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Paul Reinheimer's Blog:
Cookies don't replace Sessions
January 24, 2012 @ 09:26:20

In a new post to his blog Paul Reinheimer talks about replacing sessions with cookies and some of the (security) pitfalls that can come with it.

I've seen several instances where people have demonstrated the ease with which encrypted cookies can replace sessions within PHP. Michael Nitschinger wrote a piece recently demonstrating the switch with Lithium, while CodeIgniter does this by default (optionally encrypting). The problem is that while replacing sessions with cookies works, it introduces a few risks not present with native session support, and these risks tend to be under documented.

He gives an illustration of an attacker who sits between Amazon and one of their warehouses. Despite encrypting their order details, all it would take is the attacker to grab an order and copy it and resend (a "replay attack"). He's created an example application to illustrate the point (source on github). The attacker doesn't even have to know what the encrypted information contains - they only have to replicate it.

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cookies session cryptography advice security replay attack


WebReference.com:
How to Interact with Web Forms (Part 1)
January 18, 2006 @ 07:13:05

On WebReference.com today, there's this new tutorial with an introduction to getting PHP to interact with web forms.

HTML forms are one of the key ingredients of any dynamic website because they can enable the users of a site to interact with it. Otherwise, websites are more or less static:They may be driven by a database and, therefore, regularly changing, but they look the same for each and every visitor. HTML forms can change that; therefore, using data from forms from within PHP is very important.

They give examples of how to send data back to a script from a form, reading that data (using superglobals), and what data will be returned from each form element type. From there, they get into specifics like dealing with magic quotes and saving the form data into a cookie...

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interact web forms superglobals types magic qutotes cookies interact web forms superglobals types magic qutotes cookies



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