SQL injection (SQLi) attacks exploit existing vulnerabilities to alter SQL queries by injecting malicious code. If successful, SQL injection attacks can allow the cyber attackers to modify database information, access sensitive data, execute administrator tasks on the database, and recover files from the target system. In extreme cases, attackers can also issue commands to the database operating system.
In order to defend against SQL injection attacks, it is imperative to understand the working of the attack.
How Does A SQL Injection Attack Work?
Cyber criminals may use several different types of SQL injections to execute an attack. Here are some common variants of SQL injections:
- SQL Injection Based On User Input: In this type of SQL attack, the user inputs are used to inject malicious code and gain access to the system. Web applications accept user inputs via forms. The information collected by these forms is then passed on to the database for processing. If the web application server does not screen the forms, the attacker can inject SQL statements via user input form fields and delete, copy, or modify the contents of the database.
- SQL Injection Based On Cookies: In this approach to SQL injection, the cookies are modified to infect database queries. Web applications often load cookies to use data stored in them as part of database operations. The malicious users or a malware installed on the system can modify the cookies to inject SQL statement in the backend database. Once infected, cyber attackers can access the database to steal, modify or delete the data stored in the database.
- SQL Injection Based On HTTP Headers: Some web applications are designed to accept inputs from HTTP headers. In such cases, malicious actors create fake headers containing arbitrary SQL statements. When the web application accepts input from these fake HTTP headers, the malicious code is injected into the database.
- Second Order SQL Injection: These are most complex SQL injection attacks because they are designed in a way that allows the SQL code to lie dormant in the system for a long time.
What Is The Impact Of SQL Injection Attacks?
SQL injection attacks can cause various harms to the victim system:
- Steal user credentials resulting in identity theft.
- Access information stored in database server.
- Alter or add new information to infected database.
- Delete database records leading to DoS attacks.
For more information on SQL injection attack, call Centex Technologies at (972) 375 - 9654.
24. March 2021 12:42
In a dynamic cyber security environment, it is important to test the security protocols of your web application at regular intervals. An effective approach is to check how the security system will react if the application is actually attacked.
Web application penetration testing is a simulation technique that simulates attacks against the web application to help developers and cyber security teams identify any cyber security flaws, weaknesses and vulnerabilities for timely remediation. This type of testing can be used to identify vulnerabilities across web application components and APIs including backend network, database and source code.
Types Of Penetration Testing:
Depending upon the location of attack, web application penetration testing can be classified into two types:
- External Penetration Testing: In this type, the web application is attacked from outside. The penetration test simulates the way an external attacker would launch an attack against the web application. This type of testing helps in checking firewalls and server security protocols.
- Internal Penetration Testing: In this type of penetration testing, the attacks against the web application are launched from within the organization. The testing is usually performed through LAN connections. The goal off internal penetration testing is to identify vulnerabilities that might exist within the firewall. This type of testing helps in understanding the reaction of web application security system in case of a malicious insider attack.
Another important aspect of consideration when testing web application security is level of access. Following types of web application penetration testing can be performed to test the level of access and scope of knowledge:
- Black Box Penetration Testing: This type of web application penetration testing simulates cyber security attacks that may be launched by external attackers who have no prior knowledge of targeted system.
- Gray Box Penetration Testing: This type of web application penetration testing checks the response of security systems in case of an insider attack launched by internal threat actors having user level access to certain systems.
- White Box Penetration Testing: This is a comprehensive penetration testing that simulates cyber security attacks that may be launched by a threat actor having root level or administrator access to the web application servers and data.
How Is Penetration Test Executed?
- Define the scope of test.
- Provide required information and documentation to the tester.
- Determine success criteria of the test.
- Run the test several times.
- Follow pre-defined success and reporting criteria.
- Create a clear & detailed report.
- Provide recommendation for remediating vulnerabilities.
- Re-test to check if remediation was effective.
- Once all tests are concluded, revert the system to original configuration.
For more information on web application penetration testing, call Centex Technologies at (972) 375 - 9654.