Securing the Front-End: Defending Against XSS Attacks in Vue.js


5 min read

Securing the Front-End: Defending Against XSS Attacks in Vue.js

As front-end developers, we create visually appealing and interactive interfaces for our applications. However, we also need to prioritize the security of our applications. One of the most significant security threats is Cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks, which can allow attackers to insert malicious scripts into our applications. This can lead to the theft of user data, redirection of users to fraudulent websites, or even defacement of our UI.

Understanding XSS Attacks

Imagine a social media platform where users can post updates and comments. A seemingly harmless comment containing funny text or emojis could be hiding a malicious script. This is the essence of an XSS attack. The web application processes and displays the comment within the browser without realizing its malicious intent. However, when the browser renders the comment, it also executes the embedded script. This could compromise the user's session, lead to data theft, or disrupt the website's functionality.

There are three main types of XSS attacks, each targeting a different vulnerability in web application design:

Stored XSS: Malicious scripts are permanently stored on the server, like a forum post or a product review. Every user who views the page gets infected. This is a common attack vector for online communities and content management systems.

Reflected XSS: The attack script is reflected to the user in the same request. This could happen through a search query or a form submission. Attackers might trick users into clicking a malicious link or submitting a specially crafted form to exploit this vulnerability.

DOM-based XSS: The attacker manipulates the page's Document Object Model (DOM) using client-side scripting (usually JavaScript) to inject malicious code. This can be achieved by exploiting vulnerabilities in JavaScript libraries or browser extensions. While less common, DOM-based XSS attacks can be particularly dangerous as they can occur without any interaction with the server.

Defending Our Vue.js Applications

Now that we understand the threat, let's explore how we can defend our Vue.js applications with a multi-layered approach:

  1. Input Validation and Sanitization: Always validate and sanitize user input before processing it. This involves checking for expected data types, and lengths, and removing potentially harmful characters like script tags (<script>) or HTML tags that could be used for code injection. Vue.js provides built-in validation libraries and tools like vee-validate or vuelidate to achieve this.

Here's an example using Vue.js with a basic comment form, incorporating validation and sanitization:

    <input type="text" v-model="comment" :class="{ 'error': hasError }" placeholder="Add a comment">
    <button @click="submitComment" :disabled="hasError">Submit</button>
    <p v-if="hasError">Please enter a comment with less than 250 characters and no HTML tags.</p>

<script setup>
import { ref } from "vue"
import { required, maxLength, alphaNum } from 'vee-validate/rules';
import { validate } from 'vee-validate';

const comment = ref(''),
const hasError= ref(false),

const submitComment = async() => {
      const sanitizedComment = this.comment.replace(/<[^>]*>?/g, '');
      const validation = await validate(this.$el, 'comment', {
        comment: [required, maxLength(250), alphaNum],
      if (!validation.valid) {
        this.hasError = true;
      // Send the sanitized comment to the server for processing
      // ... 

In this example, we use vee-validate to enforce validation rules on the comment input. The maxLength rule ensures comments are under 250 characters, and the alphaNum rule restricts comments to alphanumeric characters and spaces. Additionally, we use a regular expression to remove any HTML tags from the user's comment before submitting it.

  1. Output Encoding: When displaying user-generated content, encode it appropriately to prevent the browser from interpreting it as executable code. Vue.js provides directives v-html that handle proper encoding during output. This directive automatically escapes special characters in the provided HTML string, preventing them from being interpreted as code.

  2. Content Security Policy (CSP): A CSP is a security measure that instructs the browser to only load resources (scripts, styles, images) from approved sources. This helps mitigate the

Using Vue dom-purify for XSS Defense in Vue.js

vue-dompurify-html acts as a safe alternative to the built-in v-html directive in Vue.js. While v-html rendering raw HTML content, it risks XSS attacks if user input isn't properly sanitized.

vue-dompurify-html integrates seamlessly with Vue, leveraging the robust DOMPurify library under the hood. DOMPurify meticulously sanitizes the provided HTML string, removing any malicious code or scripts that could pose a security threat. This ensures that only safe and trusted content is rendered within your Vue application.

Here's a quick rundown on how to incorporate vue-dompurify-html into your Vue.js project:

  1. Installation:

     npm install vue-dompurify-html
  2. Registration:

    Register the library as a global directive within your main Vue application file (usually main.js):

     import Vue from 'vue';
     import VueDOMPurifyHTML from 'vue-dompurify-html';
     new Vue({
       // ... your app configuration
  3. Usage:

    Now, you can leverage the v-dompurify-html directive in your Vue templates to safely render user-generated content:

     <div v-dompurify-html="unsafeHTML"></div>

    Replace "unsafeHTML" with the variable holding the potentially untrusted HTML content you want to display. vue-dompurify-html will sanitize it before rendering, ensuring a secure user experience.

Benefits ofvue-dompurify-html:

  • Enhanced Security: The primary advantage lies in its robust sanitization capabilities, effectively safeguarding your application from XSS attacks.

  • Ease of Use: The directive integrates seamlessly with your existing Vue templates, requiring minimal code changes.

  • Customizable Configuration: DOMPurify, the underlying library, offers extensive configuration options to customize the sanitization process based on specific needs. You can specify allowed tags, attributes, and styles to ensure flexibility while maintaining security.


In conclusion, XSS attacks are a serious threat to web applications, but following the strategies outlined in this blog post, you can effectively safeguard your Vue.js applications. Remember, a multi-layered defense approach that combines input validation, output encoding, CSP, and vue-dompurify-html provides the strongest protection. To guarantee a secure and dependable user experience in your Vue.js projects, it is crucial to stay aware of and prepared for potential threats and ensure that your defenses are always up to date.