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replay attack

A breach of security in which information is stored without authorization and then retransmitted to trick the receiver into unauthorized operations such as false identification or authentication or a duplicate transaction. For example, messages from an authorized user who is logging into a network may be captured by an attacker and resent (replayed) the next day. Even though the messages may be encrypted, and the attacker may not know what the actual keys and passwords are, the retransmission of valid logon messages is sufficient to gain access to the network.

Also known as a "man-in-the-middle attack," a replay attack can be prevented using strong digital signatures that include time stamps and inclusion of unique information from the previous transaction such as the value of a constantly incremented sequence number. See piggybacking and hijacking.



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