Hooper Labs

DOM XSS in Chatbot with IBM Watson WordPress Plugin (<= v.0.8.20)

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Chatbot with IBM Watson is a plugin for WordPress allowing administrators to include a "chatbot" functionality to interface with the Watson service in the IBM Cloud. It was developed by IBM Cognitive Class and has at least 2,000 active installations.

Download Link: Chatbot with IBM Watson

Vulnerability - DOM XSS (CVE-2020-7239)

A DOM based XSS vulnerability has been identified in the chat functionality of the Watson Assistant plugin for WordPress, allowing a remote attacker to execute JavaScript in the victims browser by tricking the victim into pasting HTML inside the chat box.


  1. Locate a fresh WordPress installation.
  2. Download the IBM Watson Assistant WordPress Plugin.
  3. Install the plugin and follow the steps to set up, including but not limited to: a) create an IBM account, b) launch Watson assistant, c) view the API details, and d) integrate the API key and URL within the plugin.
  4. Within Firefox, ensure the ChatBot is enabled and observe that the ChatBot appears on the home page.
  5. Type the following into the chat interface:<svg//onload=alert(“XSS”)>
  6. Observe that a pop-up appears, indicating that JavaScript executed within the browser.
  7. Alternatively, open the browser’s developer tools’ network viewer while invoking XSS and observe that the XSS does not result from network traffic.

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