Initiating a server-side session

One of the most common ways of authenticating a user and saving their state on the Web is through sessions. You may recall that we mentioned in the last chapter that REST is stateless, the primary reason for that is because HTTP itself is stateless.

If you think about it, to establish a consistent state with HTTP, you need to include a cookie or a URL parameter or something that is not built into the protocol itself.

Sessions are created with unique identifiers that are usually not entirely random but unique enough to avoid conflicts for most logical and plausible scenarios. This is not absolute, of course, and there are plenty of (historical) examples of session token hijacking that are not related to sniffing. ...

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