Session Hijacking Attack

Session Hijacking Attack

In a website, cookies and Sessions are used to store information. These are a tasty treat for malicious hackers. Once an attacker gets their hands on a session ID, they can get unauthorized access to a web application and fully impersonate a valid user.

The term “session hijacking” refers to an attacker taking over a portion of a session and act as one of those participants.

How does session hijacking work?

  • Session hijacking happens when an intruder takes advantage of a compromised active session by hijacking or stealing the HTTP cookies used to maintain a session on most websites.
  • Another way is by predicting an active session to gain unauthorized access to information in a remote web server without detection as the intruder uses the credentials of the particular user. 

Session Hijacking Countermeasures

To keep your system strong to session hijack attack, follow these rules:

  • End-to-end encryption between the user’s browser and the web server using a secure connection, which prevents unauthorized access to the session ID. 
  • Change the session ID after the user logs in. There should be an automatic log off if a session ends in use, and the client should be required to re-authenticate using a different session ID. 
  • Set the HttpOnly flag for session cookies.
  • Generate long and random session cookies, which reduces the chances of an adversary guessing or predicting what a session cookie could be.
  • Use secure and well-tested session ID generation and management mechanisms tools available in popular frameworks.