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session hijacking

(n.) Also referred to as TCP session hijacking, a security attack on a user session over a protected network. The most common method of session hijacking is called IP spoofing, when an attacker uses source-routed IP packets to insert commands into an active communication between two nodes on a network and disguising itself as one of the authenticated users. This type of attack is possible because authentication typically is only done at the start of a TCP session. Another type of session hijacking is known as a man-in-the-middle attack, where the attacker, using a sniffer, can observe the communication between devices and collect the data that is transmitted.

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