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LAB Testing with DVWA – [SQL Injection Statements]

SQL injection is a code injection technique that exploits a security vulnerability in a website’s software. The vulnerability happens when user input is either incorrectly filtered for string literal escape characters embedded in SQL statements or user input is not strongly typed and unexpectedly executed.

  • Incorrectly filtered escape characters

User input is not filtered for escape characters and is then passed into an SQL statement.  Potential manipulation of  statements performed on the database by the end-user of the application. Line of code illustrates this vulnerability:

statement = “SELECT * FROM users WHERE name = ‘” + userName + “‘;”

This SQL code is designed to pull up the records of the specified username from its table of users. However, if the “userName” variable is crafted in a specific way by a malicious user, the SQL statement may do more than the code author intended. For example, setting the “userName” variable as:

‘ or ‘1’=’1
‘ or ‘1’=’1′ — ‘
‘ or ‘1’=’1′ ({ ‘
‘ or ‘1’=’1′ /*
SELECT * FROM users WHERE name = ” OR ‘1’=’1′;
SELECT * FROM users WHERE name = ” OR ‘1’=’1′ — ‘;

The following value of “userName” in the statement below would cause the deletion of the “users” table as well as the selection of all data from the “userinfo” table using an API that allows multiple statements:

a’;DROP TABLE users; SELECT * FROM userinfo WHERE ‘t’ = ‘t

This input renders the final SQL statement as follows and specified:

SELECT * FROM users WHERE name = ‘a’;DROP TABLE users; SELECT * FROM userinfo WHERE ‘t’ = ‘t’;

Most SQL server implementations allow multiple statements to be executed with one call in this way, some SQL APIs such as PHP’s mysql_query(); function do not allow this for security reasons. This prevents attackers from injecting entirely separate queries, but doesn’t stop them from modifying queries.

  • Incorrect type handling

This form of SQL injection occurs when a user-supplied field is not strongly typed or is not checked for type constraints. This could take place when a numeric field is to be used in a SQL statement, but the programmer makes no checks to validate that the user supplied input is numeric. For example:

statement := “SELECT * FROM userinfo WHERE id = ” + a_variable + “;”

It is clear from this statement that the author intended a_variable to be a number correlating to the “id” field. However, if it is in fact a string then the end-user may manipulate the statement as they choose, thereby bypassing the need for escape characters. For example, setting a_variable to

1;DROP TABLE users

will drop (delete) the “users” table from the database, since the SQL would be rendered as follows:

SELECT * FROM userinfo WHERE id=1;DROP TABLE users;

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