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Cookie Hijacking – The Catastrophic Facets Of Website Cookies

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By Author: Selins Jesse
Total Articles: 20
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Did you ever revisit a website only to find it remembers your locations based on your last visit? Put simply, every website uses cookies to store private data. Cookies store them all from ad preferences to login credentials and credit card details. So, is using website cookies a boon or a bane?

Using Web Cookies – The Bright Side
Everything has some pros and cons. So, considering cookies to have catastrophic impacts solely is a sheer misconception. To illustrate, let's speak of the good part first. So, here's elucidating the pros of website cookies.

• Seamless to implement because they support on client’s side

• They have a specific domain, and each of them has its unique cookies

• No domain shares cookies with others

• Users/clients easily enable/disable cookies when they find them on the site

• Cookies do not occupy too much memory or storage

• Do not demand server resources and get stored on the computer

• Cookies work transparently regardless of the user being aware of information getting stored

Web Cookies and Their Catastrophic Aspects
... Website cookies can be advantageous for both marketing teams and customers. But soon after malicious attackers get the private information, nothing can be as dangerous as cookie attacks. In short, cookie or customer journey hijacking is the ultimate bane of using website cookies.

Cookie Stealing– How does it Work?
Cookie hijacking or session hijacking is a method hackers use to access &steal personal data. With this method, threat actors can also prevent you from accessing accounts.

With session hijacking, hackers gain access to all resources. It may occur when malware programs wait for users to log into the website. The malware steals session cookies & sends them to the cybercriminal.
Cookie stealing attacks get initiated when the attacker sends a false login to the user. As the victim clicks, it lets the intruder steal cookies. They put the stolen cookies in their browser to pretend the role of those users.

At times, cookie stealing can occur even without a fake link. Hackers can easily steal data when the user is present in an unsecured session or via public Wi-Fi. It might occur even if the website is secure, and users' passwords and usernames get encrypted.

Soon after the threat actor gets the session cookie, they easily log into the website. They can also change the password. Moreover, if they enable MFA or multifactor authentication against the victim, the user never gains access to that account. So, that's how cookie hijacking occurs.

The Intention of Hackers: Why Cookie Hijacking Occurs?
Explained below are the prime objectives of cookie stealing.

#1 Cookie Scraping is a Lucrative Business
Cookies contain users' private information, such as login and credit card details. So, hackers earn handsome money by selling them to cybercriminals

#2 Stolen Cookies are the Fuel for any Identity Theft
The information gets saved in the cookies if one fills in details on several digital platforms. Hackers steam them to perform identity theft. For instance, they may apply for loans under your name and use credit cards for purchases.

#3 Stolen Cookies Get Used for Targeting Phishing Attacks
Threat actors use sensitive information to target phishing or cookie hijacking security attacks. Once these hackers procure users' sensitive information, they extort them &ask for an amount to protect their information from getting compromised.

#4 Hackers Take Over the Accounts
When hackers hijack the cookies, they take over the accounts and use them for illegal purposes. It might be more advantageous for them if they find out that accounts contain payment information.

#5 Threat Actors Harm Companies and Marketing teas by Stealing Cookies
They cause financial harm to marketing teams and establishments by stealing their cookies. Since cookies contain confidential data, hackers might ask for huge amounts of money. Cybercriminals sometimes try to get authorized access to companies' networks to spy on them and inject malware.

Cookie Stealing &Session Hijacking Methods: What Are They?

When intruders or malicious actors perform session hijacking or cookie stealing, they use any of the following methods.

#1 Session Sniffing
Cybercrime actors employ a packet sniffer –a piece of software or hardware that monitors network traffic. Session cookies are a part of network traffic. So, session sniffing allows them to discover &steal information easily.

#2 Session Fixation
Session fixation is a fishing attempt. Attackers send a malicious link to targeted users through email.

#3 XSS or Cross-Site Scripting
Threat actors fool users' computer systems to make them treat malicious code as secure. If the script runs, hackers get access to steal cookies. If the server or a website lacks security parameters, they can easily inject client-side scripts.

#4 Malware Attack
Hackers can steal cookies through malware programs too.

Prevent Your Website from Cookie Hijacking Attempts

Opt for session hijacking prevention solutions from Virus Positive Technologies and secure your brand. Protect your customers' journey and recover advertising revenue with the team. VPT is a pioneer in facilitating your enterprise. The adept team provides you with sought-after methodologies to foresee and eliminate fraud.

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