Session hijacking is growing increasingly trivial
Computer users getting online at local cafes, airport terminals and conference venues will have to be more wary of the wireless network, according to a security researcher's presentation at the Black Hat Security Briefings on Thursday.
New tools allow a nearby attacker to steal the security keys, or cookies, used by online sites to identify users and to hold other information about the Web session. The keys allow the attacker to then get full access to the victim's online accounts.
One tools was demonstrated by sniffing the cookies sent over the wireless network at Black Hat, gaining access to one user's GMail account.
"If I sniff your session and use your cookies, then I've cloned your session," the demonstrator said. "As far as the server is concerned, I am you."
While the attack is not new, the ease with which the tool can clone sessions, and thus people's access to their accounts, is. Many wireless hijacking scenarios called for the attacker to set up a rogue access point that the victim uses, creating a man-in-the-middle attack. The new attack vector, being referred to as "sidejacking", only requires eavesdropping on the users connection—a simple feat with most public wireless connections.
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