Session Hijacking: A Practical Guide For 2021

Ajay Ohri
  1. What is session hijacking and its examples?
  2. What Can Attackers Do After Successful Session Hijacking?
  3. What is the Difference Between Session Hijacking and Session Spoofing?
  4. What Are the Main Methods of Session Hijacking and How Do They Work?
  5. How Can You Prevent Session Hijacking?

1. What is session hijacking and its examples?

A cookie with Session is the capability to run a website with particular user credentials. This capability and capacity need to be kept safe to avoid theft. an attacker otherwise impersonates a user and act on their behalf. Such actions will lead to loss of data, and this activity is popularly known as Session Hijacking or cookie hijacking.

2. What Can Attackers Do After Successful Session Hijacking?

They will get complete access to your private data and some private information, which is very important not to be shared in public. An attacker can access one’s bank details to employee and customer information also. When the attacker only secretes such data, which could not lose you economically without going too deep into one’s personal information, it is termed as session hijacking in ethical hacking.

3. What is the Difference Between Session Hijacking and Session Spoofing?

Session hijacking and session spoofing differ only in the attack timing. Session hijacking usually occurs against a user who is currently logged in and working with an encrypted environment with the intention of economic loss. In session spoofing, attackers use counterfeit tokens of the session to proceed with a new session cookie and copies the original user without his/her consent.

4. What Are the Main Methods of Session Hijacking and How Do They Work?

To consider how session hijacking works, considering what cookies peek into during the interaction matters the most. First, they are generated and possibly stored in a server to get prepared for a session hijacking attack. Then they are transmitted between a server and a client and back again. Finally, they are stored as client’s related use. As such, cookies could be stolen by compromising identity server or client and copying them, or if the server’s algorithm generating cookies are known, the adversary could be predicted what the particular cookie is.

Cookies could also be copied by sniffing in work to observe them in the transit or either by manipulating the network by sending the cookies to an adversary directly using techniques like DNS Cache poisoning. These are some of the session hijacking in ethical hacking. There are some session hijacking tools like cross-site scripting (XSS), session side jacking, and other session hijacking attacks like Session fixation, Brute cookie function, or cookie theft using malware for session hijacking in cybersecurity. Hence, with types of session hijacking and session hijacking attack example, we can understand session hijacking.

5. How Can You Prevent Session Hijacking?

To Avoid session hijacking in cyber-attack and to get the answer to how to prevent session hijacking, the user must follow these mentioned advisories:

  • Avoid theft by guessing the cookies through the session. Therefore, cookies should be randomly chosen and must be sufficiently long. This is the best answer to the question whether how to avoid session hijacking because it is quite difficult to stop session hijacking, but we can only try our best to keep ourselves safe by our individual efforts. 
  • Users must only accept requests due to legitimate interactions in the website, for example, avoiding clicking unnecessary or attractive links.
  • While talking about the prevention of session hijacking, the question also arises whether how to mitigate session hijacking. The Twitter token attack will be the perfect example for mitigating attacks. Twitter uses a single cookie called auth_token to validate and identify the user. This cookie is incorporated with a username and password. This approach suffers from 2 weaknesses. These are:
  • auth_token do not change with a session to session
  • It is not becoming valid when the user logs out

This gives the user to steal cookies with the indefinite hijacking of the user’s account. For this defect, the user can use a defence system or session time out IDs and delete them once the session ends. Hence, these are some session hijacking prevention.


In this article, we had discussed session hijacking, what is session hijacking with an example, session hijacking attack prevention, session hijacking example, session fixation vs. session hijacking, session hijacking in cybersecurity what is session hijacking in network security in detail. hence, before clicking on any anonymous email, think twice about the action and its reaction. 

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