Spring Security Advisories

CVE-2013-4152 XML eXternal Entity (XXE) injection in Spring Framework

HIGH | AUGUST 22, 2013 | CVE-2013-4152


The Spring OXM wrapper did not expose any property for disabling entity resolution when using the JAXB unmarshaller. There are four possible source implementations passed to the unmarshaller: DOMSource, StAXSource, SAXSource and StreamSource.

For a DOMSource, the XML has already been parsed by user code and that code is responsible for protecting against XXE.

For a StAXSource, the XMLStreamReader has already been created by user code and that code is responsible for protecting against XXE.

For SAXSource and StreamSource instances, Spring processed external entities by default thereby creating this vulnerability.

The issue was resolved by disabling external entity processing by default and adding an option to enable it for those users that need to use this feature when processing XML from a trusted source.

Affected Spring Products and Versions

  • 3.0.0 to 3.2.3
  • 4.0.0.M1
  • Earlier unsupported versions may be affected


Users of affected versions should apply the following mitigation:

  • Users of 3.x should upgrade to 3.2.4 or later
  • Users of 4.x should upgrade to 4.0.0.M2 or later


These issues were identified by Alvaro Munoz of the HP Enterprise Security Team.


  • 2013-Aug-22: Initial vulnerability report published.
  • 2014-Jun-19: Updated to remove Spring MVC aspects which have been split off into CVE-2013-7315

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