Magento SQL Injection: Secure Magento from SQL Injection Vulnerability

Magento SQL Injection: Secure Magento from SQL Injection Vulnerability

Magento SQL injection is a vulnerability found in web-based applications. It enables attackers to interact with databases using carefully crafted queries. Through this exploit, attackers can gain access to your protected data. This article aims to provide you with essential knowledge and tools. These resources will help you identify, prevent, and mitigate potential SQL injection attacks on your Magento site.

Key Takeaways

  • Discover the risks associated with SQL injection in Magento and how hackers exploit it to steal sensitive data.

  • Explore the importance of encryption and unsanitized user input in preventing SQL injection attacks to secure your database.

  • Learn how to implement variable size restrictions to safeguard your Magento store against long SQL statements.

  • Upgrade your Magento security by examining server logs and blocking unauthorized access to mitigate SQL injection.

  • Explore the role of web application firewalls in protecting your store from SQL attacks.

What is Magento SQL Injection?

Explaining Magento SQL Injection vulnerabilities and risks SQL injection enables malicious individuals to interact with databases using specifically crafted queries. It gives access to sensitive Magento data.

A successful SQL injection attack can lead to unauthorized access to highly sensitive Magento data. This data includes user passwords, banking information, and personally identifiable details. Here are some ways it can exploit your system:

  1. Unauthorized Database Modifications: Attackers can make significant and unauthorized changes to the database, potentially disrupting the system's functionality.

  2. Database Manipulation: In some instances, attackers can delete or manipulate the entire database, causing extensive data loss.

  3. Theft of User Information: SQL injection can result in the theft of user information, including the leakage of administrative credentials.

  4. Establishment of a Backdoor: Attackers might also establish a reverse shell or a persistent backdoor into an organization's system, compromising security.

Unauthenticated SQL injection vulnerability is also known as CVE-2019-7139 or PRODSECBUG-2198. It affects specific Magento versions. The following Magento versions are:

  • Magento Open Source <=
  • Magento Commerce <=
  • Magento 2.1 <= 2.1.16
  • Magento 2.2 <= 2.2.7
  • Magento 2.3.0

This vulnerability is in the prepareSqlCondition method, which resides in the file lib\Magento\Framework\DB\Adapter\Pdo\Mysql.php. It stems from a logical error in the construction of SQL queries.

Causes of Magento SQL Injection

1. Lack of encryption

Failure to encrypt sensitive data, like passwords, can worsen the impact of a Magento SQL injection. Encrypting sensitive table values is crucial to mitigate the consequences of an attack. Ensure that encryption is set to True for your database. So it can act as damage control in case of Magento SQL injection attack. SQL attack code looks like this:

$query = $this->_prepareQuotedSqlCondition($query . $conditionKeyMap['to'], $to, $fieldName);

Change this, to:

$query = $query . $this->_prepareQuotedSqlCondition($conditionKeyMap['to'], $to, $fieldName);

Choose encryption algorithms like AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) and update yourself with encryption practices to prevent this.

2. Unsanitized user input

Insufficient input sanitization is a common issue that frequently leads to the creation of dynamic queries. For example:

txtUserId = getRequestString("UserId");
txtSQL = "SELECT * FROM Users WHERE UserId = " ' + txtUserId ' ";

This code requests and uses UserId in the SQL query. An attacker could input 105'; DROP TABLE Users, causing one query to execute after another. The final query that will be executed will be:

SELECT * FROM Users WHERE UserId = 105; DROP TABLE Users;

To prevent this, consider using prepared statements instead of dynamic queries.

3. Variable size restrictions

One essential aspect to consider when securing your Magento is imposing size limits on variables. It means putting restrictions on how much data users can submit. Users risk sending overly long and potentially harmful instructions to your system without these limits.

These long SQL statements lead to Magento SQL injection attacks. Putting these restrictions in place creates a protective barrier that helps prevent such attacks.

4. Tautological attacks

Tautological attacks exploit statements that are evaluated to be true. It allows them to bypass login restrictions. For instance, consider a login page source code:

$_POST['username'] = '';
$_POST['password'] = '';
$query = "SELECT * FROM users WHERE user='{$_POST['username']}' AND password='{$_POST['password']}'";
echo $query;

If an attacker inputs admin' or 1=1--, they can bypass the login page and gain unauthorized access. The SQL statement looks like this:

SELECT * FROM users WHERE user= 'admin' AND password='' OR 1=1--

5. Neglect of secure content and coding practices

Developers occasionally neglect secure coding practices, which can lead to the execution of code on the client side. Since this code runs on the client's machine, it can be manipulated by the client, potentially bypassing input validation. To prevent Magento SQL injection, sensitive functions should run on the server side.

6. Exposure of error messages

Error messages can accidentally reveal system details, such as database columns and versions. Disabling error messages can reduce Magento SQL injection risks. It doesn't eliminate the possibility of blind SQL injection.

Note- It is best to switch off error messages for the users.

7. Improper database privileges

Lack of proper permissions can also lead to a Magento SQL injection attack. If the attacker compromises the database, they may gain admin privileges. It allows them to manipulate the data. Proper database privileges can restrict SQL commands and enhance security. Database privileges can stop SQL commands like Update, Insert, etc. To prevent this breach of data, set the DBA to False.

8. Variable size restrictions

One essential aspect to consider when securing your Magento is imposing variable size limits. It means putting restrictions on how much data users can submit. Users risk sending overly long and potentially harmful instructions to your system without these limits.

These long SQL statements lead to Magento SQL injection attacks. Putting these restrictions in place creates a protective barrier that helps prevent such attacks.

Magento Security Audit Post SQL Injection

1. Detection of SQL Injection vulnerability

To identify SQL injection issues in Magento, begin with examining the server logs. These logs reveal the SQL statements being used. Pay close attention to database logs to identify recent changes and the appearance of new users.

As a precautionary measure, temporarily disable affected pages until the underlying code is fixed. Ensure the database instance does not run as an Admin on the server, limiting the attacker's read-only access. Following this, proceed with a Magento security audit.

2. Checking for suspicious threats and activity

One way to detect potential threats is by running the command show tables ;. If tables like Sqlmap are present, it may indicate using automated tools on the website. The next step is to examine new user accounts. Utilize the following SQL query:

SELECT * FROM users AS u
AND u.created > UNIX_TIMESTAMP(STR_TO_DATE('June 15 2018', '%M %d %Y '));

This SQL query displays users created after June 15th. The date can be adjusted to examine earlier periods. To remove rogue databases, you can use the following SQL statement:

DROP DATABASE database-name.dbo;

3. Blocking unauthorized users

Once rogue users are detected, it is essential to take action. Execute the following SQL statement to update user passwords:

UPDATE users SET pass = CONCAT('ZZZ', SHA(CONCAT(pass, MD5(RAND())));

This SQL statement updates the user table and encrypts the passwords, making it challenging for attackers to gain access to plain text passwords.

4. Database restoration

In the event that the attacker has deleted the database, it can be restored from a backup. Follow these steps:

  1. Initiate the MySQL command-line client and log in using the following command:
mysql -u root -p 'your password'
  1. Execute the subsequent SQL statements to restore the database:
USE new_db;
\. backupfile.sql

This process aids in the recovery of the database and mitigates the damage caused by the Magento SQL injection hack.

Note- Magento security audit remains a crucial step after this.

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The URL parameters ___store and ___from_store are typically used in Magento multistore installations to switch between store versions and languages. These parameters are often exploited by attackers employing SQL injection queries.

It is commonly observed when using automated security tools like SQLMap and Acunetix. When these tools suspect the potential for a union injection, they initially determine the required number of fields in the union query and identify which fields are reflected in the output. Employing a unique query in testing various scenarios bypasses certain security systems where field indexes cannot be referred to in the query.

Preventing Magento SQL Injection Attacks

1. Use a Web Application Firewall

Implementing a Web Application Firewall to prevent Magento SQL Injection

Manually inspecting code for Magento SQL injection attacks can be painstaking. Consider hiring experts to assist in this regard. Implementing a web application firewall also adds an extra layer of protection.

It analyzes incoming traffic and filters out malicious commands or requests before reaching your Magento system. This approach significantly reduces the risk of SQL injection attacks and other malicious activities.

2. Use Prepared Statements

Prepared statements are an alternative to dynamic queries. These statements are prepared and analyzed before execution. The database first stores the statement without executing it, checking the parameters.

It ensures that a string input remains a string and is safeguarded against malicious input. Here's an implementation example in MySQL and PHP:

$servername = "localhost";
$username = "username";
$password = "password";
$dbname = "myDB";
// create connection
$conn = new mysqli($servername, $username, $password, $dbname);
// Check connection 
if ($conn->connect_error) {
die("Connection failed: " . $conn->connect_error);
// prepare and bind
$stmt = $conn->prepare("INSERT INTO MyGuests (firstname, lastname, email) VALUES (?, ?, ?)");
$stmt->bind_param("sss", $firstname, $lastname, $email);
// set parameters and execute
$firstname = "John";
$lastname = "Doe";
$email = "";
$stmt->execute ();

$firstname = "Mary";
$lastname = "Doe";
$email = "mary@example. com";
$stmt->execute ();

$firstname = "Julie";
$lastname = "Dooley";
$email = "julie@example. com";
$stmt->execute ();
echo "New records created successfull" ;
$conn->close ();

3. Limit privileges

To enhance security, encrypt sensitive columns in the database. It adds an extra layer of protection. The attacker would face the challenge of brute-forcing the password even if the database is compromised.

Also, enforce the use of strong passwords and restrict database privileges. ISecure password practices significantly reduce the risk of attackers gaining access. Disallow statements like Update and Drop. It ensures that only authorized individuals can make significant changes to the database, securing any risk of malicious changes

4. Protection parameters

Protection parameters prevent Magento SQL injection attacks. Each database has specific parameters designed to thwart such attacks. For instance, consider the following code:

txtUser = getRequestString("User");
txtPass = getRequestString("Password");
txtOTP = getRequestString("OTP");
txtSQL = "INSERT INTO Login (User,Password,OTP Values(@0,@1,@2)";

The input parameters are represented by the '@' marker. It prompts the SQL engine to check and ensure these parameters are treated. It also prevents user input from becoming part of the SQL statement. In the PHP, the code looks like:

$stmt = $dbh->prepare("INSERT INTO Login (User,Password,OTP) VALUES (:usr, :pass, :otp)");
$stmt->bindParam(':usr', $txtUser);
$stmt->bindParam(':pass', $txtPass);
$stmt->bindParam(':otp', $txtOtp);

5. Patching and updating to the latest version of Magento

To protect your Magento store from future attacks, it's crucial to patch and update to the latest version of Magento regularly. It ensures any known vulnerabilities are fixed and security measures are up-to-date.

It helps safeguard your store against potential threats and keeps your customer data secure. Regular updates also help stay current with the latest security enhancements provided by Magento. These updates keep improving Magento security, reducing the risk of SQL injection vulnerabilities.

Make sure to prioritize these updates as part of your overall security strategy for a safer Magento store experience.

6. Implementing user input escaping

Treating all user-supplied data as malicious helps mitigate the risk of SQL injection attacks. To implement this safeguard effectively, consider employing input validation mechanisms. It includes functions such as the mysql_real_escape_string() function.

This function is pivotal in ensuring that user-provided data is thoroughly sanitized before being incorporated into SQL queries. It detects and neutralizes malicious characters, such as single quotes (') and double quotes ("), which attackers often utilize to inject harmful code into your system.

7. Implementing proper input sanitation

Proper input sanitation ensures that all user inputs are thoroughly checked and validated before being used in any database queries. Doing so can prevent malicious code from being injected into your database through user input fields like forms or search boxes.

Regularly auditing your codebase and using secure coding practices will help identify potential vulnerabilities. It also establishes effective input sanitation measures.


1. What is SQL injection, and how can a hacker exploit it in Magento?

SQL injection is a method hackers use to insert malicious SQL queries into your website's input fields. In Magento hosting sites, this can lead to unauthorized access to sensitive data. By exploiting vulnerabilities, a hacker can steal user information, manipulate databases, or establish backdoors for future attacks.

2. How does SQL injection differ from Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) attacks?

SQL injection primarily targets databases and is focused on manipulating queries to access or modify data. Cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks involve injecting malicious scripts into web pages. It affects other users by executing scripts within their browsers.

3. How can I authenticate and secure my Magento store against SQL injection?

Consider implementing prepared statements instead of dynamic queries to authenticate and secure your Magento site against SQL injection. These statements are pre-analyzed, preventing unauthorized queries from being executed. Also, regularly update your Magento version to stay protected against known vulnerabilities.

4. What should I do if my Magento store experiences SQL injection exploitation?

If your Magento store is subjected to SQL injection exploitation, immediately examine server logs, block unauthorized users, and temporarily disable affected pages. Update user passwords and consider restoring the database from a backup to mitigate the damage caused.

5. Can tools or services help protect my Magento store from SQL injection attacks?

Yes, you can enhance your Magento store's security by using web application firewalls. These tools analyze incoming traffic and filter out malicious commands, reducing the risk of SQL injection attacks.

6. How can I prevent SQL injection attacks in Magento if I have limited technical expertise?

If you have limited technical expertise, consider hiring experts to inspect your code for SQL injection vulnerabilities. Use prepared statements and apply variable size restrictions to help protect your Magento store without going into complex technical details.


Magento SQL injection allows hackers to exploit vulnerabilities and gain unauthorized access. It is a critical threat to the security of your e-commerce business. This guide covers essential strategies for your Magento store against SQL injection attacks. It includes encryption, prepared statements, and the importance of keeping your Magento server up to date.

Consider implementing the latest security updates and practices to safeguard your Magento 2 server. It helps protect your e-commerce business and customer data.

Maria Ajnawala
Maria Ajnawala
Technical Writer

Maria has over five years of expertise in content marketing, specialising in Magento insights and industry trends. She excels in creating engaging content that resonates within the Magento community.

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