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Thwarting SQL Injection: Defense in Depth

SQL as a language is vulnerable to injection attacks because it allows mixing of instructions and data, which attackers can conveniently exploit to achieve their nefarious objectives.

The root cause behind successful SQL injection attacks is the execution of user-supplied data as SQL instructions. This classic cartoon illustrates the perils of trusting user inputs, and how they can lead to a successful SQLi attack:

From the webcomic xkcd:

Did you really name your son Robert'); DROP TABLE Students;--

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Testing AJAX Applications with JSON Input for Vulnerabilities Using Qualys WAS

Qualys Web Application Scanning 4.9 has added the capability to run web app vulnerability scans on AJAX applications that use JSON input. Specifically, WAS 4.9 can test for SQL injection (SQLi), local file injection (LFI) and PHP command injection. Many web application scanners are capable of detecting SQL injection, LFI, PHP command injection and other vulnerabilities in web applications that use standard GET/POST requests, but they fail to find the same in applications that use JSON input in POST data. To analyze and detect vulnerability in JSON requests, WAS 4.9 added the capability to execute some AJAX scripts in automatic scanning without manual intervention. This capability relies on the SmartScan feature, which customers need to enable in their subscriptions.

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Protect Against the Joomla SQL Injection Vulnerability

Joomla logoA few days ago, SpiderLabs researcher Osaf Orpani disclosed an important vulnerability targeting Joomla, one of the most popular Content Management Systems (CMS). By exploiting this vulnerability, researchers were able to remotely gain full administrative access to the CMS.

Joomla versions 3.2 to 3.4.4 are affected by this major security issue. Since the vulnerability targets the core of the CMS, all websites based on Joomla are vulnerable, whatever the modules used.

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WordPress: When Half of all Websites are Vulnerable

On April 21, WordPress issued a critical security release and “strongly encouraged” their customers to update their webites “immediately.” In general, the use of these alarming terms is symptomatic of a significant threat. And it is indeed.

WordPress is so overwhelming the CMS market that nearly 50% of all websites are based on it. This recent security release fixes multiple vulnerabilities so important that an attacker may be able to obtain administrator access on any of those millions of websites. The most sensitive vulnerability is targeting WordPress version 4.1.1 and earlier.

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