homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member

Visit PubCon.com
Home / Forums Index / Code, Content, and Presentation / PHP Server Side Scripting
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: coopster & jatar k

PHP Server Side Scripting Forum

Validating URL parameters before running database queries

 11:52 pm on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm using url parameters to search my database with. For security reasons I need to make sure that these parameters are valid and not trying to do things like inject code. I've never been able to come up with a bulletproof and not over-thought way to do this simple task. I think one of the problems is values taken from the parameters are automatically treated as strings. Feedback is greatly appreciated.


$set can be 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5.

$lat can be any number between -90 and 90, for example: -90.0000, -87, 0, 45.454545, 89.999999

$lng can be any number between -180 and 180

If any of the values is outside of expected behavior I'd like to kill the script.



 12:21 am on May 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

For something this straightforward, I'd probably take the brute force approach:

$paramsGood = true;
$reason = '';
if ( (isset($_GET['set'])) && (isset($_GET['lat'])) && (isset($_GET['lng'])) ) {
$set = $_GET['set'];
$lat = $_GET['lat'];
$lng = $_GET['lng'];
if (($set<1) || ($set>5) || ($set != floor($set)) { $paramsGood = false; $reason .= "SET out of bounds.\n"; }
if (($lat<-90) || ($lat>90)) { $paramsGood = false; $reason .= "LAT out of bounds.\n" }
if (($lng<-180) || ($lng>180)) { $paramsGood = false; $reason .= "LNG out of bounds.\n"; }
} else {
$paramsGood = false; $reason = "Parameter missing.";
if (!$paramsGood) { die($reason); }


 3:28 am on May 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

The above approach is good but if you were using "friendly" URLs you could eliminate all "non digit" requests at the URL rewriting stage of the game.

RewriteRule ^s([1-5])-la([0-9.-])+-lo([0-9.-])+$ /index.php?set=$1&lat=$2&lng=$3 [L]

You'd still want to check the limits within your PHP, or other, script as above. Whatever you do, if any parameters are missing or out of bounds you should return 404 for that request.

In PHP you can cast the parameter value as an integer before checking the limits.


 3:52 pm on May 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

Keep only what you want and throw everything else away. I'd use the following to check that and apply rainboric's idea for range as well:

$lat = -45.6;
$lng = 78.88;
if (is_numeric($lat) and is_numeric($lng)) {
echo "$lat and $lng are numeric";

Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  

Home / Forums Index / Code, Content, and Presentation / PHP Server Side Scripting
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved