Home > CAPEC List > CAPEC-60: Reusing Session IDs (aka Session Replay) (Version 2.11)  

CAPEC-60: Reusing Session IDs (aka Session Replay)

Reusing Session IDs (aka Session Replay)
Definition in a New Window Definition in a New Window
Attack Pattern ID: 60
Abstraction: Detailed
Status: Draft
Completeness: Complete
Presentation Filter:
+ Summary

This attack targets the reuse of valid session ID to spoof the target system in order to gain privileges. The attacker tries to reuse a stolen session ID used previously during a transaction to perform spoofing and session hijacking. Another name for this type of attack is Session Replay.

+ Attack Steps
  1. The attacker interacts with the target host and finds that session IDs are used to authenticate users.

  2. The attacker steals a session ID from a valid user.

  1. The attacker tries to use the stolen session ID to gain access to the system with the privileges of the session ID's original owner.

+ Attack Prerequisites
  • The target host uses session IDs to keep track of the users.

  • Session IDs are used to control access to resources.

  • The session IDs used by the target host are not well protected from session theft.

+ Typical Severity


+ Typical Likelihood of Exploit

Likelihood: High

+ Methods of Attack
  • Spoofing
  • Social Engineering
  • Analysis
+ Examples-Instances


OpenSSL and SSLeay allow remote attackers to reuse SSL sessions and bypass access controls.

Related Vulnerabilities


Merak Mail IceWarp Web Mail uses a static identifier as a user session ID that does not change across sessions, which could allow remote attackers with access to the ID to gain privileges as that user, e.g. by extracting the ID from the user's answer or forward URLs.

Related Vulnerabilities

+ Attacker Skills or Knowledge Required

Skill or Knowledge Level: Low

If an attacker can steal a valid session ID, he can then try to be authenticated with that stolen session ID.

Skill or Knowledge Level: Medium

More sophisticated attack can be used to hijack a valid session from a user and spoof a legitimate user by reusing his valid session ID.

+ Probing Techniques

The attacker can listen to a conversation between the client and server and steal a valid session ID.

The attacker can try to steal session information from the user's cookies.

The attacker can try a valid session from a finished transaction and find out that the transaction associated with the session ID did not time out.

+ Solutions and Mitigations

Always invalidate a session ID after the user logout.

Setup a session time out for the session IDs.

Protect the communication between the client and server. For instance it is best practice to use SSL to mitigate man in the middle attack.

Do not code send session ID with GET method, otherwise the session ID will be copied to the URL. In general avoid writing session IDs in the URLs. URLs can get logged in log files, which are vulnerable to an attacker.

Encrypt the session data associated with the session ID.

Use multifactor authentication.

+ Attack Motivation-Consequences
ScopeTechnical ImpactNote
Gain privileges / assume identity
+ Purposes
  • Penetration
+ CIA Impact
Confidentiality Impact: HighIntegrity Impact: HighAvailability Impact: Low
+ Technical Context
Architectural Paradigms
+ References
[R.60.1] [REF-2] G. Hoglund and G. McGraw. "Exploiting Software: How to Break Code". Addison-Wesley. February 2004.
+ Content History
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation2014-06-23Internal_CAPEC_Team
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation2017-05-01Updated Related_Attack_PatternsInternal

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Page Last Updated or Reviewed: August 04, 2017