Atli's Profile User Rating: *****

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6,658 (3.79 per day)
08-June 10
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PHP, Databases, Web Development
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  1. In Topic: Destroying sessions on user logout.

    Posted 31 Mar 2015

    I see what you mean with the session fixation issue.

    Its pretty easily defeated, though, by simply refreshing the session ID on successful user login. If you take that a step further and refresh the session ID on each request, that should neutralize pretty much any attack that relies on the attacker knowing the session ID. They'd have to manage to figure out the ID after the user logs in, and then use that ID before the use has a chance to make a new request.

    I guess it would be theoretically possible for an attacker to intercept the user's traffic and thus access a valid session ID, or by use of some malware find it on the user's end, but if they have that sort of access, it would be just as easy to steal the actual password as the user logs in, and log in themselves.


    I assume you are knowledgeable enough to know that most of the hacks regarding sessions are to get a hold of a valid session to start doing the bad stuff. If there are so many hacks just to get it, there must be a reason why. By leaving a session open after the valid user has come and gone, you eliminate much of the hard work for the hacker.

    Getting a hold of a valid session isn't usually problem though. Most sites will issue you a session ID right as you enter the site, or at least as you attempt to log in. Stealing an old session ID would hardly ever be necessary. - Even the site issues you a session ID as you enter the login form :)

    In the context of session fixation and even session hijacking, as I understand it, issuing a session ID before the user has been authenticated would be just as dangerous as leaving the session intact after logout.
  2. In Topic: Destroying sessions on user logout.

    Posted 31 Mar 2015

    OK lets step back then to a case where user logout means everything in the session is cleared out.

    Lets assume my code puts all it's session data in an array stored in $_SESSION['appData'], and I clear that out during logout with unset($_SESSION['appData']).

    What are the security risks I face if I leave the session in that state?
  3. In Topic: Destroying sessions on user logout.

    Posted 31 Mar 2015

    We're not talking about two separate sessions. The admin is the player; there aren't two separate browsers; it's all happening on one page, for one person. The admin would be logging in while playing, through a modal window that runs through AJAX.

    The session for this user would essentially look like this while the admin panel is open and logged in:
    $_SESSION = [
        "game_data" => [
            "player" => "Uberplayer 1337",
            "posx" => 1500,
            "posy" => -330,
            "direction" => 270,
            // etc...
        "admin" => [
            "name" => "admin_user_1",
            "last_seen" => "2015-03-31 00:00:00"

    And on logout, to only log out of the admin panel but not destroy the game data, the code would simply: unset($_SESSION["admin"]).
  4. In Topic: Destroying sessions on user logout.

    Posted 31 Mar 2015

    Consider this scenario:

    I once worked on a game site, where the actual game was not behind a login. Users entered the site, picked a username, and then started playing. The whole thing was AJAX driven and maintained the game state for the user in the PHP session.

    It wasn't a persistent thing; every user was temporary and stopped existing with the current session. Therefore, no login, and no logout; no sensitive data to be protected.

    However there were also certain admin sections to control the game, which did require use authentication. That login system was still completely separate from the game state. A player would click a button, login through a modal, perform whatever admin actions were required through that modal, and then logout by closing the modal.

    If the admin system were to destroy the session on logout, it would have also destroyed the current gamin session for that user, and require the user to reload the game and start a new gaming session. That would not go over well with those players.
  5. In Topic: PHP MySQL login form

    Posted 31 Mar 2015

    Note that I've moved my discussion with benanamen, on the merits of destroying the session, out of this thread into it's own thread, over here. Don't want to hijack this thread with that discussion.

My Information

Member Title:
D.I.C Lover
28 years old
September 5, 1986
Full Name:
Atli Ţór Jónsson
Years Programming:
Programming Languages:
Mainly: PHP, SQL (MySQL, MSSQL, PostgreSQL), Web Development, (HTML, CSS, Javascript, jQuery).

Additionally: C#, VB.NET, Java, Node.js, ActionScript 3, LUA, C/C++, Python.

Contact Information



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    Anuraj23 Icon

    24 Nov 2012 - 00:43
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    Atli Icon

    21 Sep 2012 - 03:19
    Hey lyster. Please post questions like that in the forums. That's what they're there for.
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    lyster Icon

    21 Sep 2012 - 00:40
    i just can't figure out what are the possible tables,,i want to know normalization well..u_u
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    lyster Icon

    21 Sep 2012 - 00:34
    hi there mr. atli..i hope you could give me some advices and idea on how to make an erd on my mini mortuary_system,thanks god bless you..
    by the way im a student of a state college here in the philippines.
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    kimimimi Icon

    26 Aug 2012 - 00:37
    please help me
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    xenoslash Icon

    19 Jul 2012 - 23:35
    You are quite possibly the most helpful member of the community. I wish I could +1 you more than once for every long (and useful!) post you make.
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    Maryam.m Icon

    23 Jun 2012 - 10:52
    hey i understood what should i do!!!
    i'm so happy :D :D
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    polyosis Icon

    11 Jun 2012 - 16:49
    I would like to thank you on your advice with my site path and installation problems, you are most kind my friend.
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    Atli Icon

    14 Apr 2012 - 05:22
    Yea it seems to like you, Dimitri ;)
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    DimitriV Icon

    08 Apr 2012 - 19:20
    Your avatar… it blinked at me.
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    Atli Icon

    06 Nov 2011 - 19:49
    Hehe. Thanks guys :)
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    Dogstopper Icon

    06 Nov 2011 - 19:19
    Lookin' a little blue there. Cheer up man! You're a mod! Congratz!
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    codeprada Icon

    06 Nov 2011 - 18:34
    It's about time. Congrats on reaching blue status.
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    n00l3 Icon

    05 Sep 2011 - 12:59
    Happy birthday! :D
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    cupidvogel Icon

    03 Sep 2011 - 23:06
    I can't seem to like your reply to my jQuery post an hour ago (fantastic explanation it was), because the Javascript in my browser is somewhat malfunctioning. I will like it later, ok?
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