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Programming Language in the Front-end and DATABASE in the backend.
Queries are used to store or retrieve data
What is a SQL Injection ATTACK? Many web applications take user input from a Form • Often this user input is used literally in the construction of a SQL query submitted to a database. For example: – SELECT productdata FROM table WHERE productname = ‘user input product name’; • A SQL injection attack involves placing SQL statements in the user input
An Example SQL Injection Attack Product Search: blah‘ OR ‘1’ = ‘1' • This input is put directly into the SQL statement within the Web application: – $query = “SELECT prodinfo FROM prodtable WHERE prodname = ‘” . $_POST[‘prod_search’] . “’”; Creates the following SQL: – SELECT prodinfo FROM prodtable WHERE prodname = ‘blah‘ OR 1x1 = 1x1 – Attacker has now successfully caused the entire database to be returned.
Another example What if the attacker had instead entered:– blah‘; DROP TABLE prodinfo; • Results in the following SQL: – SELECT prodinfo FROM prodtable WHERE prodname = ‘blah’; DROP TABLE prodinfo; --’ – Note how comment (--) consumes the final quote • Causes the entire database to be deleted – Depends on knowledge of table name – This is sometimes exposed to the user in debug code called during a database error – Use non-obvious table names, and never expose them to user
Other injection possibilities Using SQL injections, attackers can: – Add new data to the database • Selling someone else's items on an eCommerce site • Perform an INSERT in the injected SQL – Modify data currently in the database • Could be very costly to have an expensive item suddenly be deeply ‘discounted’ • Perform an UPDATE in the injected SQL – Often can gain access to other user’s system capabilities by obtaining their password
Defenses Check syntax of input for validity Do not allow problematic characters (e.g., ‘*’ ,'=' in user input) • If you can exclude quotes and semicolons that’s good – Not always possible: consider the name Bill O’Reilly • Have length limits on input – Many SQL injection attacks depend on entering long strings
More... Scan query string for undesirable word combinations that indicate SQL statements – INSERT, DROP, etc. – If you see these, can check against SQL syntax to see if they represent a statement or valid user input • Limit database permissions and segregate users – If you’re only reading the database, connect to database as a user that only has read permissions – Never connect as a database administrator in your web application
Configure database error reporting – Default error reporting often gives away information that is valuable for attackers (table name, field name, etc.) – Configure so that this information is never exposed to a user • If possible, use bound variables $sth = $dbh->prepare("SELECT email, userid FROM members WHERE email = ?;"); $sth->execute($email);
How we can do it in CodeIgniter? Escaping Queries It's a very good security practice to escape your data before submitting it into your database. mysql_real_escape_string() calls MySQL’s library function mysql_real_escape_string, which prepends backslashes to the following characters: x00, n, r, , ‘, ” .
Examples... $this->db->escape() This function determines the data type so that it can escape only string data. It also automatically adds single quotes around the data so you don't have to: $sql = "INSERT INTO table (title) VALUES(".$this->db->escape($title).")"; $this->db->escape_str() This function escapes the data passed to it, regardless of type. Most of the time you'll use the above function rather than this one. Use the function like this: $sql = "INSERT INTO table (title) VALUES('".$this->db->escape_str($title)."')"; $this->db->escape_like_str() This method should be used when strings are to be used in LIKE conditions so that LIKE wildcards ('%', '_') in the string are also properly escaped. $search = '20% raise'; $sql = "SELECT id FROM table WHERE column LIKE '%".$this->db->escape_like_str($search)."%'";
Query Bindings Bindings enable you to simplify your query syntax by letting the system put the queries together for you. Consider the following example: $sql = "SELECT * FROM some_table WHERE id = ? AND status = ? AND author = ?"; $this->db->query($sql, array(3, 'live', 'Rick')); The question marks in the query are automatically replaced with the values in the array in the second parameter of the query function. The secondary benefit of using binds is that the values are automatically escaped, producing safer queries. You don't have to remember to manually escape data; the engine does it automatically for you.