Are you interested in ethical hacking? Does a career in web security intrigue you? If you are a professional in the field of ethical hacking, web security, or a pentester and looking to gain deep insight into SQL injection attack then you must begin your knowledge enhancement with an appropriate course.

Although there are numerous courses in the online platform, it is essential to pick a course that covers essential concepts that you are looking to master for achieving a refined skill set to perform better in your career. The need for clarity on an important concept of SQL injection attack is of utmost importance. In the era of digitization, every business and communication has shifted towards the online platform.

The need for experts to oversee any malicious activities in business or social media has become a necessity. The companies are looking for experts that can provide such expertise to protect against suspicious activities from hackers and act as a shield for your privacy and security concerns.

It is extremely important to understand that the level of expertise of the hackers is very high, thus tackling such attackers in the online platform will require professionals to master the art of ethical hacking and web security. Therefore, to enhance the skill set one must acquire the knowledge from the right courses that introduce the theoretical and practical aspects equally.

If you are looking to build your skillset on ethical hacking, then this course called Ethical Hacking – SQL Injection Attack on Udemy is a suitable one to explore important concepts and provide practical knowledge on this topic.

The course is designed to target ethical hackers, pentesters, and web security specialists who have started in this career and are looking to level up their skills. The course is created for educational purposes only and aims to deliver an understanding of key concepts on ethical hacking and cover SQL injection attacks in-depth.

Related reading: Top 8 Ethical Hacking Online Courses

 

What is SQL Injection Attack?

SQL injection, also known as SQLi, is an injection attack that involves an attacker executing malicious SQL statements to be able to control a web application’s database server. The impact of an SQL injection can be severe as the attacker will gain access to critical information.

On completion of a successful SQL injection attack, the hackers can have unauthorized viewing access to user lists, the possibility of altering and deleting tables from the database, and gain administrative access to the database.

Such information is highly confidential and important for a business and user’s privacy. Some of the sensitive information that may be retrieved could be passwords, credit card details of the users, and personal information. In recent years, many companies have faced data-breaches that have been the result of an SQL injection attack.

In certain scenarios, the attackers have obtained backdoor access into an organization’s system which can result in long-term damage with such breaches if they go unnoticed. Some of the most common forms of SQL injection attacks are listed out below.

  • Hidden data retrieval: The modification of an SQL query to return additional results.
  • Application logic attack: A query that is altered to interfere with the application logic of a system.
  • UNION based attack: The change in the query to have access to data from various database tables.
  • Database attack: The modifications that result in being able to gather information on the version and structure of a database of an organization.
  • Blind SQL injection: A blind SQL injection relates to a query that interacts with the database in the form of true or false questions upon which the answers are determined during the application’s response.

The most popular SQL injection tools are as follows.

SQLmap

SQL map is an open-source SQL injection tool. It is perhaps the most popular among all the tools that are available today. This tool makes it easier to find the SQL injection vulnerabilities of a web application. It allows it to take over the database server and it is considered to have powerful detection capabilities of most of the SQL injection related alterations. It also supports various database servers such as MySQL, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, etc.

SQLninja

SQLninja is yet another SQL injection tool that is used for web applications on a SQL server. This tool may not be as effective as SQLmap in terms of detection, however, it can automate the process once it is discovered and extract critical information from the database server. 

The main purpose of the tool is to give the attacker remote access to the SQL database server. It has the capability of integrating with Metasploit for gaining GUI access to a remote database. It is important to note that this tool is not available for a Windows version. The supported platforms are Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, and iOS.

Safe3 SQL Injector Tool

The Safe3 SQL injector is known to be a powerful and efficient tool that is easy to use for SQL injection purposes. It supports automation of the process much like the other tools. With the help of this tool, an attacker can gain access to a remote SQL server. It is incorporated with an AI system that can recognize the database server, the type of SQL injection in the database, and the best approach to exploit the vulnerabilities.

This tool supports HTTP and HTTPS websites respectively. The tools support numerous database servers such as MySQL, Oracle, SAP Max DB, SQLite to name a few. Furthermore, it also supports various authentications for performing an SQL injection attack.

SQLSus

SQLSus is open source. It is used for MySQL injection and takeover purposes. The tool is written in Perl which gives the option of extending the functions available by more codes that can be added by a user. A command interface allows you to inject your SQL queries to perform the SQL injection attack. It is considered faster and efficient in nature and enables blind injection attack algorithms to maximize the amount of data retrieved.

The process is faster due to the availability of multi-threading. This tool also supports HTTPS websites much like other tools. It also supports cookies, proxy, HTTP authentication. The cloning of database tables and columns is also possible with the use of SQLSUS injection tools. The tool is specialized for MySQL attacks.

 

What to Expect from the Course?

The students will be introduced to the basic concepts of SQL injection attacks. The expertise to perform SQL injection attacks will be done through practical implementations. You will also be able to use Kali Linux database penetration testing tools as well to have a thorough knowledge. The following section covers the contents that are being offered in this course.

Related: Udemy Review 

 

Section 1. Database Injection Basic

The first section of the course covers the introductory part with concepts of database injection being covered. The techniques to attack a database and gather information from the database such as email ids, usernames, passwords, and other sensitive data that is available in the backend are explained thoroughly. Database attacking tools in Kali Linux OS are being explored with practical examples. The attacks and related concepts will be practiced on a sample website.

An important concept is explained on how SQL is used to communicate with the front-end and back-end of a website. It is also explored that a malicious SQL query is capable of extracting information from the database if it is not able to understand the malicious nature of the query.

The instructor emphasizes the fact that it is important to understand the basic structure of a database, without which it is not possible to attack a database successfully. The general structure of a database consists of tables and columns on the outer shells and the most inner shell is the data itself.  When attackers try to attack a database they need data and to be able to access it they need to follow a step-by-step process. The database name has to be found, followed by table names and column names which eventually give access to the data.

 

Section 2. Website Database Hacking using SQLmap Tool

The second part of the course covers the topic of website database hacking using the SQLmap tool. The SQL map allows to attack and gather information from the backend. SQLmap is a command-line tool. The tool is available in the Kali Linux OS.

The tutor explains that trying the examples on a live website is illegal and you must practice on the sample website provided by Acunetix. It is explained that to be able to attack, finding the link is essential. He demonstrates with a practical example of how to use SQLmap tools. The database name and the number of databases have to be extracted before proceeding ahead.

There are fix commands under the SQL map tool that allows finding the name of the database. The testing of the web application takes place after using the commands which gives the results of the databases in the backend of the web link provided. A parameter is found after the testing of the command which allows attacking the database.

The tutor further explains how to find the number of tables and columns of the databases that have been found. Furthermore, it is demonstrated how to modify the query to extract information from the data in the columns.  There was also an example that showed how to find the information of email and password as well.

 

Section 3. Website Database Hacking Without Using Any Tool

This section covers website database hacking without using any tool. It is explained that there are several options of tools that can be used for SQL injection, however, the tutor provides an insight into database hacking with manual SQL injection.

The example is demonstrated in a follow-along procedure to get the practical skills of how to write the queries to make the alterations. The instructor shows that if the backend sends a warning message on using an apostrophe at the end of the website link, it signifies that the website is vulnerable to SQL injection. The hit and trial method is shown in the example and explained in-depth.

Finally, the order by and union select options are demonstrated in the example and the use of the commands in a manual SQL injection process. It is also described how to manually extract log information in, emails, passwords, credit card numbers, etc. without the need for any tool. It is also possible to wipe out and modify a database with the use of SQL injection.

 

Section 4. Create a Dictionary using Crunch Commands

The creation of your personal dictionary using crunch commands is covered in this section. The commands are shown with an example and explaining the usage of such commands. The dictionary helps to try password or protocol attacks with the crunch commands. The instructor also explains how to save the file containing the dictionary. The usage of special characters while writing the crunch commands and their results are also demonstrated with the example.

 

Section 5. Website Database Hacking using JSQL Tool

The fifth section covers the use of GUI based option for SQL injection. The GUI option is known as JSQL. The GUI is demonstrated along with the process to perform SQL injection with the help of this tool. The information of users and products as well as any other data that are available in the database are being extracted with the use of GUI, but the instructor explains the need for writing additional commands to speed up the procedure.

All the information is displayed in separate tabs in the GUI with access to separate information of all the data under each tab. The features and the number of rows are also displayed in the GUI.

 

Section 6. Bonus Lecture

The final section of the course provides a link to one of the instructor’s courses on ethical hacking. The course is more advanced and covers all the aspects of ethical hacking from the beginner level concepts to the most advanced.

 

About the Instructor

The course is designed by Sunil K. Gupta. A computer programmer and a cyber-security expert by profession. He provides consultation in the information technology area with a specific focus on cybersecurity. He has also been invited by key organizations as a speaker and is a member of many of them.

Being a technology visionary in the field of cybersecurity, he thrives to solve complex problems. The instructor has been associated with leading organizations for a security consultation and works in the research and development as a security expert to provide state-of-the-art information systems security.

His expertise includes perimeter defense, secure network design, vulnerability discovery, penetration testing, and compliance and intrusion detection systems. Sunil has been instrumental in helping many organizations and military services including the likes of Barclays bank, aviation college in Qatar, Ethiopian Airlines, Telecom authority Tanzania, NCB bank in Saudi Arabia, Accenture, Afgan Wireless, and United States Military to name a few.

He has been involved with startups and is considered among the top cybersecurity experts. Sunil has also created content for various organizations such as Udemy, Pluralsight, INE, Packt Publication, and Apress.

Benefits of the Course

Learning Path

The major advantage of taking this course on Ethical hacking is the key information shared in the entire duration of the course along with important practical exposure to the concepts covered. It is becoming increasingly difficult with the number of online course providers to pick the right one.

Although it is mentioned that it is for ethical hackers and web security specialists, it is suitable for people who have fundamental knowledge about cybersecurity and willing to switch careers as well.

The course is well-designed and covers each topic in a detailed manner with sufficient practical examples to understand the concepts entirely. The course includes the basic information on SQL injection followed by core concepts on this topic.

The benefit of having hands-on experience is essential to have a complete skill set and able to tackle real-world scenarios as a web security expert. There are simplified examples and a follow-along approach.

Another added advantage is the duration of each of the sections being short and easy to understand. The instructor also provides key information and tips on certain queries and methods to implement for SQL injection manually.

Certification

The course will also provide certification of completion. This is a free course available on Udemy. However, you can have access to online content, certification, and direct access to the instructor for Q&A, and direct reply from the instructor.

It is important to note that access to online content is available for the free version and remaining options from the paid version are not offered. There is access to an advanced course on ethical hacking that will build your skills from the ground up.

The links are made available at the end of the course. It is an informative course and any individual aiming to achieve key roles in the field of ethical hacking and security may benefit from the course. The beginners with fundamental knowledge about the concept with a technical background may also opt for the course.

Learning Community

There is access to the learning community on Udemy that comprises students and tutors. The benefit of the community is that important resources and tips are being shared on the forum. Additionally, you can post your questions and get support from experienced personnel which will enrich your learning experience.

Hands-on Approach

The course specifically follows a hands-on approach. The practical examples provide the necessary expertise to improve on the key components of writing queries that are required to be successful in the field of ethical hacking. The follow-along provides clarity of the concepts that are taught theoretically much faster.

If you are looking to have a successful career in the field of ethical hacking, then having hands-on experience is the most desired skill set that an employer looks for in an individual. Thus, you are guaranteed to build them in this course. The course is a perfect balance of theory and practical knowledge and provides crucial information that you will benefit from while practicing the examples.

Important Takeaways from the Course

  • Clear and detailed theoretical explanation of the concepts of ethical hacking.
  • Appropriate guidance on where to practice the examples and informing to avoid illegal practice of trying on live websites.
  • An in-depth explanation of each method and approach along with practical follow-along examples.
  • Hands-on experience of database penetration testing tools available in Kali Linux OS.
  • Detailed explanation and examples on SQL map tool and its usage.
  • The purpose of crunch commands in SQL injection attacks.
  • The need for a dictionary created by using crunch commands with different parameters.
  • Differentiating the approaches of using tool based SQL injection and manual SQL injection.
  • Key methods under manual SQL injections are covered along with additional information on alternative methods if a certain command doesn’t work.
  • A key takeaway at the end of the course is to be able to perform SQL injection attacks thoroughly.
  • GUI based approaches that have not been covered in most introductory courses have been explained with examples and practical implementation of examples for clearer understanding.
  • SQL injection attacks for several types of data have been covered in the form of email, password, column data information, credit card information, etc.
  • Using JSQL as the preferred GUI based approach for SQL injection.

Who is the course most suited for?

The course is well-suited for absolute ethical hackers, pentesters, and web security professionals. It is a must to have basic knowledge of computers to be able to take up the course. The basic concepts on SQL injection are covered, thus aspirants looking to take up ethical hacking as a career may benefit from the course.

It is well-crafted and focuses precisely on building the practical skills of the learners. The course content is short and simplified for better understanding. With the major concepts being covered with the use of tools available in Kali Linux OS and manual SQL injection concepts and GUI usage, you can be assured of being equipped with comprehensive knowledge on theoretical concepts and hands-on expertise to contribute largely in an organization.

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Anthony Cornell

Anthony Cornell

Anthony Cornell is a freelance technology journalist. He reviews educational software and writes in-depth online course reviews from popular e-learning platforms. You can reach Anthony at anthony@learnacourseonline.com

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