SQL Injection

SQL Injection – High Level – Threats & Remedies

SQL injection is a malicious code injection technique and is one of the most common hacking techniques on the web. Capable of attacking applications or websites that rely on an SQL-based database. It is also one of the oldest as well as one of the most dangerous types of threats.

An attacker will add, alter, or eliminate records thereby affecting data integrity. Hackers have been using SQL injection to steal and tamper with data throughout the history of the internet because it works. Ironically, it is actually incredibly easy to prevent.


How does an SQL injection work?


SQL injections typically exploit security loopholes in a website or application’s software. First and foremost, the hacker needs to locate an input within the application that uses an SQL query in order for a SQL injection to work. This is often a username or a password field.  Second, the user inputs an SQL statement allowed by the website. This task is often automated by the hacker to make it more effective as well as well as much less time consuming. At a high level that is about all it takes to perform an SQL injection attack…


How bad can an SQL injection be?


Since the programming language SQL was developed to manage data located in a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS). SQL injections are therefore primarily capable of maliciously altering the data stored in an RDBMS. Typically, SQL attacks are used to impersonate a user and bypass authentication tools and steps. SQL injections may also choose data on the basis of a query and output the query’s results.


Internal networks with poor security may be vulnerable to SQL injection attacks.  External threats are much more common wherein SQL is used to tamper with sensitive data in an RDBMS.


How can you prevent SQL injections?


As a common and well-known attack, it is not too difficult to shield yourself from SQL injections. You can start by reducing the number of permissions on database logins to shield some aspects of the system. Minimize login details allowing only what is necessary. Developers should avoid allowing dynamic queries and prevent user input from affecting the logic of the query.


Another common method is to use parametrized statements as they do not embed user input into a statement. Such statements are capable of only storing values of a specific type, and the placeholders involved do not store random SQL fragments. Hence, the SQL injection is considered an invalid parameter. In such cases, parameters are normally scalar in nature and the SQL statements are fixed.

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