Automated cyberattacks have become common. Cyberattacks can leave devastating financial and reputational repercussions. Detecting and mitigating these attacks before they occur is the best way of minimizing their impacts. One such attack is credential stuffing. Keep reading to discover everything you should know about credential stuffing.

Understanding Credential Stuffing

Credential stuffing is a cyberattack where the attackers try to gain access to a site using stolen credentials from other sites or systems. For instance, a cybercriminal can attempt to login into your Instagram account after obtaining the password username pair of your Facebook account. Credential stuffing has become popular since most cybercriminals know that most individuals use the same pair of usernames and passwords on most of their pages and systems.

Cybercriminals have even started to sell the stolen credentials. Some even share the stolen credentials on the internet. For example, over 386 million logins from consumers were posted in an online hacker forum in July of 2020. The hackers managed to steal the credentials from eighteen companies.

Signs of a Credential Stuffing Attack

Cybercriminals use bots to steal credentials. The bots are given special instructions to steal login information from your web pages. The good news is that you can stop credential stuffing before things get out of hand. Here are the warning signs of a credential stuffing attack:

  • You cannot access your account all of a sudden due to incorrect login credentials.
  • Sudden change in site traffic.
  • Frequent and sudden downtime due to increased site traffic.
  • When you are notified of too many login attempts.
  • If you receive a notification that your password has changed and you did not change it.
  • When you stop receiving emails since the hacker has changed it.
  • Fraudulent charges made using your bank accounts, credit, and debit cards.

The Effect of Credential Stuffing

Data from a recent survey has shown that several people use the same credentials across multiple accounts. Cybercriminals use bots to hack multiple sites and use the stolen login information to access your accounts. For example, criminals can access your health insurance accounts, online stores, and email accounts. Credential stuffing will leave you vulnerable to account take over fraud, medical identity theft, identity theft, tax fraud, and credit card fraud.

The first thing you should do if you think you are a victim of credential stuffing is to update your passwords immediately. Proceed to contact the company to correct fraudulent changes. It would also be best to place fraud alerts on your other online accounts.

How to Prevent Credential Stuffing

You do not have to be a victim of credential stuffing. All you need to do is follow some basic steps. We will be discussing how you can effectively prevent credential stuffing attacks. We will also look at ways of protecting your account, website, and system from credential stuffing.

  • Create Strong and Unique Passwords

An affordable and effective way of keeping your accounts, websites, and systems safe is by using strong and unique passwords. You can make this process mandatory if you are a website admin.

A good password should have more than ten characters. It should also have a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters. Symbols and numbers will also strengthen the password. Another trick you can use to create strong and unique passwords is to use password manager solutions.

  • Take Advantage of Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication and two-factor authentication provides an additional protective layer. Users have to provide additional information besides the passwords and usernames. Cybercriminals cannot access your accounts, websites, and systems since they will not have the additional information.

The additional information can be a face ID, fingerprint, and iris. It can also be a secondary password or something you hold dear. Although this is an effective way of stopping brute attacks, it can affect your site’s user experience. Consider asking for multi-factor authentication for suspicious activities only to create a balance between security and site performance.

  • Use Captchas

Using captchas is also a brilliant way of preventing credential stuffing since automated bots perform these brute attacks. Captchas will hinder the bots from performing the attacks. However, it can ruin the user experience.

  • Use Bot Detection Solutions¬†

You can also utilize advanced account takeover prevention solutions like DataDome to detect and block automated blocks.

Final Thoughts

Notifying your users when you notice unusual activity and fingerprinting can also prevent these brute attacks. These methods will detect and stop credential stuffing attacks before they begin.