CAPEC Details
Name Object Relational Mapping Injection
Likelyhood of attack Typical severity
Low High
Summary An attacker leverages a weakness present in the database access layer code generated with an Object Relational Mapping (ORM) tool or a weakness in the way that a developer used a persistence framework to inject their own SQL commands to be executed against the underlying database. The attack here is similar to plain SQL injection, except that the application does not use JDBC to directly talk to the database, but instead it uses a data access layer generated by an ORM tool or framework (e.g. Hibernate). While most of the time code generated by an ORM tool contains safe access methods that are immune to SQL injection, sometimes either due to some weakness in the generated code or due to the fact that the developer failed to use the generated access methods properly, SQL injection is still possible.
Prerequisites An application uses data access layer generated by an ORM tool or framework An application uses user supplied data in queries executed against the database The separation between data plane and control plane is not ensured, through either developer error or an underlying weakness in the data access layer code generation framework
Execution Flow
Step Phase Description Techniques
1 Explore [Determine Persistence Framework Used] An attacker tries to determine what persistence framework is used by the application in order to leverage a weakness in the generated data access layer code or a weakness in a way that the data access layer may have been used by the developer.
  • An attacker provides input to the application in an attempt to induce an error screen that reveals a stack trace that gives an indication of the automated data access layer used. Or an attacker may simply make some educated guesses and assume, for instance, that Hibernate is used and try to craft an attack from there.
2 Explore [Probe for ORM Injection vulnerabilities] The attacker injects ORM syntax into user-controllable data inputs of the application to determine if it is possible modify data query structure and content.
3 Exploit [Perform SQL Injection through the generated data access layer] An attacker proceeds to exploit a weakness in the generated data access methods that does not properly separate control plane from the data plan, or potentially a particular way in which developer might have misused the generated code, to modify the structure of the executed SQL queries and/or inject entirely new SQL queries.
  • An attacker uses normal SQL injection techniques and adjusts them to reflect the type of data access layer generation framework used by the application.
Solutions Remember to understand how to use the data access methods generated by the ORM tool / framework properly in a way that would leverage the built-in security mechanisms of the framework Ensure to keep up to date with security relevant updates to the persistence framework used within your application.
Related Weaknesses
CWE ID Description
CWE-20 Improper Input Validation
CWE-89 Improper Neutralization of Special Elements used in an SQL Command ('SQL Injection')
CWE-564 SQL Injection: Hibernate
Related CAPECS
CAPEC ID Description
CAPEC-66 This attack exploits target software that constructs SQL statements based on user input. An attacker crafts input strings so that when the target software constructs SQL statements based on the input, the resulting SQL statement performs actions other than those the application intended. SQL Injection results from failure of the application to appropriately validate input. When specially crafted user-controlled input consisting of SQL syntax is used without proper validation as part of SQL queries, it is possible to glean information from the database in ways not envisaged during application design. Depending upon the database and the design of the application, it may also be possible to leverage injection to have the database execute system-related commands of the attackers' choice. SQL Injection enables an attacker to talk directly to the database, thus bypassing the application completely. Successful injection can cause information disclosure as well as ability to add or modify data in the database. In order to successfully inject SQL and retrieve information from a database, an attacker: