How to Prevent Credential Stuffing Attacks

The phrase “Do not use the same password on many accounts” is one of the overlooked statements. Yet, it is one of the important statements you might come across. Due to a cyber attack known as cyber stuffing, using the same password on several accounts is discouraged. This is a type of cyber attack, and it has affected many people over time. Though it sounds awful, there are ways you can prevent credential stuffing attacks.

What Is Credential Stuffing?

Credential stuffing is a type of brute force attack. The fraudsters use a list of compromised user credentials to breach the system. The attack takes place through the use of bots. It is based on the assumption that most users reuse their usernames and password through many servers.

The fraudsters who use this method use automated attempts to log into accounts using stolen usernames and passwords. They either use bots to get the information to buy the credentials on the dark web. The attackers use specialized software to use the various usernames and password pairs into an account and the login screen.

The hackers try to use the information they find on several sites until they find the one that is a match. If they manage to get to your bank account, the chances are that they will drain it. The attackers will use masking software so that they are not caught.

How To Prevent Credential Stuffing Attacks?

Credential stuffing can be scary, but you can put measures in place to decrease the effect. Some of the techniques are for service providers, while others need users to bear inconveniences.

Avoid Using the Same Password on Each Service

You can mitigate the impact you might get with the credential stuffing to use different passwords for each account. It might be stressful to have different passwords for the many accounts since you must remember them.

But, you can have unique passwords for each account without the need to memorize them. You can do this by creating your own encryption rule. The other option is to use password managers to generate and store unique and sophisticated passwords for users.

Limit the Number of the Authentication Request

It is always best for the service provider to limit the number of authentication requests. The service provider is to limit the number of failed authentication requests. They can do this by limiting the number of requests either using locations, devices, IP addresses, or the time frame. If possible, they should freeze the account and only allow them to visit the branch to have their credentials reactivated.

In case freezing the account might seem like an extreme measure, the requester can limit the amount of failed requests within a given time frame. This will play an important role in decreasing the speed of the attack. Besides, the service provider should send emails to alert the user of the failed attempt to change the password. That way, the security measure will lessen the possibility of the credential stuffing will be reduced.

Use of Multi-Factor Authentic MFA

Most of the accounts have only a single password to secure the account. Instead of using a single password to access the account, it is best to have two-factor authentication. Besides the password, the company should have extra pieces of information.

  • A knowledge-based MFA

This is the most traditional form of MFA. This is an option where the user will be asked to pre-register the security questions like their mother’s maiden name or the name of the first school they attended. Though it is one of the simplest forms of authentication, it is weak since personal information can be easily obtained.

  • Possession-based MFA

When you use this authentication option, you will need to have a device as a possession when you use this option. A temporary code will be used on a pre-registered mobile phone number when you enter a password. When this happens, the user will be needed to enter the code to complete the login process. Though this option offers greater security, it can be inconvenient for the users as they will need to have the device with them if they want to access the account.

  • Biometric MFA

The other type of authentication that can be used is the biometric MFA. Thanks to advances in technology, most of the devices have biometric capabilities. Thus, one can use a fingerprint reader or use a facial recognition camera. When you use this option, you will get strong protection. But, the usage is limited to the capabilities of the device you are using.

The Web Application Firewall

When you use this option, you will enjoy a web application firewall (WAF). This will help in detecting abnormal traffic bots. The system is ideal as it can be used to detect suspicious login attempts to a given extent. That is mostly since the number of attempts will take place all of a sudden.

Use of Screen for Leaks Credentials

A service provider can adopt solutions that can automatically scan the login credentials against the large database compromised in the dark web. When you use this option, you will immediately be alerted if some of the credentials will match those found in the database. This solution should be used by both the service provider and the users. The best part is that some websites will allow you to check for free. You will find out that there are any accounts associated with an email that might have been breached.

If you notice an account that has been compromised, the user should ensure they have changed all passwords that might be identical to those breached. But, this method will only work for the database that was published online. If it was sold to a private buyer, then it will not be published.

Conclusion

Credential stuffing is easy to perform. It is no wonder it is a popular technique that criminals use. Keep in mind that no company is too big or too small when it comes to fraud. That is why it is important to protect your website and ensure that you have used the technique discussed above to prevent credential stuffing.

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