Improper Neutralization of Special Elements in Data Query Logic

The application generates a query intended to access or manipulate data in a data store such as a database, but it does not neutralize or incorrectly neutralizes special elements that can modify the intended logic of the query.


Description

Depending on the capabilities of the query language, an attacker could inject additional logic into the query to:

Modify the intended selection criteria, thus changing which data entities (e.g., records) are returned, modified, or otherwise manipulated

Append additional commands to the query

Return more entities than intended

Return fewer entities than intended

Cause entities to be sorted in an unexpected way

The ability to execute additional commands or change which entities are returned has obvious risks. But when the application logic depends on the order or number of entities, this can also lead to vulnerabilities. For example, if the application query expects to return only one entity that specifies an administrative user, but an attacker can change which entities are returned, this could cause the logic to return information for a regular user and incorrectly assume that the user has administrative privileges.

While this weakness is most commonly associated with SQL injection, there are many other query languages that are also subject to injection attacks, including HTSQL, LDAP, DQL, XQuery, Xpath, and "NoSQL" languages.

See Also

OWASP Top Ten 2017 Category A1 - Injection

Weaknesses in this category are related to the A1 category in the OWASP Top Ten 2017.

Validate Inputs

Weaknesses in this category are related to the design and architecture of a system's input validation components. Frequently these deal with sanitizing, neutralizing a...

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Weaknesses without Software Fault Patterns

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