Brakeman - Rails Security Scanner

Static analysis security scanner for Ruby on Rails

SQL Injection

Injection is #1 on the 2010 OWASP Top Ten web security risks. SQL injection is when a user is able to manipulate a value which is used unsafely inside a SQL query. This can lead to data leaks, data loss, elevation of privilege, and other unpleasant outcomes.

Brakeman focuses on ActiveRecord methods dealing with building SQL statements.

A basic (Rails 2.x) example looks like this:

User.first(:conditions => "username = '#{params[:username]}'")

Brakeman would produce a warning like this:

Possible SQL injection near line 30: User.first(:conditions => ("username = '#{params[:username]}'")) 

The safe way to do this query is to use a parameterized query:

User.first(:conditions => ["username = ?", params[:username]])

Brakeman also understands the new Rails 3.x way of doing things (and local variables and concatentation):

username = params[:user][:name].downcase
password = params[:user][:password]

User.first.where("username = '" + username + "' AND password = '" + password + "'")

This results in this kind of warning:

Possible SQL injection near line 37:
User.first.where((((("username = '" + params[:user][:name].downcase) + "' AND password = '") + params[:user][:password]) + "'"))

See the Ruby Security Guide for more information and Rails-SQLi.org for many examples of SQL injection in Rails.


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