Django 1.6.11 release notes

March 18, 2015

Django 1.6.11 fixes two security issues in 1.6.10.

Denial-of-service possibility with strip_tags()

Last year strip_tags() was changed to work iteratively. The problem is that the size of the input it’s processing can increase on each iteration which results in an infinite loop in strip_tags(). This issue only affects versions of Python that haven’t received a bugfix in HTMLParser; namely Python < 2.7.7 and 3.3.5. Some operating system vendors have also backported the fix for the Python bug into their packages of earlier versions.

To remedy this issue, strip_tags() will now return the original input if it detects the length of the string it’s processing increases. Remember that absolutely NO guarantee is provided about the results of strip_tags() being HTML safe. So NEVER mark safe the result of a strip_tags() call without escaping it first, for example with escape().

Mitigated possible XSS attack via user-supplied redirect URLs

Django relies on user input in some cases (e.g. django.contrib.auth.views.login() and i18n) to redirect the user to an “on success” URL. The security checks for these redirects (namely django.utils.http.is_safe_url()) accepted URLs with leading control characters and so considered URLs like \x08javascript:... safe. This issue doesn’t affect Django currently, since we only put this URL into the Location response header and browsers seem to ignore JavaScript there. Browsers we tested also treat URLs prefixed with control characters such as %08// as relative paths so redirection to an unsafe target isn’t a problem either.

However, if a developer relies on is_safe_url() to provide safe redirect targets and puts such a URL into a link, they could suffer from an XSS attack as some browsers such as Google Chrome ignore control characters at the start of a URL in an anchor href.