Do you know what happens when you use the same or almost the same usernames and passwords across multiple platforms? If a hacker gets a hint of it, he or she will simply block you from your social media accounts, hack your wallets, and destroy your reputation among your peers, family, and friends. This is credential stuffing.

But what exactly is Credential Stuffing?

If you have been a bit active on tech news recently, you might have heard that hackers compromised the infamous “Zoom” privacy and breached millions of accounts and their passwords. They later sold these accounts and passwords on the dark web. 

Credential stuffing can simply say to be an attempt to access your online accounts, wallets, and data by acquiring credentials from illegal sources. These sources range from direct breaches to buying credentials on the dark web.

You should know that in the past, once the cybercriminals succeeded in breaching accounts and wallets online, they either hold the data for ransom, destroyed reputation by giving obnoxious statements, or simply used the credit details to rob the account holder out of hard-earned money.

How does Credential Stuffing really work?

Let’s take “Zoom” again to better understand this. 

Let’s say you are using Zoom every day to attend your classes or meetings. Now you don’t want to get into the hassle of setting up a complex username or password so you use the same username and password you do on other platforms.

Now, as Zoom was quite insecure in the past, assume that it has been breached, and along with millions of other credentials, yours have been stolen too. What happens next is that either the data will be offered on the dark web or used directly by the hackers to make an attempt on your privacy and data. 

But that’s not the extent of it. They will hire botnets to do the extra work and give them your credentials to try across multiple accounts. Now, do you understand what will happen if you have used the same credentials across multiple accounts? The botnets will successfully access your accounts and lock you out of them. 

The cybercriminals will then hold your data for ransom, download it to use for personal benefits or simply sell it online for other hackers to exploit. In short, they will rob you out of your reputation, money, and happiness.

So how do you prevent Credential Stuffing actually?

You may think you can never be a victim of credential stuffing but there are lots of businesses and individuals that thought the same until they suffered heavily at the hands of cybercriminals. 

The worst thing about it is that you never know when an app or program you are using succumbs to data breaches and lose your data including your credentials. You won’t be aware of what suddenly hit you online. 

So, here are a few cybersecurity tips for you to practice in order to avoid credential stuffing attacks.

  • Always choose strong passwords. Weak passwords mean an easy opportunity for cybercriminals. 
  • Enable 2FA. Two-factor authentication means the chances for your account to be hacked are lower.
  • Never share your credentials with anyone. 
  • Enable email notifications for the accounts so you may be informed when someone tries to hack your account.
  • Try to read online about the apps you use or rely on for sensitive information. In case of a data breach, immediately change your passwords and other details.