Injection flaws are those, that allow cyber attackers to inject malicious code into another system using an application. If an application accepts users inputs and allows those inputs to access a database, shell command or operating system, then that application is vulnerable to an injection flaw. These flaws are usually the result of insufficient validation of input. Other causes include failure to filter or sanitize the user input.
Injection flaws or vulnerabilities can be very easy to detect and exploit, but they can also be extremely obscure. Consequences of an injection attack can also run through a whole range of severity to complete system compromise.
Few Common Types Of Injection Flaws
- SQL injection: SQL Injection, also referred as SQLi, is the most common attack vector, where attackers insert malicious SQL code into a backend database to provide unauthorized access to private data.
- Command injection: Under this vulnerability, arbitrary commands are being run on the host operating system using an program.
- LDAP injection: It targets web applications by creating LDAP statements as per user input.
- XPath injection: A website uses input data to construct an XPath query for XML data under this framework. A cyber criminal can deliberately submit malformed data to either access or harm the existing XML data structure.
- XML injection: When an unintended XML script is added to an existing XML script to insert malicious content to alter the intent of the application, it is known as an XML injection.
The most common type of injection flaw is SQLi. It is potentially dangerous form of injection. Also In order to exploit the SQL injection flaw, the attacker must find the parameter that the web application passes through to the database.
The attacker will trick the web application to forward the malicious query to the database by carefully integrating malicious SQL commands into the contents of the parameter. Such attacks aren’t hard to attempt and there are more tools evolving to search for these vulnerabilities.
Is Your Website Vulnerable to Injection Flaws?
Your website source code is the easiest way to assess if you’re vulnerable to injection flaws. If your source code allows external resources to connect your system, then you are may be possible chances that your system is vulnerable. For requesting the input data from the interpreters by external tools like include system call, boot, fork, runtime.exec, SQL queries, and any other command/syntax.
By using different ways to execute external commands, it is critical that developers pay careful attention to reviewing their source code and also look for input data invoking HTTP requests for malicious action.
Effects Of Injection Flaws
Possible effects of this form of cyber attack can result in data loss, unintentional display of sensitive data, denial of service and the perpetrator’s illegal system control.
Ways To Mitigate The Injection Flaws Efficiently
- In the validation process, the user input is validated and then execution takes place.
- For example, if your create a function that accepts a string value to enter the user’s first name then there is no requirement to allow special characters to be inserted.
- In filtering, we use Blacklisting or Whitelisting for user input values.
- we prefer whitelisting over blacklisting most of the time.
- In blacklisting the bad input is turn down during the data input process.
- Whereas in whitelisting we accept only required data.
Sanitizing And Escaping
- It is the primary security against the SQL injection. The escape process allows special characters interpret as a literal string by using backslashes.
- Interpreting special characters as string literals helps modify the function’s purpose in a non-threatening manner. In general, this process changes with the language at hand.
- Encoding or sanitizing refers to the process that turns the bad characters into harmless ones. For furthermore, information on encoding click here.
- Consider a web application firewall (WAF) to help you filter out malicious data.
- Good ones will have a comprehensive set of default rules, making it easy to add new ones whenever necessary.
- A WAF may be particularly useful to provide some security protection against a particular new vulnerability before a patch is available.
Patching And Update
- Vulnerabilities are frequently found in applications and databases, that hackers may exploit using SQL injection.
- So it’s important to apply patches and updates as soon as practicable.
Always Remember Basics
- Use secure code.
- Regular security audit.
- keep changing password.
- Update your system regularly.
- Injection flaws have the ability to manipulate the functioning of an application or database.
- Its just a slice of the entire pie.
- But consequences of such threats can be disastrous & compromise the entire application.
- Overall, a better way of avoiding these attack is to implement proper methods, such as validation, filtering, sanitizing, escaping, patching and always remember the basics etc.