Input Validation / Python Code Injection

Web and API


Python code injection, also known as Python injection, is a type of vulnerability that occurs when user-supplied input is not properly validated or is used without proper sanitization or encoding. Python code injection is classified as an input validation vulnerability and is listed in the Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE) directory under CWE-94. According to the OWASP Testing Guide, Python code injection is a type of attack that can occur in web applications and APIs. It occurs when untrusted user-supplied data is used to construct malicious Python code that is then executed.


Python code injection can have a severe impact on the security of an application. It can result in data leakage, denial of service, and even complete access to the system. The severity of the risk depends on the context in which the vulnerability is present. It is important for organizations to assess the risk associated with this vulnerability and take the appropriate steps to mitigate it.


The best way to prevent Python code injection is to ensure that user-supplied input is properly validated. This includes validating user input for length, type, and format. Additionally, proper sanitization and encoding of user-supplied data should be used to ensure that malicious code is not executed.


The following example, taken from the CVE directory, shows how a Python code injection vulnerability can be exploited.


username = raw_input("Username: ")

# Injection of malicious code
if username == 'admin':
    print "Welcome admin"
    print "Executing malicious code..."
    os.system("rm -rf /")

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