Cookie Hijacking

    skycentral.co.uk | Cookie Hijacking

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    What is Cookie Hijacking?

    Cookie hijacking, also known as session hijacking, is a type of web attack where an attacker gains unauthorized access to a user’s session by stealing their session cookie. This allows the attacker to impersonate the user and perform malicious actions on their behalf, such as accessing their accounts, stealing sensitive information, or carrying out fraudulent transactions.

    How Cookie Hijacking Works

    Cookie hijacking typically occurs when a user’s session cookie is intercepted by an attacker who is able to capture it through various means, such as packet sniffing, man-in-the-middle attacks, or cross-site scripting. Once the attacker obtains the session cookie, they can use it to authenticate themselves as the legitimate user and gain access to their accounts and sensitive information.

    Common Vulnerabilities Leading to Cookie Hijacking

    • Unencrypted connections: When sensitive data, including session cookies, is transmitted over unencrypted connections, it becomes vulnerable to interception by attackers.
    • Cross-site scripting: Insecure web applications that are susceptible to cross-site scripting attacks can be used to steal session cookies from users.
    • Weak session management: Poorly implemented session management practices can lead to predictable or easily guessable session IDs, making it easier for attackers to hijack sessions.

    Preventing Cookie Hijacking

    Fortunately, there are several measures that can be implemented to prevent cookie hijacking:

    • Implement secure HTTPS connections to encrypt all data transmitted between the server and the client, including session cookies.
    • Utilize secure and HttpOnly flags for cookies to prevent them from being accessed by malicious scripts and prevent cross-site scripting attacks.
    • Use strong session management practices that generate unpredictable and random session IDs and constantly rotate them.
    • Regularly educate users about the risks of cookie hijacking and how to protect themselves, such as avoiding unsecured public Wi-Fi networks.


    Cookie hijacking is a serious threat to the security and privacy of users’ information, but with proper safeguards in place, it can be mitigated. By implementing strong security measures and educating users about the risks, organizations and individuals can protect themselves from falling victim to cookie hijacking attacks.