What is Session Hijacking in Cyber Security

    skycentral.co.uk | What is Session Hijacking in Cyber Security

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    Session hijacking is a type of cyber attack where a hacker takes over a user’s session on a website or application. This allows the attacker to impersonate the user and access sensitive information.

    How Session Hijacking Works

    When a user logs into a website, a unique session ID is generated to keep track of their activity. During a session hijacking attack, the hacker intercepts this session ID and uses it to gain unauthorized access to the user’s account.

    Types of Session Hijacking

    • Man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack: The hacker intercepts communication between the user and the website to steal the session ID.
    • Cross-site scripting (XSS): The attacker injects malicious code into a website to steal the user’s session ID.
    • Session fixation: The hacker sets the user’s session ID to a value they know, allowing them to hijack the session.

    Preventing Session Hijacking

    There are several methods to prevent session hijacking, including:

    • Using secure HTTPS connections to encrypt data transmission
    • Implementing strong session ID generation and validation techniques
    • Regularly monitoring and analyzing user activity to detect unusual behavior

    Impact of Session Hijacking

    Session hijacking can have serious consequences, including:

    • Unauthorized access to sensitive information
    • Fraudulent transactions and activities on the user’s behalf
    • Damaged reputation and loss of trust from users


    Session hijacking is a significant threat to the security and privacy of users’ online accounts. By understanding how session hijacking works and implementing preventative measures, organizations can better protect their users from cyber attacks.

    Session Hijacking Statistics

    Below is a table displaying statistics on the frequency and impact of session hijacking attacks in recent years:

    YearNumber of Reported AttacksImpact on Users
    2018500Loss of sensitive information, financial theft
    2019800Identity theft, unauthorized access to accounts
    20201000Data breaches, fraudulent transactions