Print 20 comment(s) - last by W00dmann.. on Aug 29 at 3:48 PM

Uh oh, Nokia has been hacked...
The extent of the damage appears limited

Nokia Oyj. (HEL:NOK1V), currently in the midst of trying to push out Windows Phone 7 product, suffered an embarrassment when its developers website,, lost customers' personal information.

The extent of the damage appears limited, according to Nokia.  For most customers, only their email address was lost (so watch out for phishing
!).  For an estimated 7 percent of customers "either birth dates, homepage URL or usernames for AIM, ICQ, MSN, Skype or Yahoo" were also lost. More sensitive information, however, like passwords and usernames, was not in the affected database and remains safe.

Nokia writes:

You may have seen reports or received an email from us regarding a recent security breach on this discussion forum.

During our ongoing investigation of the incident we have discovered that a database table containing developer forum members' email addresses has been accessed, by exploiting a vulnerability in the bulletin board software that allowed an SQL Injection attack. Initially we believed that only a small number of these forum member records had been accessed, but further investigation has identified that the number is significantly larger.

The database table records includes members’ email addresses and, for fewer than 7% who chose to include them in their public profile, either birth dates, homepage URL or usernames for AIM, ICQ, MSN, Skype or Yahoo. However, they do not contain sensitive information such as passwords or credit card details and so we do not believe the security of forum members’ accounts is at risk. Other Nokia accounts are not affected.

We are not aware of any misuse of the accessed data, but we are communicating with affected forum members, though we believe the only potential impact to them may be unsolicited email. Nokia apologizes for this incident.

Though the initial vulnerability was addressed immediately, we have now taken the developer community website offline as a precautionary measure, while we conduct further investigations and security assessments. We hope to get the site back online as soon as possible and will post developments here in the meantime.

If you have any questions on this, please contact

The Nokia Developer website team.

Nokia is hardly the first major online entity to be hacked by SQL injection, and is unlikely to be the last.  SQL injection (affectionately nicknamed a "Little Bobby Tables" attack by web-comicXKCD), relies on sending malformed queries to a publicly available SQL database hence "injecting" unauthorized commands.  To succeed the attacker must gain physical access to the database (the ability to query it) and the database engine must lack more advanced code to handle malformed queries.  

SQL injection attacks are very preventable -- either by denying public access and/or by properly coding your database.  However, recent years have seen countless SQL injection attacks.  In 2009 Kapersky and the Australian federal police were both hacked via SQL injection.  In 2010The Pirate Bay was hacked via SQL injection.  This year hackers employed the method to penetrate several databases [1][2][3] of Japanese electronics giant Sony Corp. (TYO:6758

Thus far Anonymous and other familiar "hacktivists" have not claimed responsibility for the attack.  It is unknown why the hacker(s) responsible targeted the Finnish phone maker.

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RE: Injection without commitment?
By Etsp on 8/29/2011 11:06:30 AM , Rating: 2
You're going to have to be more specific when providing advice.
Early in development you will find single quote and double quotes are your first enemy the training class didn't teach you.
Are you referring to PHP? Yes, how single-quotes and double-quotes are handled is a subtlety that most newbies wouldn't immediately understand. However, what does that have to do with SQL injection? Any security conscious design will rarely build queries as strings with "escaped" user input. They would use parametrized queries. The only exception to this being that the database platform does not support parametrized queries.

The string storing the SQL query to be used would contain placeholders instead of user input, and the function to execute the query would take an array parameter of user-input values. This places burden of sanitizing the user-input on the developers of the database drivers, rather than on the individual application developers.

RE: Injection without commitment?
By lightfoot on 8/29/2011 11:57:21 AM , Rating: 2
This places burden of sanitizing the user-input on the developers of the database drivers, rather than on the individual application developers

Epic fail.

Input should ALWAYS be validated by the individual application. Assuming that someone else is doing it for you is how you get into these situations.

Always validate your input.

RE: Injection without commitment?
By inf-rno on 8/29/2011 12:49:37 PM , Rating: 2
EPIC FAIL by both you noobs.

Parametric queries do not escape user input. It byte streams the input directly to the server. So if you input ')"-- then that's literally what will be inserted to the table. No escaping. Half baked knowledge is bliss.. until you get injected.

You should Input validate if you want proper data in the database and not garbage like ')"--.

RE: Injection without commitment?
By Mitch101 on 8/29/2011 1:19:19 PM , Rating: 2
I was thinking single quote semicolon personally and possibly prefixing with a escape slash if necessary but that proves more than one methodology can be applied to get the job done.

This thread is starting to prove my point on security. Im sure in 20 minutes we would get another developer calling all the previous ones newbs again.

None of us can cover all the levels/possibilities necessary in a brief post I think were all generalizing to keep it under a book and its why SQL injection is so popular its obvious a lack of education exists even then there will be mistakes that happen to err is human.

Im begging for a group of experts to come together and develop some training on this and then it needs to be scrutinized again and again. Im mainly PHP but the same exists in ASP as well.

RE: Injection without commitment?
By inf-rno on 8/29/2011 1:46:34 PM , Rating: 2
Seems like you didn't understand... Your point of how you cannot cover all possibilities while 'escaping' is the reason why Parametrization is the only solution.

BECAUSE you do not escape input. You stream each character literally into the fields.

RE: Injection without commitment?
By Mitch101 on 8/29/2011 2:04:29 PM , Rating: 2
Your right where would you recommend I can learn more or where did you learn?

RE: Injection without commitment?
By Etsp on 8/29/2011 3:34:58 PM , Rating: 2
I was referring to security. How exactly is having the character string ')"-- in a database column a security risk? Unless you're using dynamic SQL somewhere else that pulls from that field. Which is another poor security practice.

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser

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