What Security Problems Can Be Presented By A Database?

While the world has moved to a more electronic way of living there is one tool in particular that has become the most widely used electronic tool around. That tool is the database and it is something that plays a role in our life whether we realize or not.

I would imagine that just about every company of any significant size uses an electronic database of some sort. It can be used for the payroll of the company or just counting the times that someone is absent.

If you think that because you are using excel that you are not using a database then you are wrong; that software is a database as well and if you are using it then you fall under this study too.


Overall, the database is a helpful tool and it has helped us in so many ways that it is too much to count but if you are dependent on a tool then it is conceivable that the tool can be used against you and that is the case with the database as well. There are black hat hackers out there that specialize in hacking databases and they have gotten quite good at it.

That is the topic of this article.

I will talk about how attacking a database can affect you, your family, and your way of life.

How A Hacked Database Can Cause You Harm

There are several ways that a database can mess with your life. The most obvious is if you store sensitive data on a database – it can be information that is in your home or at your office – it can be your business or information about a business that you work for. Either way, any data that is used in an electronic format is most likely in the form of a database these days. This is why you must be aware of some of the hacks that are out there. You leave yourself at the mercy of other people if you do not.

The other way that a database can be used to mess with your life is if a database is hacked at a place that you use their services. This can be anyplace at all. The store where you use your credit card, the DMV that has all your license information, even a movie theater that you paid for with your debit card can all be a vector of attack. Any of these places can be used to collect data that you have given them. All a black hat hacker has to do is find out what database they are using and if it is not protected then they have a chance of getting in.

So, you just not having a database is not enough for you to feel safe.

The places that you do business with as well have to have the protection needed to keep your data safe and finding out if the business that you use is safe is harder to find out than making sure that your own system is safe.

How Does The Hacker Do It?

You have to remember a database is nothing more than a program. It has strengths and weaknesses just like any other software out there. There are millions of lines of code in most databases and if the programmers are not careful then one of those lines could be the opening of some sort of vulnerability. Any of the exploits that would work on another piece of software has a chance of working on a database. The hacker just needs to be able to disassemble the program if the source code is not available and see if they can find the weak point.

Also, with most databases, the weak point might not be in the software itself. Many databases are hosted on servers these days, allowing people who need to get data from them to do so remotely. If the server that the data is hosted on is not protected then the database is vulnerable as well. In a case such as this hackers do not need to be able to break the code of the database; all they need to do is to be able to get past the security of the server, get the username and password and all of the information that is on the database is ready to be taken. This is why you must be sure to protect not only your database but the server software also. Make sure that both of them are upgraded on a regular basis. That way if there is any new malware out there you will be able to get the protection needed.

Database software has been a boon to the industry and to our world in general but, if exploited, it could reveal more about you than you wanted people to know.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.


  1. […] What the term informational society really means is that we are engulfed in just tons and tons of data that we have readily available to us at any time. But that data is not there because of the internet. The internet is just there to help us access and create the data a little bit more efficiently. No, even before we had a readily accessible internet, we had something called the database and it is the key to how we are able to access data so easily. The internet is just the icing on the cake that is the database. And that is why black hat hackers love to find new vulnerabilities on databases. […]

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