How They Hack Your Website: Overview of Common Techniques
We hear the same terms bandied about whenever a popular site gets hacked. You know… SQL Injection, cross site scripting, that kind of thing. But what do these things mean? Is hacking really as inaccessible as many of us imagine; a nefarious, impossibly technical twilight world forever beyond our ken?
When you consider that you can go to Google right now and enter a search string which will return you thousands of usernames and passwords to websites, you realize that this dark science is really no mystery at all. You’ll react similarly when you see just how simple a concept SQL Injection is, and how it can be automated with simple tools. Read on, to learn the basics of how sites and web content management systems are most often hacked, and what you can do to reduce the risk of it happening to you.
SQL Injection involves entering SQL code into web forms, eg. login fields, or into the browser address field, to access and manipulate the database behind the site, system or application.
When you enter text in the Username and Password fields of a login screen, the data you input is typically inserted into an SQL command. This command checks the data you’ve entered against the relevant table in the database. If your input matches table/row data, you’re granted access (in the case of a login screen). If not, you’re knocked back out.