Sanitization Data

Data sanitization is the process of deliberately, permanently, and irreversibly removing or destroying the data stored on a memory device. A device that has been sanitized has no usable residual data and even advanced forensic tools should not ever be able recover erased data.

Data Sanitization

Input filtering

Instead of using the destructive input filtering features of Sanitize class we should instead apply more thorough Data Validation to the user data our application accepts. By rejecting invalid input we can often remove the need to destructively modify user data. We might also want to look at PHP’s filter extension in situations we need to modify user input.

Accepting user submitted HTML

Often input filtering is used when accepting user-submitted HTML. In these situations it is best to use a dedicated library like HTML Purifier

SQL Escaping

CakePHP handles SQL escaping on all parameters to Model::find() and Model::save(). In the rare case we need to construct SQL by hand using user input we should use Prepared Statements.

When to do sanitization in CakePHP

For most of CakePHP’s model functions we don’t have to worry about escaping the input.

CakePHP already protects us against SQL Injection if we use:
CakePHP’s ORM methods (such as find() and save()) plus:
Proper array notation (ie. array(‘field’ => $value)) instead of raw SQL.

For sanitization against XSS its generally better to save raw HTML in database without modification and sanitize at the time of output/display.

See There are other cases, however, when you need to run a custom SQL query or subquery. In these cases you can either:

>> We do a find() query using $this->data. Then CakePHP sanitize against SQL when writing the array $this->data or when writing the query for find()?

Cakephp does not sanitize $this->data in the controller, if we check the cake code, in Dispatcher::parseParams() we will see that when $_POST is copied to controller data the values are not sanitized.

However, using $_POST is not recommended because we will loose all the cake’s magic that we gain when using the form helper.

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