CAPEC Details
Name SQL Injection through SOAP Parameter Tampering
Likelyhood of attack Typical severity
High Very High
Summary An attacker modifies the parameters of the SOAP message that is sent from the service consumer to the service provider to initiate a SQL injection attack. On the service provider side, the SOAP message is parsed and parameters are not properly validated before being used to access a database in a way that does not use parameter binding, thus enabling the attacker to control the structure of the executed SQL query. This pattern describes a SQL injection attack with the delivery mechanism being a SOAP message.
Prerequisites SOAP messages are used as a communication mechanism in the system SOAP parameters are not properly validated at the service provider The service provider does not properly utilize parameter binding when building SQL queries
Execution Flow
Step Phase Description Techniques
1 Explore [Detect Incorrect SOAP Parameter Handling] The attacker tampers with the SOAP message parameters and looks for indications that the tampering caused a change in behavior of the targeted application.
  • The attacker tampers with the SOAP message parameters by injecting some special characters such as single quotes, double quotes, semi columns, etc. The attacker observes system behavior.
2 Experiment [Probe for SQL Injection vulnerability] The attacker injects SQL syntax into vulnerable SOAP parameters identified during the Explore phase to search for unfiltered execution of the SQL syntax in a query.
3 Exploit [Inject SQL via SOAP Parameters] The attacker injects SQL via SOAP parameters identified as vulnerable during Explore phase to launch a first or second order SQL injection attack.
  • An attacker performs a SQL injection attack via the usual methods leveraging SOAP parameters as the injection vector. An attacker has to be careful not to break the XML parser at the service provider which may prevent the payload getting through to the SQL query. The attacker may also look at the WSDL for the web service (if available) to better understand what is expected by the service provider.
Solutions Properly validate and sanitize/reject user input at the service provider. Ensure that prepared statements or other mechanism that enables parameter binding is used when accessing the database in a way that would prevent the attackers' supplied data from controlling the structure of the executed query. At the database level, ensure that the database user used by the application in a particular context has the minimum needed privileges to the database that are needed to perform the operation. When possible, run queries against pre-generated views rather than the tables directly.
Related Weaknesses
CWE ID Description
CWE-20 Improper Input Validation
CWE-89 Improper Neutralization of Special Elements used in an SQL Command ('SQL Injection')
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: