Home > CAPEC List > CAPEC-110: SQL Injection through SOAP Parameter Tampering (Version 3.4)  

CAPEC-110: SQL Injection through SOAP Parameter Tampering

Attack Pattern ID: 110
Abstraction: Detailed
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
An attacker modifies the parameters of the SOAP message that is sent from the service consumer to the service provider to initiate a SQL injection attack. On the service provider side, the SOAP message is parsed and parameters are not properly validated before being used to access a database in a way that does not use parameter binding, thus enabling the attacker to control the structure of the executed SQL query. This pattern describes a SQL injection attack with the delivery mechanism being a SOAP message.
+ Likelihood Of Attack


+ Typical Severity

Very High

+ Relationships
Section HelpThis table shows the other attack patterns and high level categories that are related to this attack pattern. These relationships are defined as ChildOf and ParentOf, and give insight to similar items that may exist at higher and lower levels of abstraction. In addition, relationships such as CanFollow, PeerOf, and CanAlsoBe are defined to show similar attack patterns that the user may want to explore.
ChildOfStandard Attack PatternStandard Attack Pattern - A standard level attack pattern in CAPEC is focused on a specific methodology or technique used in an attack. It is often seen as a singular piece of a fully executed attack. A standard attack pattern is meant to provide sufficient details to understand the specific technique and how it attempts to accomplish a desired goal. A standard level attack pattern is a specific type of a more abstract meta level attack pattern.66SQL Injection
CanFollowDetailed Attack PatternDetailed Attack Pattern - A detailed level attack pattern in CAPEC provides a low level of detail, typically leveraging a specific technique and targeting a specific technology, and expresses a complete execution flow. Detailed attack patterns are more specific than meta attack patterns and standard attack patterns and often require a specific protection mechanism to mitigate actual attacks. A detailed level attack pattern often will leverage a number of different standard level attack patterns chained together to accomplish a goal.279SOAP Manipulation
Section HelpThis table shows the views that this attack pattern belongs to and top level categories within that view.
+ Execution Flow
  1. Detect Incorrect SOAP Parameter Handling: The attacker tampers with the SOAP message parameters and looks for indications that the tampering caused a change in behavior of the targeted application.

    The attacker tampers with the SOAP message parameters by injecting some special characters such as single quotes, double quotes, semi columns, etc. The attacker observes system behavior.
  1. Probe for SQL Injection vulnerability: The attacker injects SQL syntax into vulnerable SOAP parameters identified during the Explore phase to search for unfiltered execution of the SQL syntax in a query.

  1. Inject SQL via SOAP Parameters: The attacker injects SQL via SOAP parameters identified as vulnerable during Explore phase to launch a first or second order SQL injection attack.

    An attacker performs a SQL injection attack via the usual methods leveraging SOAP parameters as the injection vector. An attacker has to be careful not to break the XML parser at the service provider which may prevent the payload getting through to the SQL query. The attacker may also look at the WSDL for the web service (if available) to better understand what is expected by the service provider.
+ Prerequisites
SOAP messages are used as a communication mechanism in the system
SOAP parameters are not properly validated at the service provider
The service provider does not properly utilize parameter binding when building SQL queries
+ Skills Required
[Level: Medium]
If the attacker is able to gain good understanding of the system's database schema
[Level: High]
If the attacker has to perform SQL injection blindly
+ Resources Required
None: No specialized resources are required to execute this type of attack.
+ Consequences
Section HelpThis table specifies different individual consequences associated with the attack pattern. The Scope identifies the security property that is violated, while the Impact describes the negative technical impact that arises if an adversary succeeds in their attack. The Likelihood provides information about how likely the specific consequence is expected to be seen relative to the other consequences in the list. For example, there may be high likelihood that a pattern will be used to achieve a certain impact, but a low likelihood that it will be exploited to achieve a different impact.
Modify Data
Unreliable Execution
Read Data
Access Control
Gain Privileges
Execute Unauthorized Commands
+ Mitigations
Properly validate and sanitize/reject user input at the service provider.
Ensure that prepared statements or other mechanism that enables parameter binding is used when accessing the database in a way that would prevent the attackers' supplied data from controlling the structure of the executed query.
At the database level, ensure that the database user used by the application in a particular context has the minimum needed privileges to the database that are needed to perform the operation. When possible, run queries against pre-generated views rather than the tables directly.
+ Example Instances
An attacker uses a travel booking system that leverages SOAP communication between the client and the travel booking service. An attacker begins to tamper with the outgoing SOAP messages by modifying their parameters to include characters that would break a dynamically constructed SQL query. They notice that the system fails to respond when these malicious inputs are injected in certain parameters transferred in a SOAP message. The attacker crafts a SQL query that modifies their payment amount in the travel system's database and passes it as one of the parameters . A backend batch payment system later fetches the payment amount from the database (the modified payment amount) and sends to the credit card processor, enabling the attacker to purchase the airfare at a lower price. An attacker needs to have some knowledge of the system's database, perhaps by exploiting another weakness that results in information disclosure.
+ Content History
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2014-06-23CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2017-08-04CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Resources_Required
2020-07-30CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Example_Instances, Related_Attack_Patterns
2020-12-17CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Related_Attack_Patterns
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Page Last Updated or Reviewed: December 17, 2020