Decode Files or Information), potentially bypassing content filters.

For example, JavaScript Blobs can be abused to dynamically generate malicious files in the victim machine and may be dropped to disk by abusing JavaScript functions such as msSaveBlob.

Additional Resources

External Links

The resources provided below are associated links that will give you even more detailed information and research on current evasion technique. It is important to note that, while these resources may be helpful, it is important to exercise caution when following external links. As always, be careful when clicking on links from unknown sources, as they may lead to malicious content.

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