What is HTTP Cookies | 5 Methods to Exploit Cookies Vulnerabilities

Aditya Chauhan
2 min readApr 2, 2023

HTTP cookies are small pieces of data that are stored on a user’s device by a web browser. They are used to store information about a user’s browsing activity, such as login credentials and preferences, and are used by web applications to personalize the user’s experience. However, cookies can also be exploited by attackers to gain unauthorized access to a user’s account or steal sensitive information. In this article, we will explore five methods to exploit cookie vulnerabilities using different tools and techniques.

  1. Using Browser Features: Some websites use cookies to restrict access to certain pages or features. However, users can bypass these restrictions by using browser features such as the built-in VPN or proxy settings. For example, in Google Chrome, users can navigate to Settings > Advanced > System > Open proxy settings and configure a proxy server to access blocked websites.
  2. Using CURL Command: The CURL command is a tool used to transfer data from or to a server using various protocols, including HTTP. Attackers can use the CURL command to exploit cookie vulnerabilities by sending malicious HTTP requests that steal cookies or perform unauthorized actions. For example, attackers can use the CURL command to send a request that steals a user’s cookie and logs them out of their account.
  3. Using BurpSuite: BurpSuite is a web application security testing tool that can be used to intercept, analyze, and modify HTTP requests and responses. Attackers can use BurpSuite to exploit cookie vulnerabilities by intercepting HTTP requests and responses that contain cookies and modifying them to steal sensitive information or perform unauthorized actions. For example, attackers can intercept a request that contains a user’s session cookie and modify it to gain unauthorized access to the user’s account.
  4. Using WGET Command: The WGET command is a tool used to retrieve files from web servers using various protocols, including HTTP. Attackers can use the WGET command to exploit cookie vulnerabilities by sending malicious HTTP requests that steal cookies or perform unauthorized actions. For example, attackers can use the WGET command to send a request that steals a user’s cookie and logs them out of their account.
  5. Using Browser Add-Ons: Browser add-ons such as cookie managers can be used to exploit cookie vulnerabilities by allowing users to view, modify, and delete cookies stored by web applications. Attackers can use cookie manager add-ons to steal cookies or perform unauthorized actions. For example, attackers can use a cookie manager add-on to view a user’s session cookie and gain unauthorized access to their account.

In conclusion, HTTP cookies are a valuable tool used by web applications to personalize the user experience. However, they can also be exploited by attackers to gain unauthorized access to a user’s account or steal sensitive information. It is important to be aware of these vulnerabilities and take appropriate measures to protect against them, such as using secure cookie settings, regularly clearing cookies, and keeping browser and software up to date.

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Aditya Chauhan

ISO 27001 LA | VAPT | Synack Red Teamer | HTB Dante | HTB RASTA | HTB Cybernetics | HTB Offshore | HTB APTLabs | Cyber Security Analyst | Security Researcher