Injection Flaws

Updated 28 December 2023


Injection flaws are those, that allow cyber attackers to inject malicious code into web applications.

If an application accepts the user’s inputs and allows those inputs to access a database, shell command, or operating system commands, then that application is vulnerable to an injection flaw.

These flaws are usually the result of insufficient validation of input and insufficient filters or sanitization of 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

  1. SQL injection: SQL Injection, also referred to 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.
  2. Command injection: Under this vulnerability, arbitrary commands are being run on the host operating system on vulnerable parameters.
  3. LDAP injection: It targets web applications by creating LDAP statements as per user input.
  4. XPath injection: A website uses input data to construct an XPath query for XML data under this framework. A cybercriminal can deliberately submit malformed data to either access or harm the existing XML data structure.
  5. 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 a 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 into forwarding 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 review is the easiest way to assess if you’re vulnerable to injection flaws. If your source code allows external resources to connect to your system, then you are may be a possible chance that your system is vulnerable to injection attacks.

For requesting the input data from the interpreters by external tools including system call, boot, fork, and 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 you 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 turned down during the data input process.
  • Whereas in whitelisting we accept only the required data.

Sanitizing And Escaping

  • It is the primary security against the SQL injection. The escape process allows special characters interpreted 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 bad characters into harmless ones.


  • 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 passwords.
  • Update your system regularly.


Injection flaws have the ability to manipulate the functioning of an application or database. It’s just a slice of the entire pie. But the consequences of such threats can be disastrous & compromise the entire application.

Overall, a better way of avoiding these attacks is to implement proper methods, such as validation, filtering, sanitizing, escaping, patching, and always remembering the basics, etc.

Besides that, If you are looking for a security audit service, That identifies vulnerabilities like cross-site scripting, guessable credentials, unattended application security flaws, and other misconfigurations in your e-commerce store check out the Webkul security module.

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Category(s) Security vulnerability
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