Jamie Balfour

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Jamie Balfour'sPersonal blog

Jamie Balfour'sPersonal blog

Whilst the title of this post is somewhat humourous, the topic of this post is far from that. 

Recently several prominent YouTube channels such as Paul Hibbert and Linus Tech Tips have experienced account shutdowns and experiencing hacking of their channels. 

Both channels experienced similar situations with the theft of a cookie being all that was needed to get into the website. And it makes sense too. In the past, I have used session IDs to switch between computers whilst keeping my session the same. So really all that is needed to get into a website without needing to authenticate is that cookie. Ultimately this is why I don't allow websites to do this on my server. However, it does still leave security issues with other websites.

What actually happens in these attacks is basically the user logs into the website as normal, and a cookie is transferred to the user's computer. The cookie is sent back to the web server each time the client requests something, identifying who they are. This session is stored on the server with the ID as defined in the cookie and contains information about who they are - it's fairly simple. But if a hacker obtains this ID, they can put it into their own browsers and they too can pretend to be logged in as the user.

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