Introducing Session Hijacking Visual Exploitation (SHVE): An Innovative Open-Source Tool for XSS Exploitation


Greetings, folks! Today, we’re thrilled to introduce you to our latest tool: Session Hijacking Visual Exploitation, or SHVE. This open-source tool, now available on our GitHub, offers a novel way to hijack a victim’s browser sessions, utilizing them as a visual proxy after hooking via an XSS or a malicious webpage. While some exploitation frameworks, such as BeEF, do provide hooking features, they don’t allow remote visual interactions.

SHVE’s interaction with a victim’s browser in the security context of the user relies on a comprehensive design incorporating multiple elements. These components, each fulfilling a specific function, form a complex, interconnected system that allows a precise and controlled session hijacking. Let’s take a closer look at each of them:

  • VictimServer: This component serves the malicious JavaScript. Furthermore, it establishes a WebSocket connection to the hooked browsers, facilitating the transmission of commands from the server to the victim’s browser.

  • AttackerServer: This is the connection point for the attacker client. It supplies all the necessary information to the attacker, such as the details of the different hooked sessions.

  • Proxy: When the client enters Visual or Interactive mode, it connects to this proxy. The proxy, in turn, uses functionalities provided by the VictimServer to conduct all requests through the hooked browser.


The tool comes with two distinctive modes - Visual and Interactive - for versatile usage.

  • Visual Mode: The tool provides a real-time view of the victim’s activities. This is particularly useful when exploiting an XSS, as it allows the attacker to witness the victim’s interactions that otherwise might be impossible to observe. For instance, if a victim accesses a real-time chat that isn’t stored for later review, the attacker could see this live interaction.

  • Interactive Mode: This mode provides a visual gateway to any specified web application. Since the operations are carried out using the victim’s security context via the hooked browser, detection from the server-side becomes significantly more challenging. Unlike typical XSS or CORS misconfigurations exploitation, there’s no need to steal information like Cookies or Local Storage. Instead, the tool uses XHR requests, ensuring CSRF tokens are automatically sent, as both victim and attacker view the same HTML.

Getting Started

We’ve tried to make the installation process as straightforward as possible. You’ll need to have Node.js and npm installed on your system. After cloning our repository, navigate to the server and client directories to install their respective dependencies. Start the server and client, follow the initial setup steps, and you’re ready to go! For the full installation guide, please refer to the README file.

We’ve recorded a video showcasing these modes and demonstrating how to exploit XSS and CORS misconfigurations using one of the Portswigger’s Web Security Academy labs. Here is how SHVE works:

We look forward to your contributions and insights, and can’t wait to see how you’ll use SHVE in your red team engagements. Happy hacking!

Thanks to Michele Orru and Giuseppe Trotta for their early-stage feedback and ideas.