OWASP Periodic Table of Vulnerabilities - Cookie Theft/Session Hijacking

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Cookie Theft/Session Hijacking

Root Cause Summary

It's possible for an attacker to steal and abuse session identifiers when these are stored in cookies.

Browser / Standards Solution


Perimeter Solution

  • Make sure that all session identifiers are transmitted over an encrypted protocol.
  • Terminate/regenerate session if the session token is transmitted insecurely.
  • Enforce the Secure and HttpOnly flags on cookies using a Web Application Firewall.

Complexity: Low
Impact: High

Generic Framework Solution

  • force Secure and HttpOnly flags for all cookies.
  • Make sure that the Domain and Path are set correctly
  • Alert user and deauthorize oldest session when multiple simultaneous logins are detected.
  • Terminate session if User-Agent string or other client fingerprinting changes.

Complexity: Medium
Impact: High

Custom Framework Solution


Custom Code Solution


Discussion / Controversy


Session Management Cheat Sheet (OWASP)