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What Are the Key Steps in SQL Injection Testing for Web Apps?

icon Posted by: Praveen Joshi
icon November 7, 2023

In Brief:

What is a SQL Injection Attack?

An SQL Injection Attack is a malevolent tactic. Here, a hacker takes advantage of weaknesses in the input fields of a web application. This allows them to alter or inject SQL (Structured Query Language) commands into the database of the program. Unauthorized access, data theft, or even data alteration may result from this. Attackers can obtain sensitive data, circumvent authentication, or even corrupt the database by introducing specially constructed SQL statements. Use prepared statements or parameterized queries, validate, and sanitize user input, and adhere to secure coding principles. These practices would help you reduce this serious security risk to prevent SQL Injection Attacks.


of web applications are vulnerable to SQL injection.


increase in SQL injection attacks has been registered during the last year.


of SQL injection attacks are targeted at websites in the financial sector.


of SQL injection attacks are targeted at websites in the healthcare sector.

Key Steps in SQL Injection Testing for Web Apps

Testing for SQL Injection in web applications is crucial to identify and mitigate vulnerabilities. Here is a web application penetration testing checklist to identify SQL injection vulnerabilities:

1. Information Gathering:

Begin by understanding the application’s architecture, database type, and input points like forms and URL parameters.

2. Manual Inspection:

Manually inspect input fields for vulnerabilities by entering special characters (‘, “, ;, etc.) to see if they are processed unsafely.

3. Automated Scanning:

Utilize automated tools like SQLMap to scan for potential vulnerabilities. These tools attempt to inject SQL code and detect any weaknesses.

4. Error Messages:

Analyze error messages returned by the application. They can reveal information about the database and its structure.

5. Blind SQL Injection:

Test for blind SQL injection by sending payloads that infer the database’s response through true/false statements and time delays. You can also use other out-of-band techniques.

6. Time-Based Attacks:

Perform time-based attacks to identify delays in the application’s responses, which may indicate successful SQL Injection.

7. Boolean-Based Attacks:

Employ Boolean-based attacks to infer data based on true/false responses from the application.

8. Union-Based Attacks:

Use UNION-based attacks to retrieve data from the database by injecting a UNION statement to combine results with the original query.

9. Out-of-Band Attacks:

Try out-of-band attacks, where data is exfiltrated through a different communication channel, like DNS or HTTP requests.

10.  Authentication Bypass:

Check for authentication bypass vulnerabilities by manipulating login forms to gain unauthorized access.

11. Data Exfiltration:

Attempt to extract sensitive data from the database by injecting SQL statements that retrieve desired information.

12. Payloads and Filters:

Experiment with various payloads and bypass filters, if any, in place to prevent SQL Injection.

13. Logs and Errors:

Monitor server logs and error messages for any unusual or unexpected behavior that may indicate successful SQL Injection.

14. Report and Remediate:

Document and report all findings to the development team or application owners. Provide recommendations for fixing the identified vulnerabilities, such as input validation, prepared statements, or parameterized queries.

15. Re-Test:

After remediation, re-test the application to ensure that the SQL Injection vulnerabilities have been effectively resolved.

Regular SQL Injection testing is essential to maintain the security of web applications. Plus, it is vital to protect against potential data breaches and unauthorized access to sensitive information.

How Deep a Damage SQL Inject Can Cause to Your Website?

Websites are susceptible to serious damage from SQL Injection attacks. Attackers may enter databases without authorization, take confidential information, alter, or even remove records. They might get into user accounts, take out personal data, and then utilize that information for identity theft or fraud.

Moreover, SQL Injection can result in a full website compromise. It might give attackers the ability to deface the website, run arbitrary code on the server, and infect users with malware. A successful SQL Injection attack can have serious negative effects on an organization’s reputation.

Additionally, it might result in financial losses and legal ramifications. For this reason, protecting web applications from this threat is vital.

Before You Go!

  • As you can now understand how catastrophic the consequences of a SQL injection attack can be.
  • So, it is important to conduct regular web application penetration testing on your web applications. This will protect them from such lethal attacks.
  • There are various cyber security companies in dubai that might help you with the process.


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