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6 filter.module filter_xss($string, $allowed_tags = array('a', 'em', 'strong', 'cite', 'code', 'ul', 'ol', 'li', 'dl', 'dt', 'dd'))
7 filter_xss($string, $allowed_tags = array('a', 'em', 'strong', 'cite', 'blockquote', 'code', 'ul', 'ol', 'li', 'dl', 'dt', 'dd'))

Filters an HTML string to prevent cross-site-scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities.

Based on kses by Ulf Harnhammar, see For examples of various XSS attacks, see:

This code does four things:

  • Removes characters and constructs that can trick browsers.
  • Makes sure all HTML entities are well-formed.
  • Makes sure all HTML tags and attributes are well-formed.
  • Makes sure no HTML tags contain URLs with a disallowed protocol (e.g. javascript:).


$string: The string with raw HTML in it. It will be stripped of everything that can cause an XSS attack.

$allowed_tags: An array of allowed tags.

Return value

An XSS safe version of $string, or an empty string if $string is not valid UTF-8.

See also


Related topics

28 calls to filter_xss()

2 string references to 'filter_xss'


drupal/includes/, line 1328
Common functions that many Drupal modules will need to reference.


function filter_xss($string, $allowed_tags = array('a', 'em', 'strong', 'cite', 'blockquote', 'code', 'ul', 'ol', 'li', 'dl', 'dt', 'dd')) {
  // Only operate on valid UTF-8 strings. This is necessary to prevent cross
  // site scripting issues on Internet Explorer 6.
  if (!drupal_validate_utf8($string)) {
    return '';
  // Store the text format
  _filter_xss_split($allowed_tags, TRUE);
  // Remove NULL characters (ignored by some browsers)
  $string = str_replace(chr(0), '', $string);
  // Remove Netscape 4 JS entities
  $string = preg_replace('%&\s*\{[^}]*(\}\s*;?|$)%', '', $string);

  // Defuse all HTML entities
  $string = str_replace('&', '&', $string);
  // Change back only well-formed entities in our whitelist
  // Decimal numeric entities
  $string = preg_replace('/&#([0-9]+;)/', '&#\1', $string);
  // Hexadecimal numeric entities
  $string = preg_replace('/&#[Xx]0*((?:[0-9A-Fa-f]{2})+;)/', '&#x\1', $string);
  // Named entities
  $string = preg_replace('/&([A-Za-z][A-Za-z0-9]*;)/', '&\1', $string);

  return preg_replace_callback('%
    <(?=[^a-zA-Z!/])  # a lone <
    |                 # or
    <!--.*?-->        # a comment
    |                 # or
    <[^>]*(>|$)       # a string that starts with a <, up until the > or the end of the string
    |                 # or
    >                 # just a >
    )%x', '_filter_xss_split', $string);