One GraphQL benefit over REST is that you can define a generic backend to serve applications.
GraphQL defines its data schema, explicitly providing which object lives in the current application and operations to query these objects.
Let's start with an example schema.
Here, we created a
User data structure and made it accessible through the query
Many backends rely on permissions management, and misunderstanding GraphQL specifications can lead to flaws or harmful data leaks.
The reference problem
So far, the schema we defined remains very simple, but we could add an
Organization data structure that references a
This unsafe reference will create an infinite loop and an enumeration flaw.
These flaws won't directly affect developers or lead to data leaks. But you may run into permissions issues.
For example, we could have checked the authorization to fetch
getUser, but did restrict the fetch of
GraphQL applications tend to be bigger than rest, coming to the number of paths when REST uses a fixed number of routes.
For example, using Union and defining the following schema:
You, in fact, created two paths for one query!
Query getCharacter -> Droid
Query getCharacter -> Human
By hand, auditing applications are time-consuming and likely to grow exponentially with the size of the schema.
Enumerating the paths
You can always explore the result of an introspection query by using GraphQL Voyager and better understand your defined paths.
Our goal at Escape is to make the GraphQL world safer. To do so, we need to ensure that every path on a GraphQL backend are scanned.
We recently open-sourced a python module, graphenum that serves this specific need.
Maybe you also want to automate the path enumeration to perform some coverage checks on your application? Or even just referencing them to do full profiling?
Graphenum is a tool that will introspect and convert a GraphQL specification into an exploitable JSON file along with the path referencing an object, a bunch of statistics, and property census.
GraphQL specification and its underneath recursivity could create a layer of obstruction and technical debt for your developers.
Make sure you understand the insights of this model to unleash all its power and make your applications more secure.
Code used in this article: https://github.com/Escape-Technologies/blog-posts/tree/main/find-your-way-in-graphql
GraphQL Voyager (Represent any GraphQL API as an interactive graph) : https://ivangoncharov.github.io/graphql-voyager/
Setup a GraphQL Yoga application: https://www.graphql-yoga.com/tutorial/basic
Awesome GraphQL Security: https://github.com/Escape-Technologies/awesome-graphql-security
Add GraphQL security layer for Apollo/Yoga: https://github.com/Escape-Technologies/graphql-armor
Wanna know more about automated GraphQL security testing? Read our blog article "How to test your GraphQL API?".