SQL injection, insertion

SQL injection is an attack where malicious code is passed to an SQL Server for execution. The attack can result in unauthorized access to confidential data, or destruction of critical data.

Before you try to read the methods below, realize that this should only be a concern for PHP developers and the like. If you are using a database driven program (e.g. WordPress, Joomla, OSCommerce), then all you need to do is upgrade your programs to the latest version available.

Methods to prevent SQL injection

Escaping

One way to prevent injections is to escape dangerous characters (i.e. backslash, apostrophe and semicolon). In PHP, it is typical to escape the input using the function mysql_real_escape_string before sending the SQL query. Example:

$Uname = mysql_real_escape_string($Uname);
$Pword = mysql_real_escape_string($Pword);
$query = "SELECT * FROM Users where UserName='$Uname' and Password='$Pword'";
mysql_query($query);

Parameterized statements

A parameterized query uses placeholders for the input, and the parameter values are supplied at execution time.

$params = array($Uname, $Pword);
$sql = 'INSERT INTO Users (UserName, Password) VALUES (?, ?)';
$query = sqlsrv_query($connection, $sql, $params);

Advanced:

In PHP version 5 and above, there are multiple choices for using parameterized statements; the PDO database layer is one of them. There are also vendor-specific methods; for example, MySQL 4.1 + used with the mysqli extension.

Additional Precautions

Scanning for Vulnerabilities

HostGator now offers SiteLock on select hosting plans, which performs forward- and backward-looking scans to make sure current and future visitor/customer data is secure on your website.

For SiteLock subscribers, our patent-pending 360-degree scan technology tests each input box on your website to ensure that they are not vulnerable to this type of attack. We verify the safety of each input box on your website by inserting code in the way hackers would. We do not read or collect any data, however. We use safe test procedures and code and if we discover a vulnerability in our testing, we report it to you immediately. Our Expert Services team can also help you remove these issues from your site.

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