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  • Writer's pictureSai Narayan

Class Notes Day 7 - Injection attacks from OWASP top 10 and more




injection-attacks-the-silent-killers-of-cybersecurity-2023-9-21-23-51-49
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**Injection Attacks - A Deep Dive**


*Introduction:*

Injection attacks exploit an application by inserting malicious data that is then interpreted and executed by the application or its back-end systems.


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**1. Definition:**

Injection attacks occur when an attacker can send malicious data to an interpreter, potentially leading to unauthorized code execution, data theft, or other malicious actions.


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**2. Examples of Injection Attacks:**


a. **SQL Injection (SQLi):**

- **Definition:** An attack technique where malicious SQL statements are inserted into input fields with the aim of executing those statements on a database.

- **Example:** Using input like `' OR '1' = '1' --` to manipulate SQL queries and bypass authentication.


b. **Command Injection:**

- **Definition:** Attacker-supplied operating system commands are executed by a vulnerable application.

- **Example:** An application that executes system commands without validation can be tricked into executing malicious commands.


c. **LDAP Injection:**

- **Definition:** A technique where attackers modify LDAP statements using a web application.

- **Example:** Modifying LDAP queries to gain unauthorized access or retrieve excessive data.


d. **XML Injection:**

- **Definition:** Inserting malicious XML content to interfere with the logic of an XML parser or to exploit XML features.

- **Example:** Exploiting badly configured XML parsers to execute code or exfiltrate data.


e. **XPath Injection:**

- **Definition:** Targets web sites that use user-supplied information to construct XPath queries for XML data.

- **Example:** Manipulating XPath queries to gain unauthorized access to XML data.


f. **Code Injection:**

- **Definition:** Injecting code that is then executed by the application.

- **Example:** Inserting malicious scripts into applications that lack proper input validation.


g. **ORM (Object-Relational Mapping) Injection:**

- **Definition:** Exploiting vulnerabilities in the ORM layer to inject malicious queries.

- **Example:** Manipulating ORM queries to change application behavior or access unauthorized data.


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**3. Tools Used to Detect Injection Vulnerabilities:**


a. **SQLMap:** An open-source penetration testing tool that automates the detection and exploitation of SQL injection vulnerabilities.


b. **Burp Suite:** A popular web vulnerability scanner with functionality to detect various injection vulnerabilities.


c. **OWASP ZAP (Zed Attack Proxy):** Open-source security tool used to find vulnerabilities in web applications.


d. **Netsparker:** Web application vulnerability scanner targeting a variety of injection vulnerabilities.


e. **Acunetix:** Another widely used web vulnerability scanner.


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**4. Remediation for Injection Attacks:**


a. **Input Validation:** Ensure all user-submitted data is strictly validated against a specific set of rules.


b. **Parameterized Queries:** Use parameterized queries (also called prepared statements) for database access.


c. **Escape User Input:** If user data must be passed to interpreters, ensure that the data is safely escaped to prevent execution.


d. **Least Privilege:** Ensure that application accounts have the least privilege required. For example, a database connection should not have admin rights if it only needs read access.


e. **Error Handling:** Implement proper error handling that doesn't reveal system-specific information. This makes it harder for attackers to understand the system's structure and design.


f. **Use ORM Safely:** If using ORM frameworks, understand their risks and configure them securely.


g. **Regularly Update and Patch:** Ensure all components of your application stack are regularly updated and patched against known vulnerabilities.


h. **Educate and Train Developers:** Regularly train developers about the risks and mitigation of injection attacks.


i. **Web Application Firewall (WAF):** Implement a WAF that can detect and block injection attack attempts.


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By understanding the risks and potential impacts of injection attacks, developers and organizations can take measures to secure their applications and data effectively.

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