Hackers can use different techniques to steal your passwords. One way they can use your stolen personal data is called credential stuffing. Read on to learn more about credential stuffing and how you can help protect yourself.

What is Credential Stuffing?

Credential stuffing is a cyberattack involving hackers using software to try multiple combinations of usernames and passwords to gain access to user accounts. They often obtain stolen login credentials from previous data breaches on the dark web to use them to access victims’ accounts.

A Brief History of Credential Stuffing Attacks

In 2014, hackers began selling compromised account credentials on the dark web, marking the start of credential stuffing attacks. Early versions of credential stuffing tools cost between $50 and $250 and could target specific companies.

Credential Stuffing vs. Brute Force Attacks

Credential stuffing and brute force attacks are two common cyberattacks that hackers use to access user accounts.

In credential stuffing attacks, hackers use lists of usernames and passwords that have been previously leaked or stolen to try to gain access to user accounts on various platforms. They do this using automated scripts that test thousands or even millions of username/password combinations until a match is found.

On the other hand, brute force attacks involve using automated software to try every possible combination of characters until the correct username/password combination is found. This method can take longer and require more computing power, but it can be effective when weak passwords are used.

The Costs of Credential Stuffing Attacks

Credential stuffing attacks can be very costly for both individuals and businesses. Attackers can steal personal and financial information, leading to identity theft and financial losses for victims. Businesses may suffer reputational damage and financial losses from customer data breaches.

Credential Stuffing Prevention

To help prevent credential stuffing attacks, there are several measures to take:

Passwordless Authentication

This approach eliminates the use of passwords entirely and relies on other verification forms, such as biometrics or one-time codes sent to a user’s mobile device. Eliminating passwords can mitigate credential stuffing attacks since there is no password to steal and use on other accounts.

Continuous Authentication

Continuous authentication involves continuously monitoring user behavior and network activity to detect any abnormal activity that may indicate a credential stuffing attack is underway. This approach can detect attacks in real-time and take action to block them.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) adds a layer of security to the login process, requiring users to provide additional information beyond just a username and password. This can include a code sent to a mobile device or a fingerprint scan.

MFA can make it much more difficult for attackers to access an account, even if they have obtained the user’s password.

Breached Password Protection

Breached password protection involves regularly checking a database of known compromised passwords and blocking any attempts to use them. This approach can help prevent credential stuffing attacks by preventing the use of breached passwords.

Credential Hashing

Credential hashing involves converting passwords into a hashed value using a mathematical algorithm. This makes it much more difficult for attackers to obtain and use the original password in a credential stuffing attack.

Bottom Line

Credential stuffing attacks are dangerous. You can help prevent them by using strong passwords, enabling multi-factor authentication, and monitoring your accounts. It’s also important to consider using IdentityIQ identity theft protection services to monitor your personal information. You receive real-time fraud alerts if we scan the dark web for your personal information.

Protecting your personal information should be a top priority, so take action now and sign up for IdentityIQ to stay safe.