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Difference between RFI and LFI

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  • Last Updated : 26 Apr, 2022
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Remote File Inclusion (RFI) is a type of vulnerability most often found on the suited PHP running web portals be on the web and the Local File Inclusion (LFI) is similar to RFI, the only difference is that in LFI, the attacker has been uploading the malicious scripts types.


Remote File Inclusion (RFI) is a type of vulnerability found in PHP running websites or web servers. The RFI is enabling an attacker to include the remotely hosting file however through scripting on the website servers and vulnerability occurring due to usage of its user-supplied user input without final validations through it.

The remote file inclusion (RFI) is the attacker’s targeted code for the malware attack in website server applications that reference outer external scripts. The perpetrator’s aim is to exploit the reference function in an application to upload malware(i.e. as backdoor shells) from a remote URL located within a different domain as RFI vulnerability exists in a website or web application, an attacker can include malicious external files that run by website or website applications

In RFI attacks, third party hackers employ scripting to include likewise remotely hosting files on the web portals. In an LFI attack, a hacker used to target local files to execute the malicious harmful scripts

In Remote File Inclusion RFI attacks, hackers take the merits of the “dynamic file including” commands that are in such website/ web portal applications to send malicious external files or scripts to it. When website applications allow user input, such as URL, parameters passing value, etc. and passing to the “file including” steps without having proper validation on it, thus harmful perpetrators can be excluding the website’s browsing application to include remote files with harmful scripts, LFI detects the harmful threats like actors using a local file that is stored on the target server, RFI attack, they using the file from external server resources.

This malicious malware file execution of attacks can be done with Blacklisting as well as Code fixing within it.

  1. The perpetrator can be executing malicious code from an external source instead of accessing a file on the local web servers, as is the case with an LFI attack
  2. The goal is to exploit the insecurity of local files uploaded on functions that fail to validate user-supplied/controlled inputs

Local File Inclusion (LFI) is as RFI; the only difference is LFI the attacker has to upload the malicious scripts to target the server-side to be executed by it locally. LFI is a runnable web application including files as user input without proper validation for enabling attacks. This enabled an attacker to include malicious files by manipulating the input. LFI uses local files (i.e, files executing on the end target on the server’s handling) when it is excluding the attacks.

LFI attacks, are threats using a local file that is stored on the targeting servers to execute malicious scripts. These types of attacks can be obtained by using a website browser. In an RFI attack, they use a file from an external source as an LFI vulnerability. The included authorized is already present on the local application servers, targeted by the hacker. If successfully applied, the attacker can read the important files, access more sensitive information, or running arbitrary commands.

Remote File Inclusion (RFI) and Local File Inclusion (LFI) are vulnerabilities that are found on poorly-written web servers sides or website applications. Thus these malware vulnerabilities occur when a web application enabled the user to submit input into files or upload files to the servers

LFI is a website’s vulnerability that results from mistakes at the website or web application programmers’ end. this type of dangerous hacker can take the key to vulnerability to including malicious files which are then executed by the vulnerable website or web application. local file inclusion (LFI) is uploading malicious files to web servers via web browsers. The two vectors have to reference both in the file inclusions attacks.

RFI vulnerabilities are easy to expand but less than the common and malicious file executing running attacks can be done with Vulnerability scans and on Web Application firewalls

  1. LFI is possible for third party hackers to only usable at once an owner’s website browsing to get out of the harmful attacks.
  2. RFI attack is having perpetrators that examine malicious targeted code from external resources of accessing the file on the local webserver within to LFI attacks through it.
  3. LFI has goals to explain the insecurities of local files that are uploaded to stored functions that fail to validate user-supplied/controlled inputs.

Following is a table of differences between RFI and LFI:

S. No.   



1. Remote File Inclusion (RFI) is a type of vulnerability most often found on the suited PHP running webservers as on web portals Local File Inclusion (LFI) is like RFI, LFI the attacker has to upload the malicious scripts
2. RFI is paired with local file inclusion  LFI is the inclusion part is referring to the exploitation of the including functions to force the system to evaluate the inappropriate files
3. RFI loads files from external sourcing outside the servers LFI loads local files on the worst-case as, the “ etc/.passwd ”-file
4. RFI is similar to nefarious Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) attack LFI is similar to the nefarious Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) attack
5. RFI attack, a hacker employs scripting to include a remotely hosted file on the webserver LFI attack, a hacker uses local files to execute a malicious script
6. in RFI the hacker is used tool as remote files LFI uses the local files (i.e. files on the target server)
7. RFI both injection attacks, but they are different and can have different implications for it LFI are both injection attacks are different and can have a different implication
8. Remote File Inclusion (RFI), like –  Path/Directory Traversal malware only allows the attacker to read the file Path/Directory Traversal may see as  similar to Local File Inclusion (LFI)
9. Malicious file execution attacks can be done with Blacklisting and Code fixing Malicious file execution attacks are done with a Vulnerability scanning web and Application firewalls
10. RFI may also allow the attacker to execute code LFI may also allow the attacker to execute code
11. It has allow_url include=ON in php.ini It also has allow_url include=ON in php.ini
12. It has allow_url include=OFF in php.ini It does not allow_url include=OFF in php.ini
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