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SQL injection is one of the most prominent vulnerabilities for web-based applications. Exploitation of SQL injection vulnerabilities (SQLIV) through successful attacks might result in severe consequences such as authentication bypassing, leaking of private information etc. Therefore, testing an application for SQLIV is an important step for ensuring its quality. However, it is challenging as the sources of SQLIV vary widely, which include the lack of effective input filters in applications, insecure coding by programmers, inappropriate usage of APIs for manipulating databases etc. Moreover, existing testing approaches do not address the issue of generating adequate test data sets that can detect SQLIV. In this work, we present a mutation-based testing approach for SQLIV testing. We propose nine mutation operators that inject SQLIV in application source code. The operators result in mutants, which can be killed only with test data containing SQL injection attacks. By this approach, we force the generation of an adequate test data set containing effective test cases capable of revealing SQLIV. We implement a MUtation-based SQL Injection vulnerabilities Checking (testing) tool (MUSIC) that automatically generates mutants for the applications written in Java Server Pages (JSP) and performs mutation analysis. We validate the proposed operators with five open source web-based applications written in JSP. We show that the proposed operators are effective for testing SQLIV.
Date of Conference: 12-13 Aug. 2008