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Expression Language Injection

Understanding Expression Language Injection and Its Impact on Web Security

Prevent Expression Language Injection
Table of Contents

What is expression language injection?

Expression Language Injection (aka EL Injection) enables an attacker to view server-side data and other configuration details and variables, including sensitive code and data (passwords, database queries, etc.) The Expression Language Injection attack takes advantage of server-side code injection vulnerabilities which occur whenever an application incorporates user-controllable data into a string that is dynamically evaluated by a code interpreter. If the user data is not strictly validated, an attacker can substitute input that modifies the code that will be executed by the server.

Expression Language Injections are very serious server-side vulnerabilities, as they can lead to complete compromise of the application's data and functionality, as well as the server that is hosting the application. Expression Language Injection attacks can also use the server as a platform for further attacks against other systems.

To counter Expression Language Injections, applications can avoid incorporating user-controllable data into dynamically evaluated code, instead using safer alternative methods of implementing application functions, ones that cannot be manipulated for malicious purposes.


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