CSV injection prevention

High level description

When allowing for CSVs of user-entered data to be downloaded from the app, programs like Excel will read Formulas that are included in those CSVs. If a user's "About" field has a formula, they can use it to execute programs outside of Excel, or hit APIs and export the app data. More info here: https://owasp.org/www-community/attacks/CSV_Injection‚Äč

This is a known bug with Canvas' CSV export flow in the admin portal. We've decided to leave this vulnerability there for the moment, as it would add quite a bit of complexity to the template to remove it. All app admins should be made aware of this vulnerability.

Solution

Use the 1T JSON to CSV plugin. Make sure that the contents of the CSV that are from user-entered text fields cannot trigger Excel to read them as formulas. Any fields that begin with the following characters can cause Excel to interpret them as formulas:

  • Equals to (=)

  • Plus (+)

  • Minus (-)

  • At (@)

  • Tab (0x09)

  • Carriage return (0x0D)

To disable these formulas, add a single quote/apostrophe (') character at the start of these cells. This approach is recommended here.

Be aware that with the JSON to CSV plugin, users can also influence the structure of the JSON if they are allowed to use double quotes and commas in their text input. To be safe, double quotes and comma characters should be removed from user text input. In practice, it is difficult to be 100% sure that your find & replace code will be 100% effective.

It is possible that there will still be some more obscure vulnerabilities that are not handled by the above approach. Even if it appears that all double quotes and commas are removed, there may be other characters that Excel and other spreadsheet programs will interpret as double quotes (e.g. 1 2 3 4 5). Without knowledge of the source code of the spreadsheet program or extensive testing, it's difficult to say which characters from an imported CSV file will be interpreted as double quotes.

One way to try to anticipate that for high security apps is to remove a wider range of sensitive characters from the user input:

General workflow
Find and replace values on user-entered text in the above workflow
[^a-zA-Z0-9 _\.-\&\^\$\#\!\?\[\]\{\}\\\|\:\;\'\<\>\/\%\*\(\)\~\`

The above regular expression should be added to each user-entered text field with a Bubble "find & replace" expression. This will remove all characters that are not:

  • Letters (A-Z or a-z)

  • Numbers (0-9)

  • Underscores (_)

  • Space characters ( )

  • Periods (.)

  • Exclamation points (!)

  • Question marks (?)

  • Semicolons (;)

  • Colons (:)

  • Hyphens (-)

  • Various other punctuation marks (&^$#!?[](){}\|/<>'%*~)

To add more characters to the list of acceptable characters for internationalization or more flexibility, other characters can be added between the brackets in the regular expression. Here is a more permissive regular expression that should be safe, and which should allow international characters in many languages and scripts.

[^0-9\-_\. \&\^\$\#\!\?\[\]\{\}\\\|\:\;\'\<\>\/\%\*\(\)\~\`\u0041-\u005A\u0061-\u007A\u00AA\u00B5\u00BA\u00C0-\u00D6\u00D8-\u00F6\u00F8-\u02C1\u02C6-\u02D1\u02E0-\u02E4\u02EC\u02EE\u0370-\u0374\u0376\u0377\u037A-\u037D\u0386\u0388-\u038A\u038C\u038E-\u03A1\u03A3-\u03F5\u03F7-\u0481\u048A-\u0527\u0531-\u0556\u0559\u0561-\u0587\u05D0-\u05EA\u05F0-\u05F2\u0620-\u064A\u066E\u066F\u0671-\u06D3\u06D5\u06E5\u06E6\u06EE\u06EF\u06FA-\u06FC\u06FF\u0710\u0712-\u072F\u074D-\u07A5\u07B1\u07CA-\u07EA\u07F4\u07F5\u07FA\u0800-\u0815\u081A\u0824\u0828\u0840-\u0858\u08A0\u08A2-\u08AC\u0904-\u0939\u093D\u0950\u0958-\u0961\u0971-\u0977\u0979-\u097F\u0985-\u098C\u098F\u0990\u0993-\u09A8\u09AA-\u09B0\u09B2\u09B6-\u09B9\u09BD\u09CE\u09DC\u09DD\u09DF-\u09E1\u09F0\u09F1\u0A05-\u0A0A\u0A0F\u0A10\u0A13-\u0A28\u0A2A-\u0A30\u0A32\u0A33\u0A35\u0A36\u0A38\u0A39\u0A59-\u0A5C\u0A5E\u0A72-\u0A74\u0A85-\u0A8D\u0A8F-\u0A91\u0A93-\u0AA8\u0AAA-\u0AB0\u0AB2\u0AB3\u0AB5-\u0AB9\u0ABD\u0AD0\u0AE0\u0AE1\u0B05-\u0B0C\u0B0F\u0B10\u0B13-\u0B28\u0B2A-\u0B30\u0B32\u0B33\u0B35-\u0B39\u0B3D\u0B5C\u0B5D\u0B5F-\u0B61\u0B71\u0B83\u0B85-\u0B8A\u0B8E-\u0B90\u0B92-\u0B95\u0B99\u0B9A\u0B9C\u0B9E\u0B9F\u0BA3\u0BA4\u0BA8-\u0BAA\u0BAE-\u0BB9\u0BD0\u0C05-\u0C0C\u0C0E-\u0C10\u0C12-\u0C28\u0C2A-\u0C33\u0C35-\u0C39\u0C3D\u0C58\u0C59\u0C60\u0C61\u0C85-\u0C8C\u0C8E-\u0C90\u0C92-\u0CA8\u0CAA-\u0CB3\u0CB5-\u0CB9\u0CBD\u0CDE\u0CE0\u0CE1\u0CF1\u0CF2\u0D05-\u0D0C\u0D0E-\u0D10\u0D12-\u0D3A\u0D3D\u0D4E\u0D60\u0D61\u0D7A-\u0D7F\u0D85-\u0D96\u0D9A-\u0DB1\u0DB3-\u0DBB\u0DBD\u0DC0-\u0DC6\u0E01-\u0E30\u0E32\u0E33\u0E40-\u0E46\u0E81\u0E82\u0E84\u0E87\u0E88\u0E8A\u0E8D\u0E94-\u0E97\u0E99-\u0E9F\u0EA1-\u0EA3\u0EA5\u0EA7\u0EAA\u0EAB\u0EAD-\u0EB0\u0EB2\u0EB3\u0EBD\u0EC0-\u0EC4\u0EC6\u0EDC-\u0EDF\u0F00\u0F40-\u0F47\u0F49-\u0F6C\u0F88-\u0F8C\u1000-\u102A\u103F\u1050-\u1055\u105A-\u105D\u1061\u1065\u1066\u106E-\u1070\u1075-\u1081\u108E\u10A0-\u10C5\u10C7\u10CD\u10D0-\u10FA\u10FC-\u1248\u124A-\u124D\u1250-\u1256\u1258\u125A-\u125D\u1260-\u1288\u128A-\u128D\u1290-\u12B0\u12B2-\u12B5\u12B8-\u12BE\u12C0\u12C2-\u12C5\u12C8-\u12D6\u12D8-\u1310\u1312-\u1315\u1318-\u135A\u1380-\u138F\u13A0-\u13F4\u1401-\u166C\u166F-\u167F\u1681-\u169A\u16A0-\u16EA\u1700-\u170C\u170E-\u1711\u1720-\u1731\u1740-\u1751\u1760-\u176C\u176E-\u1770\u1780-\u17B3\u17D7\u17DC\u1820-\u1877\u1880-\u18A8\u18AA\u18B0-\u18F5\u1900-\u191C\u1950-\u196D\u1970-\u1974\u1980-\u19AB\u19C1-\u19C7\u1A00-\u1A16\u1A20-\u1A54\u1AA7\u1B05-\u1B33\u1B45-\u1B4B\u1B83-\u1BA0\u1BAE\u1BAF\u1BBA-\u1BE5\u1C00-\u1C23\u1C4D-\u1C4F\u1C5A-\u1C7D\u1CE9-\u1CEC\u1CEE-\u1CF1\u1CF5\u1CF6\u1D00-\u1DBF\u1E00-\u1F15\u1F18-\u1F1D\u1F20-\u1F45\u1F48-\u1F4D\u1F50-\u1F57\u1F59\u1F5B\u1F5D\u1F5F-\u1F7D\u1F80-\u1FB4\u1FB6-\u1FBC\u1FBE\u1FC2-\u1FC4\u1FC6-\u1FCC\u1FD0-\u1FD3\u1FD6-\u1FDB\u1FE0-\u1FEC\u1FF2-\u1FF4\u1FF6-\u1FFC\u2071\u207F\u2090-\u209C\u2102\u2107\u210A-\u2113\u2115\u2119-\u211D\u2124\u2126\u2128\u212A-\u212D\u212F-\u2139\u213C-\u213F\u2145-\u2149\u214E\u2183\u2184\u2C00-\u2C2E\u2C30-\u2C5E\u2C60-\u2CE4\u2CEB-\u2CEE\u2CF2\u2CF3\u2D00-\u2D25\u2D27\u2D2D\u2D30-\u2D67\u2D6F\u2D80-\u2D96\u2DA0-\u2DA6\u2DA8-\u2DAE\u2DB0-\u2DB6\u2DB8-\u2DBE\u2DC0-\u2DC6\u2DC8-\u2DCE\u2DD0-\u2DD6\u2DD8-\u2DDE\u2E2F\u3005\u3006\u3031-\u3035\u303B\u303C\u3041-\u3096\u309D-\u309F\u30A1-\u30FA\u30FC-\u30FF\u3105-\u312D\u3131-\u318E\u31A0-\u31BA\u31F0-\u31FF\u3400-\u4DB5\u4E00-\u9FCC\uA000-\uA48C\uA4D0-\uA4FD\uA500-\uA60C\uA610-\uA61F\uA62A\uA62B\uA640-\uA66E\uA67F-\uA697\uA6A0-\uA6E5\uA717-\uA71F\uA722-\uA788\uA78B-\uA78E\uA790-\uA793\uA7A0-\uA7AA\uA7F8-\uA801\uA803-\uA805\uA807-\uA80A\uA80C-\uA822\uA840-\uA873\uA882-\uA8B3\uA8F2-\uA8F7\uA8FB\uA90A-\uA925\uA930-\uA946\uA960-\uA97C\uA984-\uA9B2\uA9CF\uAA00-\uAA28\uAA40-\uAA42\uAA44-\uAA4B\uAA60-\uAA76\uAA7A\uAA80-\uAAAF\uAAB1\uAAB5\uAAB6\uAAB9-\uAABD\uAAC0\uAAC2\uAADB-\uAADD\uAAE0-\uAAEA\uAAF2-\uAAF4\uAB01-\uAB06\uAB09-\uAB0E\uAB11-\uAB16\uAB20-\uAB26\uAB28-\uAB2E\uABC0-\uABE2\uAC00-\uD7A3\uD7B0-\uD7C6\uD7CB-\uD7FB\uF900-\uFA6D\uFA70-\uFAD9\uFB00-\uFB06\uFB13-\uFB17\uFB1D\uFB1F-\uFB28\uFB2A-\uFB36\uFB38-\uFB3C\uFB3E\uFB40\uFB41\uFB43\uFB44\uFB46-\uFBB1\uFBD3-\uFD3D\uFD50-\uFD8F\uFD92-\uFDC7\uFDF0-\uFDFB\uFE70-\uFE74\uFE76-\uFEFC\uFF21-\uFF3A\uFF41-\uFF5A\uFF66-\uFFBE\uFFC2-\uFFC7\uFFCA-\uFFCF\uFFD2-\uFFD7\uFFDA-\uFFDC]+

A safe CSV that allows commas, double quotes, equal signs, plus, minus, tab, @, and carriage returns is technically possible, but would likely not be easy to implement with the existing approach.