CWE-943: Improper Neutralization of Special Elements in Data Query Logic
Weakness ID: 943
The application generates a query intended to access or manipulate data in a data store such as a database, but it does not neutralize or incorrectly neutralizes special elements that can modify the intended logic of the query.
Depending on the capabilities of the query language, an attacker could inject additional logic into the query to:
Modify the intended selection criteria, thus changing which data entities (e.g., records) are returned, modified, or otherwise manipulated
Append additional commands to the query
Return more entities than intended
Return fewer entities than intended
Cause entities to be sorted in an unexpected way
The ability to execute additional commands or change which entities are returned has obvious risks. But when the application logic depends on the order or number of entities, this can also lead to vulnerabilities. For example, if the application query expects to return only one entity that specifies an administrative user, but an attacker can change which entities are returned, this could cause the logic to return information for a regular user and incorrectly assume that the user has administrative privileges.
While this weakness is most commonly associated with SQL injection, there are many other query languages that are also subject to injection attacks, including HTSQL, LDAP, DQL, XQuery, Xpath, and "NoSQL" languages.
It could be argued that data query languages are effectively a command language - albeit with a limited set of commands - and thus any query-language injection issue could be treated as a child of CWE-74. However, CWE-943 is intended to better organize query-oriented issues to separate them from fully-functioning programming languages, and also to provide a more precise identifier for the many query languages that do not have their own CWE identifier.
This entry will be made more comprehensive in future CWE versions.
Internal CWE Team
CWE Content Team
More information is available — Please select a different filter.
Page Last Updated:
January 18, 2017
Use of the Common Weakness Enumeration and the associated references from this website are subject to the