Advanced Exploitation with Sqlmap

We have learnt the basic exploitation of Sql Injection with the help of Sqlmap in our previous posts. But there is always a step further. In this post we will see most advanced exploitation with Sqlmap.

Once again 3 cheers to Kunal for helping me out for this post.

In our first post of Sqlmap, we have explained few basic options of Sqlmap. We will see some more.

Advanced Exploitation with Sqlmap

Whenever I meet people and talk about any vulnerability, my first and final ask remains the same what is most extreme thing we can do by exploiting that vulnerability. In the case of SQL Injection most of my peers don’t discuss beyond downloading or altering the database. Although we can go beyond it and take the control of the application completely with the help of shell. we can run the os-commands, upload a file, read an existing file and what not.

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Form based SQL Injection with Sqlmap

In previous post we have seen the basic tutorial of Sqlmap and the exploitation.

The exploitation was about the GET request or where the vulnerable parameter is passing in the URL. There is another aspect of Sql Injection where it happens in form based submissions. In more technical terms a POST request where the certain parameters are being sent to server. In this post we will exploit form based SQL Injection with Sqlmap.

This post could have been delayed without the help of Kunal Pachauri, so just a shoutout for him before I start this post.

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Sqlmap tutorial for beginners – hacking with sql injection

As I discussed in my previous post that we can exploit Union Based SQL Injection with the help of manual SQL queries. now we will do the same exercise with a Python based tool SQLMAP.

Note:- This tutorial is being carried out on demo test site provided by ACUNETIX, You can also try on the same website.


Sqlmap is arguably the most popular and powerful sql injection automation tool available and it is completely open-source. All it needs is the vulnerable URL in case of get request or a text file in case we want to perform it on a post request.

Sqlmap can exploit the application’s database and do a lot of hacking like extracting database names, tables, columns, all the data in the tables etc. It can even read and write files on the remote file system under certain conditions.

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Install Sqlmap on Windows

Sqlmap is arguably the most popular tool for exploitation of sql injection vulnerability and database takeover. It is completely automated and customization depending upon the server or database configurations. This tool provides wide ranges of flags which can be used to trigger an attack in an effective manner. It is completely open-source in terms of license. Its written in python. Now as I am going to discuss more and more about sqlmap it’s usage and tutorials in my forthcoming blogs so we need to know how to install and start sqlmap for further uses.

If you use Kali, Backtrack or any such VM then it comes as a package.

This post is a brief guide to setup and run sqlmap on windows. I am installing on Windows 10 machines but it works fine on any windows flavor, we just need python to support it.
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OS Command Injection : Simple yet effective

What is OS Command Injection

OS Command Injection is a vulnerability which describes improper neutralization of special elements. It can result in modification of the intended OS command that is sent to a downstream component.
So, OS command injection weaknesses can expose an environment to an attacker even if he does not have direct access to the operating system. Also, if the application is running with higher privilege, it may allow an attacker to specify commands that may not be available otherwise.

Running OS commands is very useful functionality but it can equally trigger a vulnerability if not used correctly.

Types of OS Command Injection

There are two sub-types of command Injection.

  • An application executes a fixed program that is under its control and accepts external input as arguments to that program. e.g. the application may run system(“nslookup [HOSTNAME]”) to run nslookup and allow the user to supply a HOSTNAME, which is actually an argument.
    Interestingly, if the program does not remove separators from the externally supplied HOSTNAME argument, the attacker could place separators inside the argument and execute his own command.
  • The application uses input to select which program to run and what commands to use. The application sanitizes the input and then simply redirects the entire command to the operating system.

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Kernel bridge is melting down – Meltdown Vulnerability with POC on Ubuntu/Kali(Intel)

Hello folks ! I know it has been a long while since I wrote on this weblog. But the start of this year was much enthusiastic in terms of newly discovered vulnerabilities. Yes I am talking about Spectre and Meltdown
So today we will discuss about Meltdown. 

What the heck it is !

Spectre and Meltdown are the different variants of the same fundamental underlying vulnerability that affects nearly every computer chip manufactured in the last 20 years. If exploited, it allows attackers to get access to data previously considered completely protected. These vulnerabilities involve a malicious program gaining access to unauthorized data, and by exploiting two important techniques used to speed up computer chips, called speculative execution and caching.

When I first heard about this vulnerability the first thing came into my mind was how it is possible to have unprivileged access as we already have “Page Tables” in place. But as it still happened. lets see how.

So when a software running on a Core requires memory it starts a so called “load” command. The load command is then processed in multiple stages until the data is found and returned or an error occurred. Below is the simple representation of the memory subsystem.

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Traceroute : How it works

Traceroute is a computer network diagnostic tool for displaying the route (path) and measuring transit delays of packets across an Internet Protocol (IP) network. It utilizes the IP protocol’s time to live (TTL) field and attempts to elicit an ICMP TIME_EXCEEDED response from each gateway along the path to the host.

This tool verifies the path by which our packet should reach the destination, without actually sending the data. This post is not anything about how this tool works it’s rather about the concept this tools uses for fulfilling our purpose.

We can always refer the Linux man and info pages for gaining the knowledge about how to use this tool.

You should kow the basics first

Each IP packet that we send on the internet has a field called as TTL. TTL stands for Time To Live. we can measure TTL by the  no of hops. Its the maximum number of hops that a packet can travel through across the internet, before its discarded. Hops are the computers, routers, or any devices that comes in between the source and the destination. If there is no TTL in an IP packet, the packet will flow endlessly from one router to another and on and on forever searching for the destination. Operating System automatically handles TTL value, although we can change it with the help of few tools.

Now If the destination is not found after traveling through too many hops, the receiving router will drop the packet and informs the original sender. Let’s say I need to reach Ip address, and my default TTL value is 30 hops. Which means i can travel a maximum of 30 hops to reach my destination, before which the packet is dropping. Each router that comes in between the source and destination will go on reducing the TTL value before sending to the next router.

Which means if i have a default TTL value of 30, then my first router will reduce it to 29 and then send that to the next router across the path. Again the receiving router will make it 28 and send to the next and so on. If a router receives a packet with TTl of 1, the packet will be discarded. But the router which discards the packet will inform the original sender that the TTL value has exceeded. Once the receiver gets the message he will come to know about the sender. Read more

Back Refresh Attack Vulnerability on QualysGuard- Your browser’s back button can do more than you think !!

Hello Guys !! Hope the new year started good for you all. Continuing my previous statement of sometimes functionality leads to vulnerability..”, I am gonna start discussing this another feature of the browser which can lead to leaking sensitive information like your passwords and sometimes even you complete Credit Card details. Definitely there are scenarios and certain dependencies which we will go though in later in the post.

What Actually this vulnerability is !!

As you have already noticed the back and forward buttons of the browsers. These buttons simply navigate you to through the pages you have visited during your browsing history. So definitely browsers have the ability to maintain a recent record of pages that a users visits during the session. The back and forward button on browsers use this functionality to display the pages recently browsed.

In addition browsers also keep track of variables that were sent to server(Even by a POST Request) while you fetched any page.

These attractive feature enhances the user experience definitely but can be very harmful if the applications doesn’t handle it properly.

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CSV Macro Injection

CSV Macro Injection : It’s rather a trick to abuse the functionality…

Application security is quite a tricky domain. Just imagine for all those years when you thought something as a functionality of the application and suddenly it turns out to be a vulnerability which can be exploited to take down your system completely. CSV Macro Injection/Formula Injection is also one of those. We will look into it in detail that how a simple and such useful feature can become vulnerable and abuse the complete CIA triangle.

We can’t deny the usefulness of spreadsheets in our daily IT/Non-IT life. If you have bulk data and you want it to edit, sort, represent, compute(we really can do more stuffs than this as well) repetitively the excel and CSV is the correct file format for you. In computing, a comma-separated values (CSV) file stores tabular data (numbers and text) in plain text. Each line of the file is a data record.

Each record consists of one or more fields, separated by commas. The use of the comma as a field separator is the source of the name for this file format. The CSV file format is not standard. The basic idea of separating fields with a comma is clear, but that idea complicates when the field data may also contain commas or even line-breaks. CSV implementations may not handle such field data, or they may use quotation marks to surround the field. Quotation does not solve everything: some fields may need embedded quotation marks, so a CSV implementation may include escape characters or escape sequences.

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Is your CAPTCHA Strong enough !!

We have seen a lot of DoS (Denial of Service) attacks in recent times. An old but promising solution to DoS attacks in web applications is to have CAPTCHA implemented in the publicly available form/pages.  However, all CAPTCHA implementations are not quite safe, and some implementations would give the user a headache.

man image

There are recent developments on simplifying CAPTCHA- But on simplifying, some developers forget the purpose of CAPTCHA.
Well, what is the purpose of using CAPTCHA?

In simple words CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) is a program to ‘ensure’ that the user is a human.

Almost 80% of custom CAPTCHA implementations are found to be unsafe during our evaluations. So what all are the measures to make sure the application has safe and simple CAPTCHA?

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