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Web Application Firewalls are Vulnerable to JSON Bypass

Researchers from Claroty’s Team82 have “developed a generic bypass of industry-leading web application firewalls (WAF)… [that] involves appending JSON syntax to SQL injection payloads that a WAF is unable to parse.” The issue affects WAFs from Amazon Web Services, Cloudflare, F5, Imperva, and Palo Alto. All have updated their affected products to address the vulnerability.


  • The article title is misleading because it is more research than just a Generic Web Application Firewall Bypass in the article itself. The Bypass is really excellent, and the research is spot on. However, there is also research around vulnerabilities in software-defined networking controllers that is also fascinating, and you would never realize this by just looking at the article title.
  • So, by obfuscating the SQL injection attack in JSON, the WAF didn’t detect them. The updates address this, so you need to deploy them, particularly as the information has now been published. This doesn’t mean the WAF wasn’t detecting and blocking other attacks, more like here is a new technique which needs to be added to your WAF’s arsenal. You still need defense in depth, make sure that your developers are sanitizing input, you are testing your applications regularly, and your testing includes testing without the WAF.


Alex Lim is a certified IT Technical Support Architect with over 15 years of experience in designing, implementing, and troubleshooting complex IT systems and networks. He has worked for leading IT companies, such as Microsoft, IBM, and Cisco, providing technical support and solutions to clients across various industries and sectors. Alex has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the National University of Singapore and a master’s degree in information security from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also the author of several best-selling books on IT technical support, such as The IT Technical Support Handbook and Troubleshooting IT Systems and Networks. Alex lives in Bandar, Johore, Malaysia with his wife and two chilrdren. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Website | Twitter | Facebook

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