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OWASP Periodic Table of Vulnerabilities - SQL Injection

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SQL Injection

Root Cause Summary

Applications that have insufficient output encoding or non-validated literal strings concatenated into a dynamic SQL statement and subsequently interpreted as code by the SQL engine.

Browser / Standards Solution


Perimeter Solution


Generic Framework Solution

  • Parameterized Queries - Use parameterized queries to execute any SQL commands
  • Input Validation - Validate all inputs that are passed to the SQL statement for accuracy of datatypes, boundary limits and accepted character set
  • Escape Sequences - In cases where it is not possible to use parametric queries (like legacy code), ensure that the SQL engine sensitive characters are escaped appropriately. [ To provide a separate link for this ]

Custom Framework Solution


Custom Code Solution

  • When building custom solutions, make sure that SQL queries are constructed dynamically with table names and views after thorough and proper validation of the schema and the table/view.
  • As a precautionary measure, ensure that all tables have appropriate access control through policies.
  • Whenever possible, when building custom solutions, use the underlying databases prepared queries library.
  • Stored procedures must not contain string-concatenated SQL queries, either.

Discussion / Controversy

Web Application Firewalls (WAFs) can help in reducing SQL Injection attacks by filtering popular and well known attack inputs. WAFs are driven by a set of predefined rules that can help mitigate SQL Injection attacks to a certain extent. However, ultimately all injection flaws need to be solved as close to the point where the injection actually affects the target systems. In this case, that is as close to the construction of the SQL query as possible, in the application framework.


SQL Injection
SQL Injection (WASC)
SQL Injection (CWE)