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The Dangers of SQL Injections

The injection’s intention is to exploit a security vulnerability within an application’s software. These injection attacks will allow the perpetrator to gain access into the application or system, damage any existing data, make unnecessary duplicates, and/or make changes to data, disclose data on the system, make the data impossible to access, and/or destroy the data.

SQL injections thrive on poor web development systems which have fault security.  Failure to update your systems and security will only result in SQL injection attacks successfully gaining access to your data. This breach can lead to your company losing vital data, which will subsequently affect the functionality of the business and in consequence its ability to make an income.

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SQL injections attacks can have detrimental effects on your system as they can cause extensive damage.  The best way to avoid SQL injections is to ensure you are aware of ways in which you can detect them, for example:

  • The use of AlienVault USM to detect SQL injection attacks. USM is capable of detecting any SQL injection attack as it has several integrates security technologies that include host-based network IDS, host based IDSetc.
  • Using Host-based Intrusion Detection Systems (HIDS) to detect SQLI by watching your files activity. With HIDS, all your activity can be monitored locally and allows the monitoring of any changes to files in order for you to have access to the knowledge of which data has been corrupted by the attack.

In April 2016, an SQL injection flaw was found in Mossack Fonseca CMS, when an anonymous hacker pointed out a SQL injection vulnerability in Panamanian law firm’s IT systems. This information led to the belief that there would be a data breach in the coming weeks. This flaw was posted by the hacker on twitter with a screenshot attached that clearly indicated the flaw that was apparent in the firm’s CRM.

Mossack Fonseca had recently become famous due to a cyberattack that had led to the publication of about 11.5 million documents of a sensitive nature that belonged to the firm relating to fraudulent tax affairs of past and present prominent world leaders.

The publication of the information was believed to be the result of an insider leak but this was later dispelled due to evidence that the disclosure had been to the result of its email server hacked externally. The 25 vulnerabilities that had been identified by the hacker were later confirmed to be caused by the firm’s failure to update its Drupal CMS since 2013. It was argued that fixing these SQL flaws was straightforward in most cases if it was not left unchecked, as that could lead to extremely devastating outcomes like the disclosure of confidential information.

There have been many high-profile breaches because of SQL injections and this should place a certain level of pressure on companies to approach security, through companies such as Checkmarx, in order to avoid the breach reoccurring.

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