Easy Optimize SQLmap for Penetration Testing

As a professional penetration tester, it is important to consider the use of automation tools such as SQLMAP in our activities. However, we need to optimize SQLmap. One of the key considerations when using such tools is the potential for false negative results. While SQLMAP is widely considered to be a highly effective tool for detecting SQL injection vulnerabilities, it is important to optimize its usage in order to reduce testing time and minimize the risk of false negatives.

In the fast-paced and dynamic world of penetration testing, it is critical to make efficient use of our time and resources. SQLMAP is a valuable tool that can help us to automate the process of detecting SQL injection vulnerabilities. However, to ensure the reliability and accuracy of our results, it is necessary to optimize its usage and prevent false negatives.

By taking the time to optimize SQLMAP and properly configure it for our specific use case, we can ensure that it is running at peak performance and yielding accurate results. This will not only improve the effectiveness of our testing, but it will also save us valuable time and resources in the long run.

Here is the SQL injection vulnerabilities published in 2016 and 2017 (source : https://www.cvedetails.com) :

Optimize SQLmap for Penetration Testing

Optimize SQLmap for Penetration Testing

From the above results, it was increased significantly and this is the highest number since 2011.

Optimize SQLmap

As a penetration tester, I recently conducted manual SQL injection testing against a website and found that it was vulnerable to a stacked injection attack. I confirmed the vulnerability by utilizing a time-based payload, which resulted in a delay response from the server. However, upon utilizing the SQLMAP tool, it returned a negative result, indicating that the website parameter was not vulnerable. Further analysis revealed that this false negative was likely due to the server’s 500 response code, which was caused by the use of stacked queries and comments as suffix parameters.

After further research and testing, I discovered that this is a known issue on the SQLMAP Github page. To effectively utilize the SQLMAP tool in this scenario, it is necessary to manually perform injections and identify normal pages, before inputting additional queries as suffix parameters.

This experience highlights the importance of manual testing and understanding the nuances of SQL injection attacks, even when utilizing automation tools like SQLMAP. In addition to increasing the accuracy of our testing, manual testing also helps us to gain a deeper understanding of the underlying vulnerabilities and improve our overall effectiveness as penetration testers.


In conclusion, manual SQL injection testing can be a valuable and effective method for detecting SQL injection vulnerabilities. Despite the convenience and automation that tools like SQLMAP provide, manual testing allows for a deeper understanding of the underlying vulnerabilities and can help to identify false negatives that may occur when using automation alone.

Manual SQL injection testing involves manually crafting and inputting specific payloads into a website or application in order to identify vulnerabilities. This can be done through the use of common payloads, or by creating custom payloads based on the application’s specific structure and behavior. Some of the key techniques used in manual SQL injection testing include error-based injection, union-based injection, and time-based injection.

Manual testing also allows us to gain a deeper understanding of the specific behavior and responses of the application to injection payloads, this allow us to make accurate decision about the vulnerability and the exploitability.

By testing manually, we can confirm the vulnerability and if necessary fine-tune the payloads, add the tamper option or adjust the parameters to the tool that we use. Moreover, manual testing can reveal additional information about the database structure, which can be useful for further exploitation.

It is important to note that manual SQL injection testing should be done with caution, as it can potentially cause harm to the targeted application or database. It is always recommended to perform testing with the proper authorization and in a controlled environment.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *