Has your web site ever come under attack? Have you experienced an SQL injection attack? Would you know the symptoms of such a security threat if you did? Do you know how good your web applications security and overall website security really is? Are you vulnerable to security threats?
Every day millions of web servers and systems are probed, scanned and attacked. Attacks have gone beyond viruses and worms. Especially vulnerable to attack are web applications, application security software, web server security, and overall website security.
One of the more malicious hacking methods is SQL injection, also called an inference attack. In an inference or SQL injection attack, the attacker adds SQL code to a web form input box to access resources or change the data.
Suppose you have a form on your web page that requests a username and password for access into a trusted database. If a user enters the correct response, the system authenticates the user and allows access to the guarded pages. If the user enters the incorrect username and password, they are usually sent some sort of error message and asked for the information again. At some point, if the correct information is not provided, the system times out and the user must start all over again.
Sometimes excessive numbers of errors invoke a black listing of the username and password resulting in the attempted access being denied. But, what would happen if an attacker entered an SQL command instead of a username and password? In approximately 60 per cent of the web applications using dynamic content, the command will be executed allowing the attacker to download the entire database or worse.
According to many experts, SQL injection attacks are possible because web application code is not secured during application development. One of the best ways to secure applications is by limiting access to those authorized to access the application. This means using Secure Shell or Secure Socket Shell (SSH). SSH provides strong and secure communication over unsecured channels. SSH uses a TCP connection and encrypts the session utilizing public-key cryptography and the symmetric encryption algorithm to protect the session.
Client computers access the web server and database server through the Internet via a TCP connection.
Enabling a web application to authenticate and access the database requires a Secure Sockets Shell (SSH) client on the web server and a SSH server on the database server. SSH secures the connection by encrypting the data stream including passwords and other sensitive data and eliminating network level attacks.
Below are four additional methods to increase your web site security against .
1.Design security-based applications and write secure program code and forms. Forms should do not accept user input to SQL queries without being tested or otherwise challenged. Limiting the type of characters and number of characters accepted by the form box is one way to start securing forms. Most websites do not have a procedure in place to block unexpected input. For example, assume the form requested a username and password. If someone entered SQL command instead of the username and password, the commands may be executed on a vulnerable system.
2. Where possible, avoid dynamic queries. Dynamic queries made across the Internet in clear text reveal sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and account numbers. Many experts urge not allowing dynamic queries at all.
3. Encrypt sensitive data such as credit card information, Social Security Numbers, and account information. Encryption renders any captured data useless and is well worth the extra cost.
4. Keep all SQL patches up-to-date. Most software vendors patch vulnerabilities as soon as they are made known. Keep your operating system and SQL software security patches current.
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