Password Spraying Is One of the Top Types of Password Attacks

There are many types of password attacks, meaning cyber attacks that exploit weak and reused passwords to take over user accounts, whether to take advantage of the stolen accounts directly or sell access to them on underground markets. The most common types of password attacks are often brute force attacks:

  • Password spraying
  • Credential stuffing
  • Phishing
  • Dictionary attacks
  • Keylogger attacks
  • Exhaustive key search
  • Reverse brute-force attack

SpyCloud helps organizations combat brute force attacks like password spraying by detecting when users’ passwords are available on the criminal underground, heading off attacks that leverage weak or stolen credentials.

Password Spraying Exploits Users’ Bad Password Habits

Password spraying is a type of password attack where a cybercriminal uses a list of usernames and common passwords like “password” and “qwerty” to try to gain access to a particular site. Once they get a match, the criminal may test that same username and password combination against as many accounts as possible.

Password spraying is a successful brute force attack because so many people use the same common passwords across multiple accounts, including consumer and professional logins. With SpyCloud, you can combat password spraying by detecting when your users’ passwords have appeared in a data breach.

Download the Whitepaper: “The Rising Threat of Account Takeover”

Protect Your Users from Password Spraying with SpyCloud

Attacks like password spraying work when users’ passwords are weak or have been exposed in a previous data breach. While strong password guidelines can encourage users to choose better passwords, policies that make passwords harder for users to remember can backfire, encouraging password reuse across accounts that’s harder for IT teams to detect or prevent.

SpyCloud helps enterprises take a proactive approach to password spraying by checking users’ passwords against the largest repository of breach data in the world, with nearly 100 billion recovered breach assets–and growing. If a user’s credentials appear in the SpyCloud dataset, IT and security teams can take action to validate their identity and protect their account from attack.

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Head Off Both Targeted Account Takeover and Brute Force Attacks

80 Percent of Losses Come from 10 Percent Of ATO Attacks

While password spraying and other brute force attacks are important to prevent, their costs are dwarfed by the losses incurred by targeted account takeover. SpyCloud customers report that targeted attacks, which typically occur before stolen credentials are distributed in combolists for automated attacks, account for less than 10 percent of account takeover attacks and account for 80 percent of their losses.

SpyCloud enables enterprises to head off both password spraying activity and targeted account takeover attempts by detecting exposed credentials as soon as possible after a breach. SpyCloud researchers gain access to breach data early by going undercover in tight-knit criminal communities, often recovering data early enough to engage in responsible disclosure to organizations that haven’t realized they’ve been breached.

Learn More About Targeted vs Automated Account Takeover

Timeline of a data breach showing what cybercriminals do with stolen credentials, starting with targeted account takeover attacks of high-value victim. Ultimately, stolen logins will end up on the deep and dark web and used in high-volume credential stuffing attacks.

Reduce Online Fraud by Securing Consumer Accounts

Password spraying and brute force attacks against your consumer accounts takeover can result in fraudulent credit card purchases, warranty fraud, and stolen loyalty points. For your enterprise, consequences can include the costs of financial fraud, increased support demands, and damaged reputation.

SpyCloud helps enterprises protect consumers from account takeover fraud by detecting when consumer passwords have been exposed so enterprises can validate their identities through step-up authentication measures and reset compromised passwords.

Learn More About Consumer ATO Prevention

Protect Your Enterprise from a Data Breach

When criminals take over victims’ corporate accounts, attackers can gain entry into business email accounts, proprietary databases, and restricted financial applications. The majority of corporate data breaches are a result of an employee’s compromised account exploited through weak or stolen passwords, often accessed using methods like password spraying.

To protect employee accounts from password spraying, SpyCloud enables security teams to detect and reset exposed passwords swiftly to prevent attackers from exploiting them.

Learn More About Employee Account Takeover Prevention

Government Agency Employee Account Takeover Prevention

Featured Products

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Employee ATO Prevention

Protect your organization from breaches and BEC due to password reuse.

Active Directory Guardian

Automatically detect and reset exposed Windows accounts.

Consumer ATO Prevention

Protect your users from account takeover fraud and unauthorized purchases.

Featured Resources

Credential Stuffing Webinar Screenshot

How Credential Stuffing Tools Are Made

Learn how credential stuffing works and get insights into the tools of the trade (including some very sophisticated custom Nintendo crimeware). Discover why stolen accounts that don’t have obvious monetary value can be profitable for cybercriminals.

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