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From Lloyd Richardson <>
Subject RE: Safe handling of an SQL query
Date Mon, 16 Apr 2012 14:00:38 GMT
Have your webservice connect to the db as an unprivileged user that has only select privileges.

-----Original Message-----
From: Vincent Veyron [] 
Sent: April-16-12 8:55 AM
Subject: Safe handling of an SQL query

Hi Group,

I maintain a business application that uses a LAMP stack of Linux +
Apache2 + Mod_perl + Postgresql. One recurring problem I have is that each client wants his
own set of custom reports using queries from the database.

This is currently covered via a table in the database which holds the query associated with
the report, but that quickly leads to a maintenance problem.

I am thinking of creating a sort of web service, where my customers can send a query to the
server, via a VB or .NET procedure launched on the opening of a document (.doc, .odf, other
) and I'll just serve the dataset resulting from the query. 

My question is :

Can I make sure that whatever query is sent to the server, it will only be a SELECT <...>
and _never_ a UPDATE or INSERT or DELETE ?

I can check with a regexp, but I am worried about the possibility to encode terms of the query
into something obscure enough that it'll go through. For instance, DELETE in hexadecimal looks
like this :

Vincent Veyron
Logiciel de gestion des sinistres assurances et des dossiers contentieux pour le service juridique

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