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What is an XSS Cyber Attack?

The cross-site scripting cyber security attack is considered one of  the most popular and hi-risk attacks to compromise unauthorized data. This attack is simply created by an HTML Tag and a Java Script.

Basically, a browser must keep vital data such as the login information in the encrypted format to protect from a hacker.

  • X stands for a “Cross”
  • S stands for “Site”
  • S stands for “Scripting”

Characteristics of a Cross Site Security Attack

A hacker launches a threat through XSS attacks to extract cookies of a client from the browser through the HTML Tag and Java Script by injecting a malicious code which is created between a browser and the server where the sensitive information is stored.

A cookie is a tiny text file which contains the identity of a web user and is used to connect with the server where data of a client is saved. A cookie creates a signal between a browser and server to create a session.

Furthermore, a cookie remains active and in a possession of a hacker until the victim changes the credentials to end the session. That is why, it is highly recommended to change the credentials frequently to protect your sensitive information from being hacked.

An attacker attacks on cookies through the XSS process to get full control of your data through an Identity Card, which is a cookie.

A hacker gets a control to display a website page in a completely different format or shape, and even gets the ability to open it in a third party's web page because the attacker will be in control and able to write a Java Script on your compromised pages.

There are two types of cross site scripting attacks:

  1. A Stored cross site scripting: where a hacker successfully stores a malicious code in the database to steal cookies during the login session period, which is created when a user logs in to a particular website by using an email and a password.
  2. A reflected cross site scripting; where a hacker picks the cookies during a session rather injecting a malicious code in a database to execute a malicious code. A reflected cross site scripting cyber attack is hard to launch, where the scanning and the sensitization system of a server is very effective, powerful and it bars from any malicious code to enter into the database.

The cross site scripting attack is executed through a vulnerable website, that does not sanitize the data before storing in a database. A website which does not have proper security measures is called a vulnerable website.

What is the difference between a cookie and a session?

  • A cookie data is stored in a browser, whereas a session data is stored in a server.
  • A session is temporary whereas a cookie remains open in a web-browser until you remove and change login information to release it from a hacker's possession.
  • Whenever you logged into a specific website, a session starts, whereas when you visit a website, a cookie is generated.
  •  A hacker can share your digital identification number with the multiple people to abuse your account through a cookie and session.
  • A session is created by a server, whereas a cookie is generated by a browser.

What type of websites do hackers generally use to make you a victim of a security compromise?

A hacker selects a site where a user can type a messages and share attractive offers to motivate a user. For example;

  • Vulnerable Websites (A site which does not follow security protocols. Such as scanning, filtration and update scripting).
  • Social Media Websites
  • Forums
  • Blogging
  • Search Forms
  • Inquiry Forms
  • Buttons
  • Attractive Fabricated links that are rich with the attractive offers.

How a hacker hijacks your data through XSS injection?

An attacker puts the HTML Tags and Java Scripts in an input field, and submit the post to any of the above-mentioned websites to hack the cookies and create a session on behalf of a real user without a consent to get unauthorized information.

How can a website administrator protect information from a cross site scripting feed?

We will share a few bullet points below that can minimize the chances of hacking from Cross Site Scripting Attack:

  • Removing cookies from the different browsers frequently.
  • Make your filter and sanitize process of the input data effective.
  • Close all tags during the development process.
  • A website should not have vulnerability issues and proper security measures must be taken. A combination of different scanners can minimize the chances of vulnerability.
  • All sessions must be logged out after finishing a job.
  • All important website ports' passwords must be changed time to time, not more than 15 days.

Illustration To Explain An XSS Attack:

We will present below an illustration about the process of hijacking cookies and a session to breach a website securely:

We created three characters in this Illustration and their names are John (Seller), Julia (Buyer) and Jimmy (Hacker) to demonstrate an XSS attack.

Story: Buy and sell furniture from an online store

Step Number One:

John Role (Seller):  Signs up to run an ad to sell furniture at discounted prices in the above mentioned website.

Julia Role (Buyer): Signs up to buy furniture at the discounted prices in the above mentioned website.

Jimmy Role (Hacker): Signs up with the same website that John and Julia did, to run an ad to sell furniture at a discounted price like John (Seller). Jimmy wrote an ad with a malicious code in the HTML Tags to steal cookies of the buyer during a login session.

Step Number Two:

John (Seller) :  No Activity from John

Julia (Buyer) : Julia logged into her account by using her login credentials to see any new deals | She found Jimmy's ad and click a button to view new deals without knowing that Jimmy's ad contains a malicious script to steal her cookies. She clicked a button where the malicious script was incorporated by Jimmy, the hacker.

Jimmy (Hacker) : He picked Julia's cookies during her session on the website and sent to his server to save in his browser to monitor all her activities and now Jimmy has a full control of Julia's account without knowing her.

And now he can use her credit card information and other sensitive information to abuse her account and life, because he got Julia's Identification Card to do the same activities that Julia was authorized to do only, until she breaks Jimmy's session by changing the credentials.

Step Number Three:

What should Julia do now to escape Jimmy's threat?

Once she knows that her digital identification number which is in this case is “a cookie” is compromised. She should change passwords of her all the accounts to end the session and notify the responsible agencies, including canceling her credit and debit cards immediately.

Precautions For A Web User To Protect From Hacking:

  • Avoid using HTTP websites.
  • Close your sessions immediately after the work.
  • Delete cookies from your browsers at end of the day.
  • Make sure all your information is in an encrypted format with a website administrator.
  • You only open an account on a website which is not vulnerable.
  • Scan your computer from time to time to remove any malicious script which is installed to take a screen shot of your system without knowing you and see your physical activities.
  • Make sure a reliable and reputable digital seal is embossed on a website and you read about a company before you do a deal.



Apply online or over the phone New York Retail Beer and Wine license

Beer and Wine licenses are required to sell beer and wine from store front location. The requirement of the license varies on the counties.
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