|How Session Hijacking works|
What is Session Hijacking?Let's discuss them in common term's, Session Hijacking by the name only it suggests that we are hacking someone's active session and trying to exploit it by taking the unauthorized access over their computer system or Network. So Session Hijacking is the exploitation of valid computer or network session. Sometimes technical guys also call this HTTP cookie theft or more correctly Magic Cookie Hack. Now you guys surely be thinking what is Magic Cookie.
Magic cookie is simply a cookie that is used to authenticate the user on remote server or simply computer. In general, cookies are used to maintain the sessions on the websites and store the remote address of the website. So in Session Hijacking what Hacker does is that he tries to steal the Magic cookies of the active session that's why its called HTTP cookie Theft. Nowadays several websites has started using HTTPS cookies simply called encrypted cookies. But we all know If encrypter exits so its decrypter also :P..
Session Hijacking is the process of taking over a existing active session. One of the main reason for Hijacking the session is to bypass the authentication process and gain the access to the machine. Since the session is already active so there is no need of re-authenticating and the hacker can easily access the resources and sensitive information like passwords, bank details and much more.
Different Types of Session HijackingSession Hijacking involves two types of attacks :
1. Active attack
2. Passive attack
In Passive attack, the hacker Hijacks a session, but just sits back and watches and records all the traffic that is being sent from the computer or received by the computer. This is useful for finding the sensitive information like username passwords of websites, windows and much more...
In Active attack, hacker finds the active session and takes over it. This is done by forcing one of the parties offline which is usually achieved by DDOS attack (Distributed Denial of service attack) . Now the hacker takes control over the active session and executes the commands on the system that either give him the sensitive information such as passwords or allow him to login at later time.
There are also some hybrid attacks, where the attacker watches a session for while and then becomes active by taking it over. Another way is to watch the session and periodically inject data into the active session without actually taking it over.
Methods to Hijack SessionsThere are four main methods used to perpetrate a session hijack. These are:
- Session fixation, where the attacker sets a user's session id to one known to him, for example by sending the user an email with a link that contains a particular session id. The attacker now only has to wait until the user logs in.
- Session sidejacking, where the attacker uses packet sniffing to read network traffic between two parties to steal the session cookie. Many web sites use SSL encryption for login pages to prevent attackers from seeing the password, but do not use encryption for the rest of the site once authenticated. This allows attackers that can read the network traffic to intercept all the data that is submitted to the server or web pages viewed by the client. Since this data includes the session cookie, it allows him to impersonate the victim, even if the password itself is not compromised. Unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots are particularly vulnerable, as anyone sharing the network will generally be able to read most of the web traffic between other nodes and the access point.
- Alternatively, an attacker with physical access can simply attempt to steal the session key by, for example, obtaining the file or memory contents of the appropriate part of either the user's computer or the server.
- Cross-site scripting, where the attacker tricks the user's computer into running code which is treated as trustworthy because it appears to belong to the server, allowing the attacker to obtain a copy of the cookie or perform other operations.
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