Hi Guys,

One common threat that individuals and businesses face is credential stuffing. Here, I will explain credential stuffing, provide examples of how these attacks work, offer relevant statistics, and, most importantly, equip you with actionable steps to protect yourself from credential stuffing.

What is Credential Stuffing?
Credential stuffing is a type of cyber attack where hackers use automated tools to attempt to gain unauthorized access to user accounts by systematically testing login credentials obtained from data breaches or other sources. Essentially, hackers exploit the fact that many people reuse passwords across different platforms, capitalizing on users’ poor password hygiene.

How Credential Stuffing Attacks Work:
Credential stuffing attacks typically follow these steps:

  1. Data Breach: Hackers acquire a list of compromised usernames and passwords from a previous data breach, either from the dark web or other illicit sources.
  2. Automated Tools: The attackers employ specialized software that automatically tries these stolen credentials on various websites and applications, hoping to find matching accounts.
  3. Account Takeover: When a match is found, hackers gain unauthorized access to the victim’s account, potentially leading to various malicious activities such as identity theft, unauthorized purchases, or spreading malware.

Examples of Credential Stuffing Attacks:
Here are a few real-life examples that illustrate how credential-stuffing attacks have impacted individuals and organizations:

  1. Popular Streaming Service: Hackers used credential stuffing to compromise user accounts on a popular streaming platform. They then sold access to these accounts on underground forums, causing financial loss and account misuse.
  2. Banking Institutions: Several banks experienced credential stuffing attacks, leading to compromised accounts and potentially unauthorized transactions. This highlighted the importance of strong security measures, such as multi-factor authentication (MFA), to mitigate the risk.
  3. E-commerce Platforms: Attackers exploited weak passwords and reused credentials to gain unauthorized access to online shopping accounts. They exploited stored payment information to make fraudulent purchases, affecting customers and merchants.

Statistics on Credential Stuffing:
Consider the following statistics that emphasize the severity of credential-stuffing attacks:

  1. According to a report by Akamai, there were over 88 billion credential-stuffing attacks in 2021 alone, demonstrating a significant increase compared to previous years.
  2. Research from Google indicates that approximately 25% of users reuse the same password across multiple websites, making them vulnerable to credential-stuffing attacks.
  3. The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) reported a significant rise in account takeover complaints, with losses exceeding millions of dollars due to credential stuffing.

Protecting Yourself from Credential Stuffing:

  1. Unique and Strong Passwords: Use a unique and complex password for each online account, ideally a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Consider using a reputable password manager to help generate and securely store your passwords.
  2. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Enable MFA whenever possible. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring additional verification, such as a unique code sent to your mobile device and your password.
  3. Regularly Monitor Accounts: Keep a close eye on your online accounts for suspicious activity, such as unauthorized logins or unrecognized transactions. Report any suspicious incidents to the respective platform or service provider immediately.

That is it! You now know what Credential Stuffing is! Let me know if you have any questions, comments or feedback. We are here to serve.

All the best,

Max 🙂