Code Injection

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What Does Code Injection Mean?

Code injection is the malicious injection or introduction of code into an application. The code introduced or injected is capable of compromising database integrity and/or compromising privacy properties, security and even data correctness. It can also steal data and/or bypass access and authentication control. Code injection attacks can plague applications that depend on user input for execution.


Techopedia Explains Code Injection

There are four main types of code injection attacks:

  • SQL injection
  • Script injection
  • Shell injection
  • Dynamic evaluation

SQL injection is a mode of attack that is used to corrupt a legitimate database query to provide falsified data. Script injection is an attack in which the attacker provides programming code to the server side of the scripting engine. Shell injection attacks, also known as operating system command attacks, manipulate applications that are used to formulate commands for the operating system. In a dynamic evaluation attack, an arbitrary code replaces the standard input, which results in the former being executed by the application. The difference between code injection and command injection, another form of attack, is the limitation of the functionality of the injected code for the malicious user.

Code injection vulnerabilities range from easy to difficult-to-find ones. Many solutions have been developed for thwarting these types of code injection attacks, for both application and architecture domain. Some examples include input validation, parameterization, privilege setting for different actions, addition of extra layer of protection and others.


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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.