What is SQL Injection and How to Prevent It

SQL Injection

An SQL injection is a set of SQL commands where the hacker makes use of unvalidated user input to enter arbitrary data in order to retrieve a response that we want from the databases that are connected with the web applications.

It is used to modify, add or delete the records in the database without the user’s knowledge. This compromises data integrity.

One of the most important steps to avoid SQL injection is input validation. It takes advantage of the design flaws in poorly designed web applications to exploit SQL statements to execute malicious SQL code.

A SQL injections attack is performed by including portions of SQL statements in a web form entry field in an attempt to get the website to pass a newly formed rogue SQL command to the database (e.g., dump the database contents to the attacker).

An SQL Injection vulnerability may affect any website or web application that uses an SQL database such as MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server, or others.

Criminals may use it to gain unauthorized access to your sensitive data: customer information, personal data, trade secrets, intellectual property, and more.

SQL Injection attacks are one of the oldest, most prevalent, and most dangerous web application vulnerabilities.

Types of SQL Injection

  • Classic or In-band SQL Injection
    1. Error-based – Attacker uses the error generated by the database to attack the
    2. Union-based – Leverages UNION SQL operator to combine to a response to return to the HTTP response.
  • Blind or Inferential SQL Injections
    1. Boolean-based – Based on a TRUE or FALSE return
    2. Time-based – Sends SQL injections that force the database to wait before responding.
  • Out-of-band SQL Injection – It occurs when the attacker cannot use the same channel to attack and gather results.

Types of SQL Injections attack

  • Deleting data
  • Updating data
  • Inserting data
  • Executing commands on the server that can download and install malicious programs such as Trojans
  • Exporting valuable data such as credit card details, email, and passwords to the attacker’s remote server
  • Getting user login details etc.
  • SQLMap – It is used for automatic SQL Injections And it is a Database Takeover Tool
  • Blind-Sql-BitShifting – It is a blind SQL Injection using BitShifting
  • jSQL Injection – It is a java tool used for automatic SQL Database Injections.
  • BBQSQL – It is a blind SQL Injection Exploitation Tool
  • Whitewidow – Scanning tool for the vulnerability of SQL Database
  • explo – It is a human And Machine-Readable Web Vulnerability Testing Format
  • Leviathan – It is a wide range audit toolkit
  • Blisqy – It is used to exploit time-based blind-SQL injection in HTTP-Header.

How to Prevent an SQL Injection

  • User input should never be trusted – It must always be sanitized before it is used in dynamic SQL statements.
  • Stored procedures – these can encapsulate the SQL statements and treat all input as parameters.
  • Prepared statements –prepared statements to work by creating the SQL statement first and then treating all submitted user data as parameters. This has no effect on the syntax of the SQL statement.
  • Regular expressions –these can be used to detect the potentially harmful code and remove it before executing the SQL statements.
  • Database connection user access rights –only necessary access rights should be given to accounts used to connect to the database. This can help reduce what the SQL statements can perform on the server.
  • Error messages –these should not reveal sensitive information and where exactly an error occurred. Simple custom error messages such as “Sorry, we are experiencing technical errors. The technical team has been contacted. Please try again later” can be used instead of displaying the SQL statements that caused the error.

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