Find out more about what happens during a MySQL injection attack, where your database might vulnerable and what you can do to prevent it.

MySQL Injection Attack: What Is It?

An injection attack uses available paths to retrieve data from the database, and either hijack or attack the integrity of the data. Injection attacks are also used to scrap all privileged database information — like lists of users and their personal information. 
One of the most common ways for an injection attack to work is by using the flaws of the implementation and introducing a query inside the input. The code is then executed and the attacker can retrieve the target from the response. 

What Are The Ramifications of a MySQL Injection Attack?

The following highlight a few critical ramifications of a MySQL injection attack:
  1. Query parameter possibilities. Attackers can utilize trial and error tactics to determine the possibilities of injection they can achieve — and if they can fully attack the database.
  2. Access hijacking. Access hijacking is done for numerous reasons, like exposing site vulnerabilities to general users, data theft and server hijacking.
  3. Critical data theft. One of the most common reasons for injection attacks is to steal secure, critical data including user profile information and financial data.
  4. Denial of service. Denial of Service (DOS) is the most commonly known services hack. Service is blocked for regular or subscribed users — which for some organizations, can lead to serious financial losses.
  5. Traps. Once a pattern has been established traps can be set for the system, allowing hackers to execute damaging queries at a later time.

How to Prevent MySQL Injection Attacks

You can take the following steps in MySQL to secure your system against injection attacks:
  1. Input validation. Define a set of possible inputs in the implementation, and validate all inputs before executing a query.
  2. Input checking functions. Define a set of characters that are not allowed as a parameter, and use prepared statements wherever possible.
  3. Validate input sources. Only a set of pre-defined sources should be allowed to access the database — all others requests should be blocked.
  4. Access rights. A predefined access list should be maintained, and each access instance should be logged at the application layer.
  5. Security precautions.  When setting up your database, be sure to configure it with proper security precautions in the production environment.

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