What is an SQL injection (SQLi) and how to prevent it?
Cybersecurity has become one of the main concerns of this digital age. Every day we encounter news of Ransomware, Phishingfraud and other cyber crimes.
It is true that we cannot change the mindset of cybercriminals, but we can take preventive measures to avoid different types of cyber attacks. So here we are going to discuss the SQL Injection-A common type of malware.
Read to the end to find out what is anSQL injection, its objectives, its impacts, its types and a concrete example. This blog also includes advice on how to prevent sql injections, which is extremely useful for technology-focused businesses.
What is SQL Injection (SQLi)?
So, first of all: What is SQL Injection?
SQL stands for Structured Query Language, a language designed to manipulate and manage data in a database. A SQLI hacker injects malicious codes into existing SQL items to trick systems into giving them access. Attackers deploy this technique to intercept data or locate administrator credentials, which helps them gain complete control of a system or network.
How do SQL injection attacks work?
SQL injection attacks are made through web pages or application inputs. These input forms are usually visible in search boxes, form pages or URL parameters.
To attempt a SQLI attackthreat actors find vulnerabilities in a system or network and inject malicious payloads that perform unintended actions, such as granting access to data.
There is another trick where they just have to provide their target page URL to an automated tool, and the job is done.
Example of SQL injection (SQLi)
In 2017, a Russian-speaking menacing actor, Rasputin, managed to gain access to the systems of over 60 US universities and government agencies using SQL injection vulnerabilities.
It was later discovered that he used to design his own tools to perform such attacks instead of using free tools. The stolen information was offered for sale on cybercrime black markets.
What are the objectives and the impact of an SQL injection?
The purpose of attempting a injection attack with SQL is to gain unauthorized access to systems, critical information and data such as passwords, credit card information and personally identifiable information. This can consequently tarnish the image of a reputable organization and even lead to long-term exploitation of data. In addition to this, hackers can:
- Delete or modify database content
- Export source code files
- Write files to the database server
It is therefore essential to train you and your employees on how to prevent sql injection attacks to protect your company’s data, customers and reputation.
What are the types of SQL injection attacks?
There are five common ways for hackers to inject malicious code and gain control of a system or network. Let’s discuss it briefly.
Union-Based SQL Injection
Syndicate based SQL Injection allows attackers to obtain data by extending the results of an original query. It basically combines the result set of two or more SELECT statement queries.
Blind SQL Injection
Blindly SQL Injection technique, cyber criminals interrogate the database with true or false questions and determine the answers based on the answers. It is coupled with a time-based SQL injection attack as it also takes time into account when evaluating received responses.
Boolean-based SQL injection
Here, hackers trick databases into thinking they have elevated permissions or correct credentials. This method overrides the conditions and logic of a query. It is sometimes associated with a blind SQL Injection, where the elimination technique extracts the required data.
Error-Based SQL Injection
When malicious actors exploit database errors from a webpage or an application through uncleaned entries, it is called the error-based problem. SQL Injection technical. It uses error messages to return query results, often revealing confidential data.
Time-Based SQL Injection
This technique is used when malicious actors fail to retrieve information from a database server. Thus, they use operations that take longer to process. It is typically used when hackers need to know if there are vulnerabilities in target systems.
How to detect an SQL injection?
SQL injections are difficult to detect, as they leave no traces like other malware. The only effective way to detect SQLI attacks is to use a vulnerability scanner to actively monitor your databases. It will also tell you the level of risk and the overall impact of such an attack on your website.
How to prevent SQL injection hacking?
It’s not easy to detect SQLI attacks, but you can still practice some preventative measures to avoid them. First, avoid displaying database errors directly to users. Here are other ways to prevent SQL injection attacks.
Form and maintain awareness
Organize regular training sessions for new and old employees, especially those in the technical department. They should be aware of SQL Injection risks and mitigation methods. You can start by creating small manuals or brochures and include them in the new employee welcome kit.
Don’t trust user input
Treat all user input as untrusted because they all pose a risk of attack. Also maintain a practice of treating internal users the same way you treat public comments. You can also perform allowlist validation to test any user input against a set of approved and defined inputs. Data that does not match the assigned values is rejected, which mitigates SQL injections.
Use the whitelist method
Deploy whitelist method instead of blocklist. In the whitelist, only email addresses, IP addresses, domain names, and apps from a list are allowed, while all others are denied. This will help to prevent after injection attacks by denying unauthorized entities like external hackers.
Welcome to new technologies
Old malware protection techniques cannot protect your systems against injection attacks with SQL. The latest tools and software can handle the Structured Query Language and the vectors that attack it.
Use only verified mechanisms
Avoid downloading free tools and software claiming protection against all kinds of cyber attacks, including SQLI attacks, because they can be a trap set by pirates. Instead, use modern paid tools like a web application firewall that genuinely detects, prevent and remove malware.
How to delete an SQL injection?
If an SQL injection attack hits your website, you can take the following steps to fix the problem.
Locate the vulnerable code
Start by identifying where the vulnerability is using a trusted automated tool such as jSQL, Havij, or SQLmap.
Remove injected content and backdoors
After knowing the location of the vulnerable code, get rid of malicious injections and corrupted data. It is useful to have a clean backup of your database to restore it to an uncompromised state.
Fix the vulnerability
It is important to call in an expert and fix vulnerabilities regularly. Otherwise, hackers can exploit them again to try SQL injection attacks.
Update your data
Clean and update all your data to prevent another attack. You should also change passwords for all important accounts and folders right after an expert fixes all vulnerabilities. Make sure there are no malicious admins or backdoors in your database.
Set up a WAF
Use a web application firewall or WAF to filter out malicious requests. These help prevent zero-day attacks when a patch is not yet available to fix a vulnerability.
Hackers inject malicious code into existing SQL elements to break into a system, intercept data, or locate administrator credentials. Use a vulnerability scanner to frequently monitor database activity. Remember that SQL injections show no physical traces until an attack. Also, it is best to use the whitelist technique and patch vulnerabilities regularly. Keep your data up to date, secure, clean and make consistent backups. Overall, implement the tips in this article to effectively prevent SQL injection attacks.
The post What is SQL injection (SQLi) and how to prevent it? appeared first on EasyDMARC.
*** This is an EasyDMARC Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog written by EasyDmarc. Read the original post at: https://easydmarc.com/blog/what-is-an-sql-injection-sqli-and-how-to-prevent-it/