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SQL Injection

Definition

SQL Injection is a type of cyber attack where malicious SQL statements are inserted into an entry field of a data-driven application. These inserted codes can manipulate the application’s database, allowing attackers to view, modify, and delete its content. It’s a prevalent method used in data breaches due to its potential to exploit vulnerabilities in an application’s software.

Phonetic

The phonetics for the keyword “SQL Injection” is “ˈesˌkyo͞oˈel ˌinˈjekSH(ə)n”

Key Takeaways

<ol><li>SQL Injection is a Code Injection Technique: It’s a common technique that attackers use to exploit vulnerabilities in a web application’s database query. This involves the insertion or “injection” of a malicious SQL query via the user’s input data to manipulate or exploit the application’s database. </li> <li>Potential Consequences are Severe: If successful, SQL Injection attacks can have severe consequences. These could range from unauthorized viewing of user lists, deletion of entire tables, data corruption, or in some cases even command execution on the host operating system. It can potentially give hackers control over your web application’s database.</li><li>Preventive Measures are Critical: It’s crucial to implement preventive measures to safeguard from SQL Injection attacks. This includes using parameterized queries, keeping software updated, regularly scanning your website for vulnerabilities, and occasionally employing a web application firewall that may help mitigate the risk of SQL injection attacks.</li></ol>

Importance

SQL Injection is an important term in technology as it refers to a significant security vulnerability in a database-driven application. This occurs when the security of an application is compromised due to the unwanted infiltration of malicious SQL codes within the database query. The intrusion could potentially allow an attacker to view, manipulate, and delete data irrespective of its authentication requirements. Understanding SQL Injection is critical not only in preventing unauthorized access to sensitive data but also in ensuring the integrity, security, and performance of the application. Monitoring these potential vulnerabilities helps in maintaining overall data security and protecting systems from any potential breaches.

Explanation

SQL Injection is a code injection technique that attackers utilize to exploit vulnerabilities in a website’s database security. This notorious cyber-attack technique is often used with the intention of extracting or manipulating a website’s database information, which could potentially include sensitive user information such as usernames, passwords, credit card details, etc. Attackers may employ SQL injection to alter entries in the database, delete data, or even obtain administrative rights, which could ultimately give them unrestricted control over a website’s data.The main purpose of an SQL Injection attack is to interfere with a website’s SQL queries. This is accomplished by inserting malicious SQL code within user input. If the website is not properly configured to filter out this malicious input, the hacker’s injected SQL code could be executed by the website’s SQL database. Therefore, SQL injection serves as a powerful tool for attackers aiming to manipulate, steal, or otherwise harm a website’s data by exploiting inadequate security measures. Consequently, it is crucial for developers to adopt safe programming practices to mitigate the potential impacts of SQL injection attacks.

Examples

1. Sony Pictures Hack (2014): This is one of the most notable cases of an SQL injection attack. Hackers infiltrated Sony Pictures’ networks by utilizing an SQL injection vulnerability to access confidential information, unreleased films, and other data. This caused significant financial and reputational damage for the company.2. Heartland Payment Systems Breach (2008): Heartland Payment Systems, one of the world’s largest payment processing companies, suffered an SQL injection attack that led to more than 130 million credit and debit card numbers being stolen. The breach is considered the largest ever involving card data.3. TalkTalk Telecom Hack (2015): TalkTalk, a telecom company in the United Kingdom, was the victim of a significant SQL injection attack that exposed personal and banking details of its 4 million customers. This resulted in a fine of £400,000 issued by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and severe damage to the company’s reputation.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

**Q: What is SQL Injection?**A: SQL Injection is a type of security vulnerability that occurs when an attacker is able to insert malicious SQL code into a query. This can potentially allow the attacker to view, modify, or delete data stored in the database.**Q: How does SQL Injection occur?**A: SQL Injection occurs when user inputs are incorrectly filtered or encoded, and are subsequently embedded into SQL commands. This then allows attackers to manipulate the SQL commands, leading to an alteration in the website’s functionality or exposing sensitive information.**Q: What are the types of SQL injection?**A: SQL injections can be categorized into three types: In-band SQLi (using the same communication channel to launch the attack and gather results), Inferential SQLi (attacker is able to reconstruct the database structure by sending payloads), and Out-of-band SQLi (features are needed to exploit the vulnerability).**Q: What damage can SQL Injection cause?**A: If successfully exploited, SQL Injection can cause significant damage, such as deleting tables, altering data, or granting administrative rights to unauthorized users. It can also expose sensitive customer information, leading to serious privacy issues.**Q: How can you prevent SQL Injection?**A: There are several ways to prevent SQL injection including: using prepared statements which can ensure the separation between SQL code and data, validating user input and using a web application firewall. Regular updates to the web applications and the database can also help to prevent SQL injection.**Q: Are there tools recommended for testing SQL Injection vulnerabilities?**A: Tools such as SQLmap, Havij, and Acunetix can assist with identifying potential SQL Injection vulnerabilities in web applications.**Q: Can SQL Injection affect non-web applications?**A: Yes, SQL Injection can affect any application that uses a SQL database, including desktop and mobile applications, not only web applications. **Q: Is SQL Injection still a relevant threat?**A: Yes, despite being a well-known vulnerability, SQL Injection is still frequently exploited and remains a serious threat to web application security.**Q: What is Parameterized Query in the context of SQL Injection?**A: Parameterized queries are one of the methods used to prevent SQL Injection attacks. They ensure that user inputs are always treated as literal values and not part of SQL commands, effectively blocking the possibility of command injection.**Q: What is SQL Injection Blind?**A: Blind SQL Injection is a type of SQL Injection attack that asks the database true or false questions and determines the answer based on the application’s response. It can be significantly slower than classic SQL Injection, but can be equally damaging.

Related Tech Terms

  • Database Security
  • Input Validation
  • Parameterized Queries
  • Web Application Vulnerabilities
  • Stored Procedures

Sources for More Information

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