Home Accessibility Courses Twitter The Mouth Facebook Resources Site Map About Us Contact
 
For 2021 - online Python 3 training - see ((here)).

Our plans were to retire in summer 2020 and see the world, but Coronavirus has lead us into a lot of lockdown programming in Python 3 and PHP 7.
We can now offer tailored online training - small groups, real tutors - works really well for groups of 4 to 14 delegates. Anywhere in the world; course language English.

Please ask about private 'maintenance' training for Python 2, Tcl, Perl, PHP, Lua, etc.
Injection Attacks - PHP, SQL, HTML, Javascript - and how to neutralise them

A delegate for tomorrow's PHP Techniques Course arrived early, and I've spent this afternoon taking a look at the fundamentals of what an "injection attack" is, and how to render attempts to attack your server using such methods harmless.

When you have a web application running, you'll be providing forms for your users to complete. And you have very little absolute control of what they can enter / submit - especially if you have geeky users who can work around any HTML limits and JavaScript checks you may have applied.

So ... what can they submit that's potentially nasty?

Let's say I entered <h1> as my name on a web form. The response page is very likely to echo my name - dear <h1> ... only it won't appear like that if it's simply echoed, as the browser will interpret the <h1> as a request to treat the following text - the rest of the response page - as a headline. That's an example of an HTML injection

Many pages these days include Javascript - programatic elements that are included by the server in the stream of data sent out as HTML to the browser, instructing the browser to run code in certain circumstances. Your browser will typically trust Javascript received from the server, as it's known code that designed to work within the particular page. If you include some Javascript that the server really shouldn't be telling the browser to run - perhaps code that compromises the server's security, you can have a very real issue. For if you have a trusted server / client exchange going on and something nasty gets into the mix, it can cause problems at both ends. That's an example of a Javascript injection

I'm afraid there's more. If there's a box on my form who's contents get passed on to a database, and some user adds in a piece of SQL that would be valid in the context in which it's used, I can get into all sorts of trouble. There's the urban myth about the parents who christened their child "Drop Tables" and had terrible trouble signing him up to the local school because their computer system kept blanking out ... and That's an example of an SQL injection

Only a few characters in the input stream - less that, ampersand and various quotes - cause the problems I have described, and you can very easily innoculate yur code against attacks by ensuring they're dealt with for all inputs; in PHP, the htmlspecialchars function deals with HTML output, and the mysql_real_escape_string or mysqli_real_escape_string deal with SQL injections. Javascript injections are really just a special form of HTML injections.

The example from this afternoon, showing code examples of the attacks and how to counter them, is [here]. Note that I have chosen to publish only the cleaned code; if you want to try it our for real, you'll need to comment out lines as indicated.

A further form attack - though not an injection attack - is a cross site request forgery (csrf). See [here] to read more about these (and for links to PHP programs that demonstrate how you can deal with the issue).
(written 2012-07-22, updated 2012-08-11)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
H303 - PHP - Long and short term cookies and security
  [1646] Using cookies and sessions to connect different URLs - PHP - (2008-05-18)
  [1911] Remember Me - PHP - (2008-11-28)
  [2238] Handling nasty characters - Perl, PHP, Python, Tcl, Lua - (2009-06-14)
  [3698] How to stop forms on other sites submitting to your scripts - (2012-04-15)

H117 - Security in PHP
  [345] Spotting a denial of service attack - (2005-06-12)
  [426] Robust checking of data entered by users - (2005-08-27)
  [920] A lion in a cage - PHP - (2006-11-10)
  [947] What is an SQL injection attack? - (2006-11-27)
  [1052] Learning to write secure, maintainable PHP - (2007-01-25)
  [1086] Injection attacks - safeguard your PHP scripts - (2007-02-20)
  [1323] Easy handling of errors in PHP - (2007-08-27)
  [1387] Error logging to file not browser in PHP - (2007-10-11)
  [1396] Using PHP to upload images / Store on MySQL database - security questions - (2007-10-19)
  [1482] A story about benchmarking PHP - (2007-12-23)
  [1542] Are nasty programs looking for security holes on your server? - (2008-02-17)
  [1679] PHP - Sanitised application principles for security and useability - (2008-06-16)
  [1694] Defensive coding techniques in PHP? - (2008-07-02)
  [1747] Who is watching you? - (2008-08-10)
  [1779] Injection Attacks - avoiding them in your PHP - (2008-08-31)
  [2025] Injection Attack if register_globals in on - PHP - (2009-02-04)
  [2628] An example of an injection attack using Javascript - (2010-02-08)
  [2688] Security considerations in programming - what do we teach? - (2010-03-22)
  [2939] Protecting your images from use out of context - (2010-08-29)
  [3210] Catchable fatal error in PHP ... How to catch, and alternative solutions such as JSON - (2011-03-22)
  [3747] An easy way to comply with the new cookie law if your site is well designed - (2012-06-02)
  [4642] A small teaching program - demonstration of principles only - (2016-02-08)

H115 - Designing PHP-Based Solutions: Best Practice
  [123] Short underground journeys and a PHP book - (2004-11-19)
  [237] Crossfertilisation, PHP to Python - (2005-03-06)
  [261] Putting a form online - (2005-03-29)
  [340] Code and code maintainance efficiency - (2005-06-08)
  [394] A year on - should we offer certified PHP courses - (2005-07-28)
  [563] Merging pictures using PHP and GD - (2006-01-13)
  [572] Giving the researcher power over database analysis - (2006-01-22)
  [839] Reporting on the 10 largest files or 10 top scores - (2006-08-20)
  [896] PHP - good coding practise and sticky radio buttons - (2006-10-17)
  [936] Global, Superglobal, Session variables - scope and persistance in PHP - (2006-11-21)
  [945] Code quality counts - (2006-11-26)
  [1047] Maintainable code - some positive advice - (2007-01-21)
  [1166] Back button - ensuring order are not submitted twice (PHP) - (2007-04-28)
  [1181] Good Programming practise - where to initialise variables - (2007-05-09)
  [1182] Painting a masterpiece in PHP - (2007-05-10)
  [1194] Drawing hands on a clock face - PHP - (2007-05-19)
  [1321] Resetting session based tests in PHP - (2007-08-26)
  [1381] Using a MySQL database to control mod_rewrite via PHP - (2007-10-06)
  [1389] Controlling and labelling Google maps via PHP - (2007-10-13)
  [1390] Converting from postal address to latitude / longitude - (2007-10-13)
  [1391] Ordnance Survey Grid Reference to Latitude / Longitude - (2007-10-14)
  [1487] Efficient PHP applications - framework and example - (2007-12-28)
  [1490] Software to record day to day events and keep an action list - (2007-12-31)
  [1533] Short and sweet and sticky - PHP form input - (2008-02-06)
  [1623] PHP Techniques - a workshop - (2008-04-26)
  [1794] Refactoring - a PHP demo becomes a production page - (2008-09-12)
  [2199] Improving the structure of your early PHP programs - (2009-05-25)
  [2221] Adding a newsfeed for your users to a multipage PHP application - (2009-06-06)
  [2430] Not just a PHP program - a good web application - (2009-09-29)
  [2679] How to build a test harness into your PHP - (2010-03-16)
  [3539] Separating program and artwork in PHP - easier maintainance, and better for the user - (2011-12-05)
  [3820] PHP sessions - a best practice teaching example - (2012-07-27)
  [3926] Filtering PHP form inputs - three ways, but which should you use? - (2012-11-18)
  [4069] Even early on, separate out your program from your HTML! - (2013-04-25)
  [4118] We not only teach PHP and Python - we teach good PHP and Python Practice! - (2013-06-18)
  [4326] Learning to program - comments, documentation and test code - (2014-11-22)
  [4641] Using an MVC structure - even without a formal framework - (2016-02-07)
  [4691] Real life PHP application using our course training MVC example - (2016-06-05)


Back to
The Melksham News - July 2012 - Part 1, Campus and Chamber of Commerce
Previous and next
or
Horse's mouth home
Forward to
Returning guests - a sign of a good product. Cream teas and hotel rooms.
Some other Articles
Fpdf - generating .pdf documents easily from your PHP program
Want to escape the Olympics? Learn to program in the countryside!
The Melksham News - July 2012 - Part 2, TransWilts Rail, Wilts and Berks Canal
Returning guests - a sign of a good product. Cream teas and hotel rooms.
Injection Attacks - PHP, SQL, HTML, Javascript - and how to neutralise them
The Melksham News - July 2012 - Part 1, Campus and Chamber of Commerce
Associated Classes - using objects of one class within another
Reading files, and using factories to create vectors of objects from the data in C++
Dwarf Exception Unwind Info
Can you put names to faces?
4759 posts, page by page
Link to page ... 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96 at 50 posts per page


This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

Link to Ezine home page (for reading).
Link to Blogging home page (to add comments).

You can Add a comment or ranking to this page

© WELL HOUSE CONSULTANTS LTD., 2021: 48 Spa Road • Melksham, Wiltshire • United Kingdom • SN12 7NY
PH: 01144 1225 708225 • EMAIL: info@wellho.net • WEB: http://www.wellho.net • SKYPE: wellho

PAGE: http://www.wellho.net/mouth/3813_Inj ... -them.html • PAGE BUILT: Sun Oct 11 16:07:41 2020 • BUILD SYSTEM: JelliaJamb