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Cookie Hijacking

Detection & Prevention


of E-Commerce


are vulnerable to cookie hijacking

What is Cookie Hijacking?

How Attackers Hijack Cookie Sessions?

Cookie hijacking is the insertion of an affiliate cookie by distributing adware through web browser extensions or software applications (Windows & MAC). This is executed by hijacking the click elements on advertisers' websites. In this process, the attackers control the user's entire session on the advertiser's site by modifying the stolen cookies.

Here are the most common ways to induce cookie hijacking:


Adware and Malware are unwanted programs that bundle up with useful software to find a tunnel into the user’s system. Cybercriminals use these programs for packet sniffing expressly designed to penetrate session cookies.

The installed malware in the user’s system is instigated to provide access to their system; this allows the criminals to navigate through their machine and access the cookies of their use.

Click Hijacking

The attackers use elements such as call-to-action buttons, search bars, black spaces, or footers to install affiliate cookies. The fraud affiliate earns a commission whenever the user clicks on any hijacked elements on the advertiser’s domain and purchases something.

This results in favor of the attackers, as they earn commissions without driving legitimate traffic to the advertiser’s website.

Session Fixation

In a Session Fixation attack, the fraudsters try to launch a fixed session in a user’s browser. So, the user is trapped without even logging in. There are many ways of instigating a web-based fixation session, primarily through session identifiers accepted from fraudulent posts or URLs.

Cross-Site Scripting

In cross-site scripting, malicious software is injected through a running code. These scripts appear to be a part of the browser’s side script. The fraud affiliates use cross-site scripting to target buyers and customers. These buyers and customers follow through with the script, believing it origins from a credible source.

When the users pursue these scripts, the affiliate can access their session details, cookies, and sensitive information. Once the affiliate successfully hijacks the user’s customer journey, it is easily accessible for them to modify the hijacked cookies and add affiliate cookies to misguide the advertiser.

Purpose of Cookie Hijacking

The purpose of cookie hijacking is to undertake the web session control mechanism. The process involves a valid cookie to steal user data, bypass security, or both. The primary purpose of cookie hijacking is to auto-redirection or to show irrelevant products for a particular search.


Cookie hijacking enables an affiliate to redirect a user to different product pages. For example, the user can be redirected to another product page or a similar page, as the affiliate intends.

Unexpected Results

Click hijacking enables a search engine to mismatch the search intent. For example, the buyer might search for bags, but the results might show the user shoes or clothing.

Impact of Cookie Hijacking

Cookie hijacking can have several significant impacts, including:

Financial Loss

As per a study by the University of Baltimore, the total ad fraud amounted to 23 Billion Dollars. Out of this, 1.4 Billion worth of loss happened due to affiliate marketing frauds. Cookie hijacking is one of the primary ways hackers steal illegitimate commissions. As a result, the hackers acquire no new audience for the brand, hence impacting the brand’s advertising budget.

Damage to Brand Reputation

The fraudsters often redirect the user multiple times to insert malicious cookies into their browser. The adware affects the user’s browsing experience and slows down various brand pages. This can delude the customer to encounter a poor user experience. Thus, hampering with the brand's reputation and losing customers' trust.

Poor Customer Experience

The hackers regulate the user’s session/cookie remotely. After the session is hijacked, the attackers can perform all actions like legitimate users.

How To Prevent Cookie Hijacking?

With VPT’s Affiliate Management Services, monitoring publishers has never been easier.


Discover how your publishers are promoting your brand with;

Publisher Monitoring

Check the backgrounds of your publishers, and monitor the newly registered affiliates. Furthermore, keep a check on high-earning publishers and how they are doing it.

Compliance Monitoring

VPT services are regulated by FTC and EU General Trade Data Protection, followed by Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

Data Analytics

Check your analytics with metrics based on historical data. Evaluate your sales, conversions, and ROI by monitoring user traffic data.

Know How your Affiliates are promoting your Brand

with our customized affiliate fraud solutions

Cookie Hijacking - Customer Journey Hijacking

Who Can Benefit?


We use machine learning and reverse engineering approaches to monitoring the ways your affiliates are promoting your brand. We help advertisers to maintain compliances, recover the advertising budgets and protect their brand reputation. Manage your affiliate networks with real-time monitoring to drive revenue and preserve the customer experience.

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Affiliate Networks

Our data driven publisher profiling and fraud detection solutions help affiliate networks track and analyze each activity of their affiliates. Track and monitor the affiliates to give the best ROI to the advertisers relying upon your network. Enhance your reputation for high-quality traffic by evaluating targeted publisher content.

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Digital Media Agencies

We help digital agencies to differentiate their offering and provide high-quality traffic by evaluating the affiliate content that uses their client's tracking links. Our technology-enabled customized solutions help digital agencies automate frequent checks for affiliate fraud. In turn, enhancing their customer satisfaction and maintaining global marketing compliances.

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Brand Protection Solutions

app2app Extension Analyzer


One-stop solution to analyze and monitor the risk score for web extensions published on chrome, firefox & edge browsers. Get insights on the ad injections through browser extensions impacting your customer's online journey.
Affitraps - Affiliate Traps Tracker


Analyze thousands of referring URL’s to identify cookie stuffing in just one click. Affitraps crawl the sites driving traffic to the advertiser’s website and flags illegitimate cookies stuffed by affiliates.
The Paid Click Monitoring tool

The Paid Click

Get analytical insights into your branded keyword promotions and protects your brand from any affiliate violation on paid search or brand bidding frauds. Our tool helps you monitor your paid advertisements and eliminate unwanted ad placements.

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