Java Vulnerable Lab

This tutorial is based on the popular Java project, Java Vulnerable Lab, a benchmarking application for vulnerability discovery tools. The project includes different sample vulnerabilities, such as typical injection vulnerabilities like SQL injection.


You've gone through the Quickstart, which walks you through installing and starting Ocular.

Running the Java Vulnerable Lab Sample Application

The Java Vulnerable Lab WAR file is included in the Ocular distribution for your convenience.

We will focus on an SQL injection vulnerability in, a controller that also consumes POST requests. The GET request that ends up in a SQL query is of particular interest.

protected void processRequest(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) throws ServletException, IOException {
PrintWriter out = response.getWriter();
try {
Connection con=new DBConnect().connect(getServletContext().getRealPath("/WEB-INF/"));
String email=request.getParameter("email").trim();
JSONObject json=new JSONObject();
if(con!=null && !con.isClosed())
ResultSet rs=null;
Statement stmt = con.createStatement();
rs=stmt.executeQuery("select * from users where email='"+email+"'");
protected void doGet(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) throws ServletException, IOException {
processRequest(request, response);

The variable request is of type HttpServletRequest and is part of the doGet signature. The object is passed to processRequest, where the parameter email is read as a string. The variable is concatenated to the SQL query without prior checks. This leads to an SQL injection. This vulnerability is identified using Ocular.

Generating CPGs and Security Profiles

You create the application's Code Property Graph (CPG) and Security Profile using the command:

createCpgAndSp("subjects/JavaVulnerableLab.war") -o

This command creates a file named containing the CPG and Security Profile in a binary format.

Generating an Initial Analysis Report

Ocular lets you query CPGs and Security Profiles, both interactively and non-interactively. An example of non-interactive querying is the script in scripts/

@main def exec(spFilename: String, outFilename: String) = {
sp.findings.sortedByScore.l |> outFilename

This script loads the Security Profile at spFilename, and evaluates the expression sp.findings.sortedByScore.l to obtain a list of findings sorted by score. The list is piped to the file outFilename via the |> operator.


You can also run this interactive script using the Ocular Query Language (OQL).

As a result, the text file report.txt is generated containing all findings in a human-readable format. Take a look at one of the findings to get an idea of the type of information the report contains:

Title: http-to-sql
Score: 9.0
Categories: [a1-injection]
Flow ids: [1715]
Description: Attacker controlled data is used in a SQL query without undergoing escaping or validation. This could allow an attacker to read sensitive data from the database or modify its content.See
Flow 0:
IO Tags: Set(http) -> Set(sql)
Data Tags: Set(DATA_TYPE: pii, DATA_TYPE: contact, DATA_LANGUAGE: SQL)
trigger methods:
Primary flow:
| param | type | method | signature |
| request(1)| javax.servlet.http.HttpServletRequest| doGet | org.cysecurity.cspf.jvl.controller.EmailCheck.doGet:void(javax.servlet.http.HttpServletRequest,javax.servlet.http.HttpServletResponse) |
| request(1)| javax.servlet.http.HttpServletRequest| processRequest| org.cysecurity.cspf.jvl.controller.EmailCheck.processRequest:void(javax.servlet.http.HttpServletRequest,javax.servlet.http.HttpServletResponse)|
| this(0) | javax.servlet.http.HttpServletRequest| getParameter | javax.servlet.http.HttpServletRequest.getParameter:java.lang.String(java.lang.String) |
| return(-1)| java.lang.String | getParameter | javax.servlet.http.HttpServletRequest.getParameter:java.lang.String(java.lang.String) |
| this(0) | java.lang.String | trim | java.lang.String.trim:java.lang.String() |
| return(-1)| java.lang.String | trim | java.lang.String.trim:java.lang.String() |
| email | java.lang.String | processRequest| org.cysecurity.cspf.jvl.controller.EmailCheck.processRequest:void(javax.servlet.http.HttpServletRequest,javax.servlet.http.HttpServletResponse)|
| param0(1) | java.lang.String | append | java.lang.StringBuilder.append:java.lang.StringBuilder(java.lang.String) |
| return(-1)| java.lang.StringBuilder | append | java.lang.StringBuilder.append:java.lang.StringBuilder(java.lang.String) |
| this(0) | java.lang.StringBuilder | append | java.lang.StringBuilder.append:java.lang.StringBuilder(java.lang.String) |
| return(-1)| java.lang.StringBuilder | append | java.lang.StringBuilder.append:java.lang.StringBuilder(java.lang.String) |
| this(0) | java.lang.StringBuilder | toString | java.lang.StringBuilder.toString:java.lang.String() |
| return(-1)| java.lang.String | toString | java.lang.StringBuilder.toString:java.lang.String() |
| param0(1) | java.lang.String | executeQuery | java.sql.Statement.executeQuery:java.sql.ResultSet(java.lang.String) |

Along with other findings, notice an SQL injection vulnerability that can be trigged via HTTP with a score of 9.0. Findings are scored to allow for filtering. Findings also include a human-readable description that further characterizes the potential vulnerability, as well as the information flows associated with the vulnerability.

In this example, a single information flow is associated with the vulnerability. ShiftLeft Ocular identifies that the parameter request of the method doGet is attacker-controlled with high probability, since it is an HTTP request parameter. Tracking the flow of request, the variable is passed into the method processRequest where it is Base64-decoded and used in the initialization of a ByteArrayInputStream. This input stream is itself used to initialize an ObjectInputStream. Lastly, the readObject method is invoked on the tainted input stream, resulting in the deserialization of attacker-controlled data. The flow description additionally provides HTTP input routes when possible (/admin/login in this case), and externally triggerable methods to invoke the vulnerable flow (doPostLogin in this example).

Interactively Exploring and Filtering the Security Profile

Using interactive mode, load the Security Profile javavulnerablelab.sp by


This creates an object named sp that provides access to the Security Profile. Now enter:

!= category equals getClass isInstanceOf raw scoreAtMost spTestsFlows |>
== dedup filter hashCode l score size title
asInstanceOf description flatMap ioFlows map scoreAtLeast sortedByScore toString

to obtain a list of possible operations that can be executed on findings. In particular, findings support the scoreAtLeast method, which allows findings to be filtered such that only findings scored above or equal to a threshold are returned. For example


returns only findings with a score of at least 8. Note that the query language is lazily evaluated, that is, sp.findings.scoreAtLeast(8) only yields in an expression, and it is only evaluated as it is converted to a list via the l directive (a shorthand for "toList").

All string properties support regular expressions. You can obtain all findings related to serialization with:


All lists support the functional combinators of the Scala language. Moreover, the functional combinators filter, map, and flatMap are provided directly for expression of the DSL. For example, instead of using the built-in method scoreAtLeast, the same effect can be achieved via a filter operation:

sp.findings.filter(_.score >= 8).size

This allows more complex filtering rules to be expressed via lambdas:

fooBarMethodsp.findings.filter(x => x.score >=8 && x.categories.contains("a1-injection")).l

returns only the findings with a score greater or equal to 8, where the finding's categories includes a1-injection.