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Understanding SQL Injection: Risks, Prevention and SQLi Fixer in the Digital Age

How to fight against SQL Injection ?
In our data-driven world, data security has become central for businesses of all sizes. One of the most current threats to data security is SQL injection (#SQLi), a cyberattack that exploits vulnerabilities in an application’s database interactions.
This article presents the concept of SQL injection, its risks to businesses, and how AI-powered tools like Sqlephant’s SQL Injection Fixer can provide robust protection.

What is SQL Injection?

SQL Injections are a significant danger for businesses. According to Owasp top 10: “SQLi (SQL Injections) are one of the top three threats” (www.owasp.org). Market analysis and statistics show the following information ( Source Security Escape)

  • “Ransomware attacks went up more than 95% over 2022.” (DarkReading),
  • “As of 2023, over 72% of businesses worldwide were affected by ransomware attacks.” (Statista).
  • “36% of the organizations suffered ransomware attacks because of exploited vulnerabilities in 2023. Credential compromise was the second-most common cause of successful ransomware attacks, while malicious e-mail ranked third.” (Statista)
  • “The number of ransomware victims in 2023 has already surpassed what was observed for 2021 and 2022.” (DarkReading).

Specifically for vulnerabilities and SQL Injections,

  • “in 2022, 1162 vulnerabilities with the type “SQL injections” have been accepted as a CVEs” (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures)”. (source NIST)
  • 42% of hacker attempts on public-facing systems are SQL injection-based.” (Source OWASP)
  • “21% of large organizations are still vulnerable to SQL threats.” (Source OWASP)
  • “The largest known SQL injection attack in history stole over 1 billion user IDs and passwords.”
  • “Hackers stole 130 million card details using an SQL injection attack.” (Source Security Escape)

To the question “Are SQL injection still a thing”, the anwser is “Yes, SQL injections are still one of the most exploited security vulnerabilities and, therefore, still a thing” (source code-intelligence.com)

How It Works

SQL injection is a technique used by attackers to interfere with the queries that an application makes to its database. It typically involves inserting or “injecting” malicious SQL code into a query, which can then be executed by the database server. This attack exploits vulnerabilities in the application’s software, particularly when user inputs are not correctly sanitized or validated.

The process usually starts with an attacker finding an input within the application that is included in an SQL query. By inputting malicious SQL code, the attacker can manipulate the query to execute unintended commands. This might include accessing, modifying, or deleting data.

What are the Common Forms of SQL Injection ?:

  • In-band SQLi: The attacker uses the same communication channel to launch the attack and gather results.
  • Inferential SQLi: No data is transferred via the web application, and the attacker reconstructs the database structure by sending payloads and observing the application’s responses.
  • Out-of-band SQLi: Data is transferred using a different channel, employed when in-band and inferential techniques are not feasible.

The Risks for Businesses

SQL injection (#SQLi) can have far-reaching implications for businesses:

  • Data Breaches: SQLi can expose sensitive data, leading to significant breaches and loss of confidential information.
  • Legal and Compliance Issues: Breaches might result in non-compliance with regulations like GDPR, attracting legal repercussions and fines.
  • Reputation Damage: A breach can severely damage the company’s reputation and erode customer trust.
  • Financial Losses: The costs associated with a breach, including compensations, increased security measures, and business losses, can be substantial.
  • Operational Disruption: SQLi attacks can lead to system downtime, disrupting business operations and services.

Prevention and Mitigation

There are tools available to detect and block attacks, or to analyze code. They are typically in 3 groups of tools : Protection with WAF and detection of vulnerabilities.

* Web Application Firewall (WAF)

WAF operates by filtering and monitoring HTTP traffic between a web application and the Internet, blocking harmful requests based on specific rules to protect against various types of attacks, such as SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS). WAF (Web Application Firewall) can be attacked via different ways :

  • Advanced Encoding
  • Attack Fragmentation
  • Exploiting WAF Exceptions
  • Mimicking Legitimate Traffic
  • Exploiting WAF Downtime or Update Periods

WAF may not be sufficient to protect against SQL injection. in February 2023, Claroty, an Israel/American security firm, identified a new SQL injection technic to break into Web Application Firewalls. They did this using a special method involving SQL and JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) commands. “Attackers using this technique would be able to bypass the WAF’s protection and use additional vulnerabilities to exfiltrate data”. (source Claroty).

* Analyze and detection of vulnerabilities

Analyzing and detecting vulnerabilities is a good methodology in protecting against SQL injection. Proactive vulnerability assessment is essential and a cybersecurity best practices. By identifying and addressing vulnerabilities before attackers can exploit them, you significantly reduce the risk of SQL injection.

However, the challenge is that the existing solution are able to detect most of the vulnerabilities. But they don’t correct the vulnerabilities. It’s a long work to do it manually, and still long with some special process. And this does not ensure that there are no more vulnerabilities. And a good solution should be to test the source code each time before putting an application, in production. This is now possible.

Correcting correctly all the vulnerabilities in the Source code can be quickly a huge and expensive work. And it takes time….

This is clear from customers and confirmed by Statista : On average, organizations fixed cyber vulnerabilities that were considered of high severity are between 146 and 184 days. Low-severity vulnerabilities required almost 10 months and were the slowest to get fixed.

Complementary, a good protection against SQL Injection should be including theses:

  • Input Validation: Ensure all user input is validated for type, length, format, and range.
  • Use of Prepared Statements (PreparedStatement): Prepared statements with parameterized queries can prevent SQLi by separating SQL code from data.
  • Least Privilege: Restricting database user privileges can limit the potential damage from a successful attack.
  • Regular Security Audits: Continuously test and audit web applications for vulnerabilities.
  • Error Handling: Implement secure error handling that does not reveal details that attackers could exploit.
  • Staff Training: Educate developers and relevant staff on secure coding practices and the risks associated with SQL injections.

Is SQL injection still a concern in the field of cyber security ?
Yes. SQL injection continues to be a current and significant issue in the field of cyber security. It continues to be a key method that attackers can use to exploit vulnerabilities in database-driven applications. This indicates that it remains an important concern in the field of cybersecurity.

And the High Frequency of SQL Injections, despite the availability of traditional tools designed to prevent SQL injections since 20 years, is questioning. Is it due to Lack of Security Awareness Among Developers, non sufficient efficiency of Automated Testing Methods ?, or Misuse of Database Access Libraries ?

The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Securing Applications

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as a powerful tool in detecting and preventing SQL injection attacks. It applies systematically the algorithms and processes. AI-powered solutions can analyze patterns and behaviors, identifying potential attacks that might be missed by traditional methods. and checking (and fixing) before each deployment. We are at a stage where technology now allows to have an efficient solution. A good example is the industrialized and patented (*1) solution: Sqlephant’s SQL Injection Fixer

Securing Apps with #Sqlephant’s SQL Injection Fixer (#SQLiFixer)

Sqlephant’s SQL Injection Fixer represents a significant advancement in the fight against SQL injection attacks. Here are its key features:

  • SQL Injection Fixer Automatically identifies and repairs vulnerabilities in SQL statements, enhancing the security of your applications
    • Performant advanced AI algorithms to detect potential injection points and fix them proactively.
    • Batch Mode Processing to offer the convenience of checking and fixing vulnerabilities across multiple application files simultaneously, ensuring comprehensive coverage and uniform security.
    • Systematic process, patented solution (*1), for quality and performance, ensuring that all vulnerabilities are identified and corrected correctly.
    • Source code in multiple languages C#, Java, PHP, Python, …
    • Tagging and tracability
    • Enhanced Security and confidentiality
  • Simple to use and integrated
  • Decision of implementation of the corrections at the hand of the developer

Benefits for Your Business

The new AI-powered SQL Injection Fixer brings improved security by offering a strong protection against SQL injection attacks. And the industrialised process allow an easy and fast deployment of the solution.

By using Sqlephant SQLi Fixer, businesses can save both time and money. And also have their source code corrected very quickly, to provide an enhanced protection against SQL injection. By automatically finds and fixes security weaknesses, it gives companies peace of mind. They can feel confident that their applications are safe from one of the most frequent and harmful online dangers.


In the landscape of cyber threats, SQL injection remains a significant risk for businesses. However, with the right practices and tools like Sqlephant’s SQL Injection Fixer, AI-Powered, together with WAF and consulting services, companies can fortify their defenses, protect their data, and maintain the trust of their customers. By embracing these technologies and best practices, businesses can navigate the digital world more securely and confidently.

Please send any comments and suggestion, or demands at: contact@sqlephant.com

#SQLinjection #SQLsecurity #SQLfuture #easySQL #SQLprotection #SQLiFixer #SqlephantSQLiFixer

(*1) Patented for France and Europe. Patent-pending in the USA

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