Client Side Vulnerabilities / Cookie Manipulation (DOM-Based)

Web and API


Cookie manipulation (DOM-based) is a type of web application security vulnerability classified as a Client Side Vulnerability. This vulnerability occurs when web applications fail to properly validate the integrity of cookies, resulting in the ability to execute malicious code. According to the [Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE) directory, this vulnerability is classified as CWE-639: Improper Neutralization of Special Elements used in a Command ('Command Injection'). It is also listed on the OWASP Testing Guide DOM manipulation is a type of attack where malicious code is injected into a web page’s Document Object Model (DOM) structure, allowing an attacker to alter the behavior of a page or application.


Cookie manipulation (DOM-based) poses a significant risk to organizations, as it can allow an attacker to bypass authentication and authorization controls, gain access to sensitive data, and gain control over a user’s browser. Additionally, a successful attack can lead to cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks, allowing the attacker to steal user data, execute malicious code, and even hijack user sessions.


Organizations should ensure that all cookies are properly validated and that all inputs are validated before being sent to the server. Additionally, organizations should ensure that all cookies are properly encrypted and that the encryption algorithm is secure. Additionally, organizations should employ a comprehensive web application firewall (WAF) to help detect and mitigate cookie manipulation (DOM-based) attacks.

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