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The most common WAF attack types

azure, cybersecurity, IT

The most common WAF attack types

A web application firewall (WAF) is a piece of hardware or software that sits between your website and visitors, inspecting traffic for malicious requests. A WAF can help protect your site from common attack types like cross-site scripting (XSS) and SQL injection by identifying and blocking these requests.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the most common WAF attack types and how you can protect your site against them.

Top 7 WAF attacks:

SQL injection:

SQL injection is a code injection technique that exploits a security vulnerability in a website’s software. The vulnerability is present when user input is not correctly filtered for malicious content. This allows attackers to execute SQL commands that can manipulate data, compromise information, and even delete data.

SQL injection attacks are one of the most common web application security risks. They are relatively easy to execute and can have devastating consequences. SQL injection attacks can result in data loss, corruption, and even complete system compromise.

The best way to protect against SQL injection attacks is to filter user input properly. Web application developers should also be aware of the risks and take steps to mitigate them.

Cross-site scripting:

Cross-site scripting (XSS) is a type of computer security vulnerability typically found in web applications. XSS enables attackers to inject malicious code into webpages viewed by other users. This can lead to the theft of sensitive information, such as login credentials or credit card numbers. XSS can also be used to launch attacks against the website itself, such as redirecting users to malicious websites or injecting unwanted ads onto the page.

To prevent XSS vulnerabilities, developers need to sanitize user input and escape any special characters. This will ensure that any malicious code is rendered harmless. Additionally, it’s important to keep all software up-to-date, as many XSS vulnerabilities are exploited through known exploits in outdated software.

Command injection:

Command injection is an attack in which an attacker inserts malicious code into a legitimate command to gain access to sensitive data or systems. Command injection attacks are often executed by attackers who have gained access to a server or network through other means, such as SQL injection.

Command injection attacks can be challenging to detect, as the injected code may appear to be legitimate. However, there are some signs that an attack may be underway, such as unusual commands being executed or unexpected output from commands.

If you suspect that a command injection attack is taking place, it is essential to take steps to mitigate the damage and prevent the attacker from gaining further access. This may include disabling functions that allow command injection, filtering input for special characters, and monitoring system activity for suspicious activity.

Path traversal:

Path traversal is a security attack where the attacker attempts to access files and directories that they should not have access to. This is usually done by exploiting vulnerabilities in web applications, but can also be done through malicious email attachments or by gaining access to a user’s account.

Path traversal attacks can leak sensitive data, such as financial information or customer records. They can also result in system downtime or data loss.

Organizations can protect themselves from path traversal attacks by implementing proper security controls, such as input validation and least privilege principles.

File upload:

A file upload attack is a type of cyberattack in which an attacker uploads a malicious file to a server to gain access to sensitive data. This type of attack can be used to bypass security measures, such as firewalls and antivirus software.

File upload attacks are becoming increasingly common, as attackers are able to easily find vulnerabilities in web applications that allow them to upload files. These vulnerabilities can be exploited by attackers in order to gain access to sensitive data, such as customer information or financial records.

To protect against file upload attacks, businesses should ensure that their web applications are properly configured and that all files uploaded to the server are scanned for malware. Additionally, businesses should educate their employees on the importance of not downloading files from untrustworthy sources.

HTTP Flooding:

HTTP Flooding is a type of DDoS attack in which the attacker sends multiple HTTP requests to a server in an attempt to overload it and cause it to crash. This can be done by sending a large number of requests, or by sending requests that are very large in size. HTTP Flooding is a serious threat to any website or server that relies on HTTP for communication and can result in loss of data, downtime, and even financial loss.


A DDoS attack is a cyberattack in which a malicious actor attempts to overload a system with requests, rendering it unavailable to legitimate users. This type of attack is often used to target websites or other online services.

DDoS attacks can be very disruptive and may cause significant financial losses for the organizations that are targeted. In some cases, DDoS attacks have also been used as a form of political protest or revenge.

There are a number of ways to protect against DDoS attacks, but unfortunately no 100% effective solution. Organizations that are at risk of being targeted by DDoS attacks should take steps to mitigate the risks, such as by implementing rate-limiting or utilizing cloud-based security solutions.

In conclusion, web application firewalls are essential because they can help prevent web-based attacks. By filtering out malicious traffic and requests, WAFs can help keep your website and data safe. While no security measure is perfect, WAFs are a valuable tool in protecting your web applications.

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