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What is SQL Injection and XSS Attack

sql injection

SQL Injection and XSS Attack

SQL injection is mostly known as an attack vector for websites but can be used to attack any type of SQL database over the internet.

The SQL injections is also known as SQLI. However,this is a common attack vector that uses harmful SQL code for back-end database manipulation in search of information. This is not intended to display and access information. Finally, this information may include any number of items, including sensitive company data, private customer details or user lists

SQL injection attack allows attackers to spoof identity, cause repudiation issues such as voiding transactions or changing balances, become administrators of the database server, tamper with existing data destroy the data or make it otherwise unavailable, and allow the complete disclosure of all data on the system.

The first presence and discussions of SQL injection started appearing around 1998; in an article in Phrack MagazineSQL injection (SQLI) was known to be one of the top 10 web application vulnerabilities around 2007 to 2010 by the Open Web Application Security Project. There are four main sub-classes of SQL injection:

  • Classic SQLI
  • Blind or Inference SQL injection
  • Database management system-specific SQLI
  • Compounded SQLI
  • The SQL injection + insufficient authentication
  • SQL injection + DDoS attack
  • A SQL injection + DNS hijacking
  • SQL injection + XSS

sql injection

How to Prevent an SQL Injection

The only sure way to prevent SQL Injection attacks is to input valid and parameterized queries including prepared statements about it. Such as the application code should never use the input directly, the developer must clean all input, Developer must remove potential malicious and harmful code elements such as single quotes. It is also a good idea to turn off the visibility of database errors on your production sites. Use Database errors with the help of SQL Injection to gain information about your database.

If you came across any SQL Injection vulnerability, for example using an Acunetix scan, you are unable to fix it immediately, the vulnerability may be present in open source code. In such cases, you can use a web application firewall to disinfect  your input temporarily

To make an SQL Injection attack, an attacker must first have to find vulnerable user inputs within the web application or web page. However, A web application or web page that has an SQL Injection vulnerability uses such user input directly in an SQL query. The attacker can create input content. Such content is often known as malicious payload and is the main part of the attack. After the attacker sends this content, harmful SQL commands are executed in the database.

XSS Attack

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) attacks are a type of injection, in which harmful scripts are injected into kind and trusted websites. XSS attacks occur when an attacker uses a web application to send malicious and harmful code. Generally sends in the form of a browser side script, to a other end user. Flaws and defects that allow these attacks to succeed are quite widespread and occur anywhere in a web application. Hence using an input from a user within the output it generates without encoding it.

An attacker can use XSS to send a harmful script to an unsuspecting user end. Although, the end user’s browser has no way to know that the script should not be trusted, and will directly execute the script. Because browser thinks the script came from a trusted source, the script can access any sensitive information, session tokens retained by the browser, cookies and used with that site. These scripts can even have codes to rewrite the content of the HTML page.

Types of XSS Flaws

XSS attacks occur when:

  1. Data enters a Web application through an non-trusted source, most frequently a web request.
  2. The dynamic content includes data sent to a web user without scanning for malicious content.

The spiteful content sent to the web browser often takes the form a segment of JavaScript, also include, Flash, HTML or any other type of code that the browser may execute easily. The variety of attacks based on XSS is unlimited. But they commonly have private data transmission, like cookies to web content. Hence, the attcaker controls it or to perform other operations on the user’s machine under the activation of the vulnerable site.

Ways to prevent Cross-site Scripting

1. Escaping

The first method you can use to prevent XSS vulnerabilities from appearing in your applications is by escaping user input. It means taking the data as an application ensuring the received data is secure before rendering it for the end usage. On escaping user input, web page receiving data in the form of key characters will prevent from interpreting in any malicious activity.

2. Validating Input

Anything is originating from the system outside. You don’t have total control over it that includes form query strings, data, cookies, and systems. Here, basically “anything that you can’t be 100% confident that doesn’t contain evil things”, once you should validate input settings

3. Sanitizing

 A third way to prevent XSS scripting attacks is to sanitize the user input. Sanitizing data is a strong very defense, but should not use alone to fight XSS attacks. Hence, it’s totally possible and you’ll find the need to use all three methods of prevention of XSS in working towards a more secure application altogether. Sanitizing user input is very helpful on sites that allow HTML. This ensure that data received by end user can do no harm and secure your database. This is possible on scrubbing potentially harmful markup. And changing unacceptable user input to an acceptable non harmful format.

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