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Julien Delange Monday, January 2, 2023

Present SQL injection with JavaScript and Knex.js (CWE-89)

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Julien Delange, Founder and CEO

Julien is the CEO of Codiga. Before starting Codiga, Julien was a software engineer at Twitter and Amazon Web Services.

Julien has a PhD in computer science from Universite Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, France.

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What is Knex.js?

Knex.js is a SQL query builder for JavaScript. It can be used with several different SQL databases, including MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQLite. It provides a simple and powerful way to build and execute SQL queries in JavaScript, as well as a helpful set of utilities for working with databases in your Node.js applications.

Knex.js works by allowing you to build up SQL queries using a chainable syntax, similar to how you might use the jQuery library to build up DOM element selections. For example, you might use Knex.js to build a simple SELECT query like this:

knex
  .select("*")
  .from("users")
  .where({ id: 1 })
  .then((rows) => {
    console.log(rows);
  });

Knex.js also provides a set of utility functions for working with transactions, migrations, and seeds in your database. Transactions allow you to execute a set of SQL queries as a single unit, either committing the changes if all queries succeed or rolling them back if any of the queries fail. Migrations allow you to manage changes to the structure of your database over time, while seeds provide a way to populate your database with initial data.

Overall, Knex.js is a useful tool for anyone looking to build Node.js applications that interact with a SQL database. It provides a simple and powerful way to build and execute SQL queries, as well as a helpful set of utilities for working with databases in your applications.

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What is a SQL injection?

An SQL injection is a type of security vulnerability that allows an attacker to execute malicious SQL statements against a database. It is one of the most common web application vulnerabilities, and it can be used to compromise the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data in a database. It is referenced as CWE-89 in the Common Weakness Enumeration and is one of the most common vulnerability.

SQL injection attacks are possible because of a lack of proper input validation and sanitization. When an application constructs SQL statements dynamically, it is possible for an attacker to manipulate the input in such a way that the resulting SQL statement will execute unintended actions on the database. This can include reading or modifying sensitive data, or even dropping tables or deleting the entire database.

To prevent SQL injection attacks, it is important to validate and sanitize user input carefully. This includes ensuring that input is of the expected type, length, and format, and escaping or encoding special characters in user input that might be used to inject malicious SQL statements. It is also a good idea to use prepared statements or parameterized queries, which separate user input from the SQL statement itself, making it much more difficult for an attacker to inject malicious code.

Can you have SQL injections with Knex.js?

It is possible to have a SQL injection vulnerability when using Knex.js, or any other SQL query builder. This is because the vulnerability is not caused by the query builder itself, but rather by the way in which user input is incorporated into dynamically constructed SQL statements.

If user input is not properly validated and sanitized before being included in a SQL statement, an attacker could potentially manipulate the input in such a way as to inject malicious SQL code. This could allow the attacker to read or modify sensitive data, or even drop tables or delete the entire database.

To prevent SQL injection vulnerabilities when using Knex.js, it is important to carefully validate and sanitize user input, and to use prepared statements or parameterized queries whenever possible. This will help to ensure that user input is properly escaped or encoded, and that it cannot be used to inject malicious SQL code into your database.

Detect SQL injections when using Knex.js?

Codiga has code analysis rules specific to Knex.js to check that query inputs are correctly sanitized. In particular, these rules prevent users from doing any query with raw parameters that are not correctly sanitized. For example, the rule javascript-knex/raw-sql-injection ensures that developers to not use any raw data.

Codiga provides IDE plugins and integrations with GitHub, GitLab, or Bitbucket to detect potential SQL injection in existing code and in pull requests. The Codiga plugins detect SQL injections directly directly in your IDE.

Avoid SQL Injections with Knex.js

To use this rule consistently, all you need to do is to install the integration in your IDE (for VS Code, JetBrains or VisualStudio) and add a codiga.yml file at the root of your profile with the following content:

rulesets:
  - javascript-knex

Codiga will automatically analyzes your code directly in your IDE and report potential SQL injections.

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