Theoretical Computer Science; General Computer Science; Web sessions; HTTP cookies; web attacks; web defenses
In this article, we survey the most common attacks against web sessions, that is, attacks that target honest web browser users establishing an authenticated session with a trusted web application. We then review existing security solutions that prevent or mitigate the different attacks by evaluating them along four different axes: protection, usability, compatibility, and ease of deployment. We also assess several defensive solutions that aim at providing robust safeguards against multiple attacks. Based on this survey, we identify five guidelines that, to different extents, have been taken into account by the designers of the different proposals we reviewed. We believe that these guidelines can be helpful for the development of innovative solutions approaching web security in a more systematic and comprehensive way.