LDAP injection

LDAP injection is a specific form of attack that can be employed to compromise Web sites that construct LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) statements from data provided by users. This is done by changing LDAP statements so dynamic Web applications can run with invalid permissions, allowing the attacker to alter, add or delete content. LDAP is a protocol that facilitates the location of organizations, individuals and other resources in a network. It is a streamlined version of DAP (Directory Access Protocol), which is part of X.500, a standard for network directory services.

LDAP injection works in much the same manner as SQL injection, a type of security exploit in which the attacker adds SQL (Structured Query Language) code to a Web form input box to gain access to resources or make changes to data. According to security experts, the main reason that LDAP injection and similar exploits are on the rise is the fact that security is not sufficiently emphasized in application development. To protect the integrity of Web sites and applications, experts recommend the implementation of simple precautions during development, such as controlling the types and numbers of characters that are accepted by input boxes.

This was last updated in June 2006

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