Hackers Are Using SQL Injection Vulnerabilities to Take Down Servers, According to CISA & FBI

The FBI and the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) have alerted technology manufacturers and their clients to the ongoing threat that comes with SQL injection vulnerabilities. SQL injection, or SQLi, vulnerabilities are still a common flaw in commercial software products, putting thousands of businesses at risk even after being well-documented for more than 20 years.

Persistent Threat of SQL Injection

By executing random queries, malicious cyber actors might jeopardize a database's availability, secrecy, and integrity thanks to SQL injection vulnerabilities. The program developers' disregard for security best practices, specifically the division of database queries from user-supplied data, is the root cause of this class of vulnerability.

Following a recent campaign that affected thousands of people by using SQLi flaws in a controlled file transfer program, CISA and the FBI have called for a thorough examination of technology manufacturers' code to remove this threat.

A Proactive Approach to Secure Servers by Design

The idea of “Secure by Design” highlights how crucial it is to include security features from the beginning of product development. Customers' cybersecurity burden is lessened and public danger is reduced with this method.

According to MITRE's CWE Top 25, SQL vulnerabilities remain highly hazardous and persistent software vulnerabilities in 2023, even after being classified as “unforgivable” since 2007.

The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has advised developers to remove SQL injection vulnerabilities from their software, according to a recent tweet from DeepBlue Security & Intelligence.

Preventing SQL Injections

Software developers are urged to use prepared statements in parameterized queries to effectively segregate SQL code from user-supplied data, mitigating SQLi vulnerabilities. This technique reduces the possibility of SQL injection attacks by guaranteeing that user input is handled as data instead of executable code. However, the FBI and CISA advise against depending on input sanitization methods because they are difficult to implement widely and can be circumvented.

Principles for Secure By Design Software

Three fundamental guidelines for developing Secure by Design software have been established by CISA and the FBI:

  1. Take Possession of Customer Security Outcomes:
    1. Manufacturers should conduct thorough code reviews and implement prepared statements with parameterized queries to find possible vulnerabilities. This will emphasize security.
  2. Embrace Radical Transparency and Accountability:
    1. It's critical to be transparent when revealing product vulnerabilities and monitoring software flaws.
    2. The CVE program, which attempts to eradicate whole classes of vulnerabilities, should be joined by manufacturers.
  3. Build Organizational Structure and Leadership to Achieve These Goals:
    1. Investments and incentives should be coordinated to support secure coding techniques and proactive vulnerability identification, with security being a primary business objective.

The warning is meant to act as a wake-up call for software developers to implement a full suite of Secure by Design procedures in addition to SQL injection mitigation. It is recommended that manufacturers release their Secure by Design roadmap as evidence of their strategic dedication to customer safety.