I'm trying to secure a login endpoint by attempting to bypass the login that uses LDAP.

It employs a search query of "cn=" + username + ", dc=example, dc=com" with a filter of "(objectClass=*)".

Is an LDAP injection attack possible here with username? Obviously, I will eventually escape all the queries and filters.

1 Answer 1


It's not the queries and filters you should be escaping – after all the complete queries and filters do have special characters in them and escaping them would cause the query or filter to break. Instead, you should sanitize the data coming directly from the user, here the username.

As you don't specify the programming language, it's hard to give examples on how this should be done, but if the language has some LDAP encoding functions, you should use them instead of implementing your own.

Although the distinguished name DN has less attack surface than the filters, it still has some special characters: according to OWASP LDAP Injection Prevention Cheat Sheet:

There are certain characters that are considered special characters in a DN.

The exhaustive list is the following: \ # + < > , ; " = and leading or trailing spaces.

Some "special" characters that are allowed in Distinguished Names and do not need to be escaped include:

* ( ) . & - _ [ ] ` ~ | @ $ % ^ ? : { } ! '

E.g. with your "cn=" + username + ", dc=example, dc=com" one could descend to organization units below the intended OU using "username" aiyan, ou=Administrators, ou=Secret, which would then find the user in

cn=aiyan, ou=Administrators, ou=Secret, dc=example, dc=com

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .