SQL injection is known as an injection attack wherein an intruder can execute malicious SQL statements that control a web application’s database server (also commonly referred to as a Relational Database Management System – RDBMS). Since an SQL injection vulnerability could affect any website or web application that makes use of an SQL-based database, the vulnerability is one of the oldest, most widespread and most critical of web application vulnerabilities.
By leveraging SQL injection susceptibility, given the right conditions, an attacker can use it to neglect a web application’s certification and authorization mechanisms and recover the contents of an entire database. SQL injection can also be used to add, alter and remove accounts in a database, affecting data integrity.
To such an extent, SQL Injection can give an intruder with illegal access to sensitive data including, customer data, personally identifiable information (PII), trade secrets, intellectual property and other confidential information.
Impacts of an SQL Injection
If your web application is exposed to SQL injection, a hacker can execute any malicious SQL inquiry or command through the web application. This means he or she can recover all the data saved in the database such as client information, social security numbers, credit card details and credential to access private areas of the gateway, such as the administrator portal. By utilizing an SQL injection, it is also likely to remove tables from the database. Hence, with an SQL Injection the malicious user has complete access to the database.
Depending on your setup and the kind of server software being used, by utilizing SQL injection vulnerability, some malicious users might also be able to write to a file or accomplish operating system commands. With such increased privileges this might result in a total server compromise.
Unfortunately, it is very hard to determine the impact of an exploited SQL injection. Most of the times, if the hackers are well trained, you won’t be able to identify the attack until your data is available to the public and your business reputation is going down the drain.