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SQL Injections on the Magento Platform

Everyone familiar with the Magento content management system (CMS) platform will be familiar with many vulnerabilities requiring frequent fixes – such as SQL injections. 

Such flaws push unaware business owners into potential attacks by hackers, making the updates crucial for secure operation. Be it commercial or open source platforms, the exploitation of these hacks can lead to remote code execution, cross-site scripting, SQL injections, etc. 

On the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) scale, only four vulnerabilities score above the critical value of 9, and SQL injections are one of them. What makes them even more of a concerning matter is their ability to utilize loopholes without authentication. In the case of Magento platforms, the storage of sensitive information of clients such as login credentials and payment details and its general popularity as a CMS platform has made it a constant for such attacks.

What do SQL injections do?

The usual procedure of SQL injections involves the inserting of compromised data or code, or illegally obtaining the information from the database. While this may not compromise your site indirectly, it forces open vulnerable positions that hackers can then exploit for malicious attacks. This means using privileged escalation or flaws in the code execution which bypass authentication to infect the site. It also allows frequent automated attacks till one of the vulnerabilities are successfully compromised. 

The database component of the Magento platform is the most sensitive to hacking attempts, with only a couple of steps required to read the entire content within it, manipulate and modify this content, or even delete it entirely. 

Sensitive payment information such as credit card details can be stolen or admin credentials can be compromised leading to privilege escalations. As advancements are made in detecting and resolving My SQL injections are made frequently, newer versions arrive that are adaptable to obstacles such as Magento store security audits and filtering processes. 

Different reasons make it easier for the occurrence of SQL injections such as faulty implementation of code with lack of security and required sensitivity to external attacks, taking in dynamic queries and unsanitized input which leaves the system open to manipulation and modification of the database, using code that evaluates to ‘True’ to decrease login restrictions, etc. Improper permissions given for access to the database and core files can also compromise on integrity and allow manipulation. 

What are some steps you can take?

  • Checking the security’ tab available under the ‘Google Search Console’ can give you a picture of the flow of payment and other suspicious software as well as any changes in existing files that are not recognizable or approved from your side. This will give you an idea of the location of the hack; if not, make sure to run the site’s URL through online scanners and check for suspicious and/or recent additions to the ‘administrators’ tab to confirm the SQL injection into your Magento site. 
  • Upgrading to the latest Magento software available is immediately advisable – especially Commerce and Open Source software users to the new releases of 2.3.1, 2.2.8, 2.1.17, depending on the type of platform each one uses. If you wish to protect your site before going through the entire update process, users can also utilize the option to manually install the option for the SQL injection.
  • Another cautionary step that can be taken is monitoring your access logs for hits to catalog or product or frontend_action_synchronize path – occasional hits are legitimate, but the more frequent it becomes from the same IP address within a short time period is suspicious and could possibly be a hacking attempt.
  • The cleaning process must include checking your core CMS files for any changes, missing Magento security patches, any possible infections on your database, and website files. Keep an eye out on the external links in the source code, and any unknown files or recent modifications. 
  • This is also a good time to confirm the user permissions – no files or folders should be given the ‘777’ permission. Change your admin URLs and passwords for stronger security such as that of your CMS admin portal, Database User Account, and the FTP/SSH server.
  • As always, maintain a back-up of your system files, site content, and the entire database to store in an external location or compressing them and downloading in a local location. You also have the option to request the respective hosting company for a back-up of all the website files. 

There are multiple steps and procedures one can follow on detecting SQL injections in the Magento platform – at the end of all the complications, simply implementing a secure Magento firewall and conducting regular security audits can still be greatly useful in the long run, so that is allows for frequent updates as the threats become stronger. 

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