Attacks using SQL injection are a relatively common web hacking technique. These assaults, also referred to as SQL injection (SQLI) attacks, take place when one or more legitimate SQL commands are “injected” into an input field for a database to process.
What Is SQL Injection?
SQL Injection is a code-based vulnerability that allows an attacker to read and manipulate sensitive database data. Attackers can alter, add, update, or delete records in a database using SQL queries, bypassing the security safeguards of applications. Using relational databases like MySQL, Oracle, or SQL Server, websites or web applications can be severely harmed by a successful SQL injection attack. There have been numerous security lapses caused by SQL injection attacks in recent years.
Types of SQL Injection Attacks
There are three types of SQL injection:
- Blind SQL Injection
This kind of SQL injection takes place when an attacker is unable to see what is happening behind the scenes since the target system does not issue any error messages in response to input that contains improper data.
- Unsanitized Input
This particular kind of SQL injection happens when a programme doesn’t validate or encrypt its input before using it straight in a query. Unexpected outcomes may result from this, including the execution of unexpected queries, contacting restricted functions, changing the contents of tables, etc.
- Out-of-Band Injection
When harmful data is delivered to an application through channels other than those designated for interactive user input, SQL injection of this type takes place (e.g., email). This can include non-text communication methods like file uploads and instant messaging.
Ways to Avoid SQL Injection Attacks
By using the following best practises written by our web developers, SQL injection attacks can be avoided:
Zero Trust Approach
An organisation that takes a zero-trust security stance considers that all users, including administrators, external partners, and suppliers, are unreliable and possible attackers. Strict controls must be implemented by the organisation for information access and usage.
This includes getting rid of or cutting back on reliance on third-party connections to databases, programmes, or services.
Since stored procedures are more secure than dynamic SQL queries, they can help reduce the risk of SQL injection attacks. However, testing must be done carefully to make sure that there are no vulnerabilities in the stored procedures if they are utilised in addition to dynamic queries.
Use Stored Procedures
Several SQL instructions can be carried out by stored procedures in a single statement. Because they forbid users from directly accessing the database server through code input fields like “username” or “password,” they aid in the prevention of SQL injection attacks. Instead, they use built-in functions that can be called from application code while utilising user-supplied parameters.
Use Parameterized Queries
User-provided input is used in SQL queries without being first sanitised, which leads to SQL injection attacks. Using parameterized queries, or queries that employ variables rather than constants in the query string, is one technique to prevent this.
It is advisable to only grant new accounts the minimal number of rights required for proper operation. If you require an account that can make reports but not delete them, for instance, create two separate accounts with distinct capabilities. This will make it more difficult for hackers to use holes in your application code or configuration files to access sensitive information or hijack accounts.
Implement Multi-layered Security
When malicious code is injected into an application’s SQL statements, SQL injections happen. The web server then runs the injected code, which prompts the database to return information that the developer didn’t expect to be returned.
To stop this from happening, you must implement many levels of defence against such attacks. For all of your users, this entails installing robust authentication methods, such as two-factor authentication, and putting up firewalls (2FA).