How To Resolve SQLi, CSRFXSRF, XSS, Session Hijacking With Other PHP Security Issues

How To Resolve SQLi, CSRF/XSRF, XSS, Session Hijacking With Other PHP Security Issues

Last Updated: 13th August, 2022

Designing and developing a website is a standout amongst the most intriguing yet challenging trades in the present scenario. We need top of the line designers and developers to deal with the effectiveness, the security and of course the user-experience (UX) of any site. There are numerous details like these that the designers and developers need to look during the time spent drawing out the ultimate result, for example a website free from any kind of vulnerabilities. PHP code writers, comprehend the way that it is exceptionally expected of them to deal with all the PHP security related issues that go along way.

Here, we will endeavor to clarify in a nutshell, what PHP security related issues are and how you could resolve them. PHP is drastically the most censured languages when we discuss security, yet the most seasoned in its use. In spite of being older it is a long way from being obsolete. In actuality it is still in intense interest and exigency. Therefore, it is vital that it stays as ensured as secured since it is basic to many developing syndicates.


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What you can do beforehand, to be on top of your game is updating PHP regularly. The most stable version of PHP available as of now is PHP 7.3.4 We strongly recommend you to switch to this version from any other. The older ones are likely to be much more troublesome. Moving on, we will discuss a few of the most common PHP security related issues and their solutions.

PHP Security Issues: Table Of Contents


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1: PHP Security Issues To Resolve: SQL Injection Attacks In PHP

PHP Security Issues To Resolve SQL Injection Attacks In PHP

The most widely recognized of all attacks in PHP coding/scripting is the SQL injection, wherein the whole application is undermined as a result of a single query. The hacker here, endeavors to alter the information that the coder is attempting to devise through queries. You should simply solve the bug utilizing minor changes in the program, including utilization of ORM (Object-Relational Mapping) like eloquent or doctrine. You could likewise have a go at keeping a mind the passage points (backdoors) of such malicious attacks. The well ordered convention to keep away from this sort of attack is referenced here.

1.1: Code To Resolve The SQL Injection Or SQLi Issue:

$sql = “SELECT * FROM users WHERE uname = ‘” .$name. “‘;
$sql = “SELECT uname, emailadd FROM users WHERE id = “.$pid.” ;
foreach ($dbh->query($sql) as $row) {
printf (“%s (%s)n”, $row[‘uname’], $row[’emailadd’]);
$sql = “SELECT uname, emailadd FROM users WHERE id = :pid”;
$sth = $dbh->prepare($sql, [PDO::ATTR_CURSOR => PDO::CURSOR_FWDONLY]);
$sth->execute([‘:pid’ => $id]);
$users = $sth->fetchAll();


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2: PHP Security Issues To Resolve: Cross Site Request Forgery CSRF/XSRF In PHP

PHP Security Issues To Resolve Cross Site Request Forgery CSRFXSRF In PHP

Dissimilar to an XSS attack, a CSRF/XSRF attack works contrastingly and can have a by and large unique arrangement of dangers planned for your website. In a CSRF/XSRF attack , the end user can achieve ‘N‘ number of undesirable activities on verified website pages, in this way exchanging malicious commands to the focused website, causing a bothersome activity toward the end.

CSRF/XSRF or Cross-Site Request Forgery does not peruse the user’s request and for the most part centers around changing the request exclusively. In this attack, the hacker compels the user to perform the requests, for example, exchanging funds, changing email addresses, and so on.

Give us now a chance to perceive what we could do to get to these malicious attacks. And after that divert the user to whatever you wish to do with them. The first URL you see here, is to victimize the user to send cash into another account.



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These URL(s) can be sent by means of any email, in any kind of file. You may be approached to download the file or even click on it for a while. These could likewise misuse the application by changing the name and sum to something like this:

3: PHP Security Issues To Resolve: Cross Site Scripting Or XSS In PHP

PHP Security Issues To Resolve Cross Site Scripting Or XSS In PHP

This PHP security issue emerges when there is an undesirable passage (backdoor) of a malicious script from other sources into your codes. In a perfect world, the browser would almost certainly recognize it as a non trusted script however oh dear! The procurement of sessions, cookies and further sensitive insights regarding the browser are some final products of a Cross-Site Scripting or XSS attack. What you can do to bridge this issue is to utilize htmlspecialchars in the codes. You could likewise install ENT_QUOTES and escape single/double quotes in that.

htmlspecialchars() changes over special characters into HTML elements when put with no contentions. The code beneath demonstrates a way that you can execute the equivalent. 'ENT_QUOTES' are utilized to guarantee that the single quotes are encoded, as does not occur in the following generally:

‘&’ becomes ‘&’
‘ ” ‘ becomes ‘"’
‘<‘ becomes ‘<’
‘>’ becomes ‘>’


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A case of how to incorporate it into the code is referenced as follows:

3.1: Code To Resolve The Cross-Site Scripting Or XSS Issue In PHP

$search = htmlspecialchars($search, ENT_QUOTES, ‘UTF-8’);
echo ‘Search results for ‘.$search

4: PHP Security Issues To Resolve: Session Hijacking In PHP

PHP Security Issues To Resolve Session Hijacking In PHP

Another sort of attacking is that the hackers may use against you is session hijacking. Wherein the hacker subtly steals the session ID of the present user, and from that point gets hold of his applications. You have to experience an XSS attack for this attack to be conceivable, or it could discover different channels like accessing the folder on a server where session data is put away. There is a whole trick book on how you can counteract this sort of malicious attack adhering to your IP addresses, and a couple of cheat codes or a cheat sheet is referenced beneath.

$IP = getenv ( “REMOTE_ADDR” );

Since the accurate IP address isn’t given yet rather values, for example, ::: 3 or ::: 127, you would should be alarm of it while working on the local host. You should nullify (Unset the cookies, unset the session storage, delete traces) sessions as fast as conceivable to deal with the infringement that happens, and furthermore should do whatever it takes not to reveal ID(s) under some random condition.


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Here’s a case for you, which includes never utilizing serialized information stored in a cookie. Hackers may most likely effectively manipulate such cookies, prompting undesirable factors in your work. You can along these lines securely erase the cookie by utilizing the following code:

4.1: Code To Resolve The Session Hijacking Issue In PHP

setcookie ($cname, “”, 1);
setcookie ($cname, false);

The first line of the above code ensures here cookie expiration inside the browser. The second line denotes a standard method to delete a cookie. The third and final line removes the cookie from your script thereafter.


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5: PHP Security Issues To Resolve: Hide Files From The Browser

PHP Security Issues To Resolve Hide Files From The Browser

Moving on to the next horrifying attack that you might be facing is attacked through browser files. As its name suggests, it is done through your files from the browser. Those who have worked with PHP’s micro-frameworks would know the specific directory structure which makes sure that their files are placed in order. Specific frameworks such as these, enables having different files like configuration files such as controllers, (. yaml), models etc. in that particular directory.

It’s true that the browser does not process each and every file, they may yet be available in the browser to be seen. In order to resolve this issue and make sure that the files are not accessible, they surely need to be redirected to a public folder rather than from the root directory.


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6: PHP Security Issues To Resolve: Random File Uploads

PHP Security Issues To Resolve Random File Uploads

Many of the times, the users are not even quite aware that of an unknown/folder file is an XSS attack or just another regular file, as it is quite easy for hackers to camouflage it amongst the ordinary. Declaring the property encrypt+”multipart/form-data” in tag and using a POST request in the form is recommended.

6.1: Code To Resolve This PHP Security Issue:

$finfo = new finfo(FILEINFO_MIME_TYPE);
$fileContents = file_get_contents($_FILES[‘any_name’][‘temp_name’]);
$mimeType = $finfo->buffer($fileContents);

The beneficial thing is, you can make your own custom rule sets to characterize and verify file validation rules. Additionally, a few frameworks like Symfony, Laravel and CodeIgniter as of now have supportive predefined techniques.


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6.2: Code To Resolve The Issue:

<form method=”post” enctype=”multipart/form-data” action=”upload.php”>
File: <input type=”file” name=”pictures[]” multiple=”true”>
<input type=”submit”>

7: Resolving All Other General PHP Security Issues

Resolving All Other General PHP Security Issues

7.1: Use SSL Certificates For HTTPS

HTTPS protocol is highly advocated and a basis imperative requirement by various present day browsers for web applications. The ‘S‘ in HTTPS simply represents ‘Secure‘. It gives a considerably more secure encryption from getting to channel for websites which are not all around trusted. All you have to do to incorporate HTTPS introduces an SSL declaration for your site. Read our guide on how to install free Let’s Encrypt SSL manually in cPanel if not already provided by your hosting provider.

The incorporation of SSL certificates in your applications makes it increasingly secure and keeps hackers on the bay from capturing, scanning or altering the transmitted information.


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7.2: Deploy PHP Applications On Trusted Cloud Servers Only

Hosting is the last but not the least and the most essential stride while deployed any kind of web application. You should be ahead of the game to ensure that the local PHP servers that you generally make your projects on, are deployed securely onto other live servers. These live servers give you alternatives to pick among dedicated, shared or cloud hosting.

It is generally advocated by experts to go for cloud hosting providers such as AWS, Linode, Digital Ocean, Google Cloud and a lot more as they are fast, significantly more secure and deal with your application exactly how it should be. They will in general give an extra security layer to battle Brute force, DDoS and many more phishing attacks that break down your applications.

All in all the expertise required that you have to effectively deploy your PHP venture on cloud servers are simply related to Linux. You can make an amazing webstack like LEMP or LAMP, and make your life much more simpler.


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7.3: Significance Of Web Application Firewall (WAF) And Security Audit In PHP Websites

There is a significant aspect for Web Application Firewall and Security Audits in settling the PHP security issues precisely. A Web Application Firewall ensures attacks and abusing the security issues in PHP.

Hackers are attempting to get hold of your web servers, each moment of the day, as chipping away at the servers makes it simple for them to attack from a particular point rather than various workstations. A server gives hackers an enormous measure of data transmission or bandwidth and is much more Herculean than any single workstation, which inevitably makes their attacks increasingly proficient.


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Thusly, we might want to express that the existence of a Web Application Firewall is very basic as it secures the site from a wide assortment of attacks. What a WAF really does is go about as a channel between the web application and the web, observing all traffic and blocking out any of the malicious ones.

The next time you browse any website, you ought to watch on the off chance that it contains a certificate (certified by a certifying authority) guaranteeing that the site is protected to push ahead with.

With everything taken into account, there is an excessive number of security issues in PHP scripting that can prompt an in a gross shaky web application. It features the reality of removing these issues by bringing abroad the referenced adaptations.

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