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  • Writer's pictureSai Narayan

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

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**Injection Attacks - A Deep Dive**


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


**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.


**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.


**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.


**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.


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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