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Introduction

How does a website recall your digital footprints during each visit? This article dives into session management, the silent guardian of web navigation, ensuring our virtual moves are remembered and protected. You’ll be equipped with essential insights on maintaining secure and fluid online experiences through robust session management practices.

What is Session Management?

 

Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) is a security flaw that lets attackers force end users to execute unintended actions on a web application where they are currently authenticated. It is a treacherous exploit that takes advantage of an application’s trust in the user’s browser, allowing the attacker to issue commands to the application that appear to be legitimate requests fro

m the user.

A CSRF attack manipulates a user’s authenticated session to perform actions without their knowledge or consent. For instance, if a user is logged into their social media account, a CSRF attack could silently post a status or send messages to the user while they visit a malicious website.

This differs from other web vulnerability types, like XSS, because CSRF does not involve injecting malicious code into the web application. Instead, it hijacks the user’s browser to perform actions on the web application, exploiting the existing authenticated session.

CSRF Code Example:

<!– This is a malicious website’s HTML which targets a bank’s fund transfer service –>
<img src=“http://bank.com/transfer?amount=1500&toAccount=attacker” width=“0” height=“0” border=“0”>

In the code above, an image tag is used to craft a GET request to the bank’s fund transfer URL. The user who visits the malicious website doesn’t see anything because the image dimensions are set to zero. However, suppose the user has already authenticated with their bank.

In that case, the browser will attempt to load the image by making a GET request, inadvertently executing a fund transfer to the attacker’s account.

This type of attack exploits the fact that the browser automatically sends along any cookies associated with the bank’s domain, including the user’s session cookie.