What is Code injection, and what are its risk factors
‘Code injection’ is a general term used for a type of cyberattack that involves the hacker injecting their code into the website or application. The system then executes it as a “legitimate” part of the code. These attacks exploit vulnerabilities and poor data handling. They are often made possible by a lack of proper input/output data validations such as allowed characters, data format, and the amount of expected data.
Code Injection attacks can have long and far-reaching effects. For example, in September of 2019, SolarWinds software firm fell victim to a code injecting attack that targeted the organization’s development tools and added a backdoor into software builds. The attack left SolarWinds’ users vulnerable and had a ripple effect when it was discovered that the code used to create the original backdoor overlapped with other backdoor codes. Experts and government bodies attributed the attack to espionage operations, and its effects are still being felt today.
Protecting your site against injection attacks is essential, but it’s important to acknowledge that the attacks may not originate from your code alone. Third-party vendors who access your sites may inadvertently open doors to cybercriminals. When choosing a security platform, platforms such as Reflectiz can help cover for vulnerabilities created by outside vendors through real-time monitoring, creating an app inventory, and more.
Of course, your own site’s security is no less critical. Here are some of the practices you can implement to ensure it remains secure:
1. Leverage Automation for Monitoring and Inspecting Your Website
One of the foundational aspects of protecting a website involves knowing what goes on in it – at all times. Actively monitoring your website can help identify any suspicious irregularities and identify changes to the code made by third-party scripts. While monitoring is absolutely critical to maintaining security, constantly supervising website activity can become time-consuming and labor-intensive. Rather than investing human resources to monitor your site, utilize automated tools that allow you and your team to focus on other concerns while tools handle the monitoring process nonstop. In addition, automated tools can identify unauthorized scripts injected into your site’s front end and manage other client-side security needs.
2. HTML Encoded Data Entered by Users
3. HTML Encodes Data Before Submitting it to the Database
4. Avoid Dynamic Code Execution and Language Constructs
Dynamic code is any code that can be evaluated and executed while the program is running. For example, when a site needs to access data dynamically or when you use code to try and extract a dynamic data file. These cases and many more examples of dynamic code leave sites vulnerable to code injection attacks. Dynamic code leaves user input unregulated and allows it to flow directly into your site’s code, making it able to make code changes. Avoiding dynamic code execution such as eval() prevents new code originating from user input from accessing your system.
Keeping Your Interactive Website Secure