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Demian Tretyakov
Demian Tretyakov

More About The Cookie Client: [2021]


After receiving an HTTP request, a server can send one or more Set-Cookie headers with the response. The browser usually stores the cookie and sends it with requests made to the same server inside a Cookie HTTP header. You can specify an expiration date or time period after which the cookie shouldn't be sent. You can also set additional restrictions to a specific domain and path to limit where the cookie is sent. For details about the header attributes mentioned below, refer to the Set-Cookie reference article.




More about The Cookie Client:



The Domain attribute specifies which hosts can receive a cookie. If the server does not specify a Domain, the browser defaults the domain to the same host that set the cookie, excluding subdomains. If Domain is specified, then subdomains are always included. Therefore, specifying Domain is less restrictive than omitting it. However, it can be helpful when subdomains need to share information about a user.


Note: The standard related to SameSite recently changed (MDN documents the new behavior above). See the cookies Browser compatibility table for information about how the attribute is handled in specific browser versions:


\n Note: The standard related to SameSite recently changed (MDN documents the new behavior above).\n See the cookies Browser compatibility table for information about how the attribute is handled in specific browser versions:\n


A cookie is basically a name=value pair, but after the value can be a bunch of semi-colon separated attributes that affect the behavior of the cookie if it is so implemented by the client (or server). Those attributes can be about lifetime, context and various security settings.


By server:The Set-cookie response header from the server directs the client to set a cookie on that particular domain. The implementation to actually create and store the cookie lies in the browser. For subsequent requests to the same domain, the browser automatically sets the Cookie request header for each request, thereby letting the server have some state to an otherwise stateless HTTP protocol. The Domain and Path cookie attributes are used by the browser to determine which cookies are to be sent to a server.The server only receives name=value pairs, and nothing more.


A point: You might use cookies created in JavaScript to store GUI-related things you only need on the client-side. BUT the cookie is sent to the server for EVERY request made, it becomes part of the http-request headers thus making the request contain more data and thus slower to send.


When a load balancer first receives a request from a client, it routes the request to a target (based on the chosen algorithm), and generates a cookie named AWSALB. It encodes information about the selected target, encrypts the cookie, and includes the cookie in the response to the client. The load balancer generated cookie has its own expiry of 7 days which is non-configurable.


In subsequent requests, the client should include the AWSALB cookie. When the load balancer receives a request from a client that contains the cookie, it detects it and routes the request to the same target. If the cookie is present but cannot be decoded, or if it refers to a target that was deregistered or is unhealthy, the load balancer selects a new target and updates the cookie with information about the new target.


Data is saved as cookies, database entries, or Registry entries. Data is saved between server restarts, but is initially accessed and saved more slowly than data stored in memory.Each type of data storage has its own time-out period. You can specify the database and Registry data time-outs in the ColdFusion Administrator. ColdFusion sets Cookie client variables to expire after approximately ten years.Data is stored on a per-user and per-application basis. For example, if you store client variables as cookies, the user has a separate cookie for each ColdFusion application provided by a server.Client variables must be simple variables, such as numbers, dates, or strings. They cannot be arrays, structures, query objects, or other objects.Client variable names can include periods. For example, My.ClientVar is a valid name for a simple client variable. Avoid such names, however, to ensure code clarity.You do not have to prefix client variables with the scope name when you reference them, However, if you do not use the Client prefix, you might unintentionally refer to a variable with the same name in another scope. Using the prefix also optimizes performance and increases program clarity.You do not lock code that uses client variables.You can use client variables that are stored in cookies or a common database in clustered systems.


Because the web is a stateless system, client management requires some method for maintaining knowledge of the client between requests. Normally you do this using cookies, but you can also do it by passing information between application pages. Information about how ColdFusion maintains client identity in a variety of configurations and environments, and the issues that can arise with client state management are described as follows:


These cookies uniquely identify the client to ColdFusion, which also maintains copies of the variables as part of the Session and Client scopes. You can configure your application so that it does not use client cookies, but in this case, pass these variables to all the pages that your application calls. For more information about maintaining client and session information without using cookies, see Using client and session variables without cookies section below.You can configure ColdFusion to use J2EE servlet session management instead of ColdFusion session management for session variables. This method of session management does not use CFID and CFToken values, but does use a client-side jsessionid session management cookie. For more information on using J2EE session management, see ColdFusion and J2EE session management in Configuring and using session variables.


ColdFusion uses the same client identifiers for the Client scope and the standard Session scope. Because the CFToken and CFID values are used to identify a client over a period of time, they are normally saved as cookies on the user's browser. These cookies persist until the client's browser deletes them, which can be a considerable length of time. As a result, hackers could have more access to these variables than if ColdFusion used different user identifiers for each session.A hacker who has the user's CFToken and CFID cookies could gain access to user data by accessing a web page during the user's session using the stolen CFToken and CFID cookies. While this scenario is unlikely, it is theoretically possible.You can remove this vulnerability by selecting the Use J2EE Session Variables option on the ColdFusion Administrator Memory Variables page. The J2EE session management mechanism creates a new session identifier for each session, and does not use either the CFToken or the CFID cookie value.


Note: This post focuses on cookies used to represent Users. There is a great way to identify users on your site that have logged-in with a User ID that gets passed to Google Analytics. For more details, check out the section at the bottom!


While cookies are generated randomly and are used to represent anonymous visitors, the User ID is handy for sites where you actually know who the person is. If your site has a logged-in experience, the User ID is for you! In this case, you can pass a hashed, non-personally-identifiable, identifier to Google Analytics and that can be used to stitch sessions and users across browsers and devices. Read more on the User ID feature in Google Analytics:


That made me think about cookies. Cookies are client side storage and there is nothing more easy to use than them. In fact, most users don't even know they exist. So, I thought that cookie might help here.


When the reader is on the other person's blog the cookie will not be sent when the browser requests amazing-cat.png. However when the reader follows the link through to cat.html on your blog, that request will include the cookie. This makes Lax a good choice for cookies affecting the display of the site with Strict being useful for cookies related to actions your user is taking.CautionNeither Strict nor Lax are a complete solution for your site's security. Cookies are sent as part of the user's request and you should treat them the same as any other user input. That means sanitizing and validating the input. Never use a cookie to store data you consider a server-side secret.Finally there is the option of not specifying the value which has previously been the way of implicitly stating that you want the cookie to be sent in all contexts. In the latest draft of RFC6265bis this is being made explicit by introducing a new value of SameSite=None. This means you can use None to clearly communicate that you intentionally want the cookie sent in a third-party context.Explicitly mark the context of a cookie as None, Lax, or Strict.If you provide a service that other sites consume such as widgets, embedded content, affiliate programs, advertising, or sign-in across multiple sites then you should use None to ensure your intent is clear.Changes to the default behavior without SameSite #While the SameSite attribute is widely supported, it has unfortunately not been widely adopted by developers. The open default of sending cookies everywhere means all use cases work but leaves the user vulnerable to CSRF and unintentional information leakage. To encourage developers to state their intent and provide users with a safer experience, the IETF proposal, Incrementally Better Cookies lays out two key changes:Cookies without a SameSite attribute will be treated as SameSite=Lax.Cookies with SameSite=None must also specify Secure, meaning they require a secure context.Chrome implements this default behavior as of version 84. Firefox has them available to test as of Firefox 69 and will make them default behaviors in the future. To test these behaviors in Firefox, open about:config and set network.cookie.sameSite.laxByDefault. Edge also plans to change its default behaviors.This article will be updated as additional browsers announce support.SameSite=Lax by default #No attribute set 041b061a72


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