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I will start off with saying apologies if this is something that has been asked 100s of times or is moot question within testing circles.

I have come across this article

I'd like to test this out but would rather do it on a real life scenario. I do not have access to a DB to create a POC and would feel far greater sense of achievement actually trying this on a working DB. I find most websites which offer places to practice SQL injection are rather pedantic.

How do you guys test? I'm interested in the field of sec and am aware of the number of different vulnerabilities but actually carrying them out, I would be rather lost and would relish the opportunity to practice.

The question is aimed at SQL injection but any resources to test sec vulnerabilities first hang would be welcome.

Thanks in advance guys.

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I would always recommend building a lab yourself at home, and this really is much easier than you probably imagine;

  • Install VirtualBox (this is free, and cross platform)
  • Download a Linux CD Image (I would recommend Debian, also free)
  • Fire up your new Debian virtual machine by mounting the CD Image and running the installation.
  • Install a database and webserver; apt-get install apache php5 mysql-server libphp-mysql
  • Add a table and some data to your database; CREATE TABLE, INSERT
  • Create a vulnerable php page; mysql_query("SELECT * FROM my_table WHERE id=".$_GET['id']);
  • H4x0r it;' or true--

Whole process from scratch, maybe 1 hour plus download times, and you'll have a setup you can really learn from - a huge part of understanding attacks comes from setting up the vulnerabilities yourself, so you can see how they can come about.

This setup will also serve you well if you move onto other types of software exploitation, such as buffer overflows in network daemons.

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I recommend you to use Muttilidae :

Mutillidae is a free, open source web application provided to allow security enthusiest to pen-test and hack a web application. Mutillidae can be installed on Linux, Windows XP, and Windows 7 using XAMMP making it easy for users who do not want to install or administrate their own webserver

You will be able to practice SQL injection.

You can find lists of vulnerable applications here :

One of the best website to find information on SQL injection :

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The excellent thing about the Information Security field is the overwhelming amount of training material and resources that can be found on the Internet through community contributions. I'll try and link you to some stuff I've found quite handy.

SQLi Labs

SQLi is a project maintained by Audi-1, a well known friend from #offtopicsec Freenode IRC. The project consists of vulnerable applications for you to compromise/experiment on along with a video series available on SecurityTube for you to refer to as a walkthrough. Project Git: Videos:

Vulnerable Web Applications is a web server that allows you to practice web application exploitation on apps made by other people and also to upload your own applications. HackAServer allows the same as but isn't limited to web applications. You basically use OpenVPN to connect to their network and thereafter can attack machines, a lot of which will have web application vulns such as SQLi.

Vulnerable Virtual Machines

SecurityTube Tools does a great job at covering all the major VulnVMs out there for people to practice on offline. These include complete OSs for OS and service pentesting along with ones only for web application testing.


I found the following two books really comprehensive and useful when learning web application security. So if you're ready for the read, then these are some good things.

  • The Web Application Hacker's Handbook
  • The Tangled Web: A Guide to Securing Modern Web Applications [Michal Zalewski]
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Also take a look at Damn Vuluerable Web Application:

DVWA is great application to practice hacking DVWA is a PHP/MySQL web application that is damn vulnerable. Its main goals are to be light weight, easy to use and full of vulnerabilities to exploit. It can be used to learn or teach the art of web application security in a legal environment.

DVWA contains numerous vulnerabilities some of which are listed below:

  • SQL Injection
  • XSS (Cross Site Scripting)
  • LFI (Local File Inclusion)
  • RFI (Remote File Inclusion)
  • Command Execution
  • Upload Script
  • Login Brute Force

You can use this .iso with vmware or virtual-box link

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