Blog

How Cybercriminals Are Keeping Themselves Entertained

How Cybercriminals Are Keeping Themselves Entertained

With the given pandemic, a lot of people have had a bit more time on their hands, so it makes sense that many are turning to streaming services and the like for their entertainment. Unfortunately, this has not gone unnoticed by cybercriminals.

Let’s take a few moments and examine the practice of credential stuffing.

What is Credential Stuffing?

Credential stuffing is an aptly named method for an attacker to gain access to an account. It’s also the reason why we always recommend that you use a different username and password for each account.

Let’s say that Website A, a popular social media platform, suffered a data breach, and some of its info was leaked, with usernames and passwords included in the mix. This means that John Q. Hacker can take this list, go to other sites, and start trying them out. If a user was reusing their credentials, our hacker has a match and now has access to their account and information, whatever it may be.

So, by essentially running through a spreadsheet, an attacker can gain access to far more accounts than they should.

The Current Problem

In their most recent report, Akamai (a platform-based service provider) had reviewed data collected throughout 2018 and 2019 to deliver insights to the media industry. As they explain in their included letter from the editor, the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic quickly caused them to reconsider. Thanks to this reconsideration, the report also shows trends as influenced by the pandemic.

As you might imagine, these trends are quite telling.

Credential stuffing exploded as the coronavirus tightened its hold. In fact, reviewing the documents that Akamai produced shows that their graphs needed to be dramatically increased in scale, tens of millions transitioning to hundreds of millions as numbers increased fourfold. As Europe locked down, a video media service was hit on March 26 by over 364 million malicious login attempts, with over 6 billion attempts taking place in that month alone.

The economics of these stolen credentials also share some insights. In the beginning of Q1 2020, researchers took note that video media accounts were priced at about $1 to $5, with bundled services coming in at $10 to $45 each. However, these prices plummeted by the end of Q1 with all the new credentials that were made available.

Why This Matters

As we have already stated, these kinds of attacks are exactly why it is recommended that access credentials aren’t recycled.

“Why would anyone hack into my stuff?”

We’ve all had this rationalization sound off in our heads as we’re asked to provide a password for a new account. We wonder if it really matters how secure our password is, after all, we’re not anyone of interest, so is all that security really worth the effort?

Besides, it’s easier to just remember the one.

As a result, a sizable number of people have the same usernames and passwords on multiple platforms. This is where the problem lies. Sure, some person accessing your Netflix account is one thing, but someone accessing your bank, or your tax returns, or your work email (sending us down another rabbit hole) is quite another.

So, where do we go from here?

Well, first thing, you need to go over your own accounts and make sure that all of them are properly secured. At White Mountain IT Services, we tend to recommend that your passwords include the following, to help boost their security:

  • Lots of characters
  • A diverse mix of letters, numbers, and symbols
  • No personally identifiable details (like your pet’s name, hobbies, etc.)

Alternatively, you could consider a passphrase. A passphrase (like “flankingcollisioncurtlytabletbovine”) takes five unrelated, random dictionary words and combines them, making a memorable, but essentially impossible to crack, passcode for you to use.

Second, we recommend the use of a password manager to help keep track of these passwords/passphrases. With a password manager to help you remember, you no longer have any excuse to slack off on your security.

White Mountain IT Services can help make your business’ computing more secure as well, along with our many IT services. Find out how we can assist you by giving us a call at 603-889-0800.

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.whitemtn.com/

Related Posts

One of the most popular methods of online hacking attacks involves what’s called a brute force attack. This is when a hacker overwhelms a login system with multiple attempts until the hacker is able to log in and access the system. They are dangerous...
The Internet is a fantastic tool that has ushered in an era of productivity and connectivity that we could only previously have dreamed of. Unfortunately, like every great tool, it can be used for darker, malicious purposes. In the Internet’s case, i...
Just like Silk Road (the illegal online black market designed to smuggle drugs around the world), there exists an online trade for zero-day exploits. Unsurprisingly, hackers find it exceptionally lucrative to sell these exploits for profit. Now, ther...
It’s safe to say that hacking is a frowned-upon practice, but that hasn’t stopped cyber criminals from attempting to turn a profit off of it. This practice has led them to target nonconventional organizations, including hospitals and other healthcare...
Most hacking attacks are the result of a flaw or vulnerability found within the code of a program or operating system, but we rarely take into account the ones that don’t. Hackers often take advantage of the human side of hacking as well, a process k...
For many Windows users, the fact that Microsoft is issuing Windows 10 incrementally came as a shock for those who patiently waited for its release date. While users wait, however, hackers are taking advantage of those who are less patient by creating...
There’s no question about it; hackers make things difficult for businesses of all industries and sizes. They go out of their way to steal data and turn a profit off of it, as well as misrepresent organizations and individuals. The business environmen...
It might seem like the obvious reason for hacks and data loss is due to technology being unpredictable, but in all reality, it’s important to remember that some of the problems we experience with technology come from the people operating it. To this ...
One minute you’re browsing trusted sites on the Internet, the next, your PC freezes up and displays the dreaded blue screen of death, along with a fake tech support message. This strain of malware is duping plenty of computer users into calling the p...
How much does your organization spend on cybersecurity every year? It’s a well-known fact that the Internet houses an incredible amount of threats that consistently pose a significant danger to organizations, so it’s expected that businesses will she...
Even the most innocent Internet user can fall victim to the stray hacking attack, and it’s all thanks to the manner in which malware reverse-engineers software. This process is how a hacker finds vulnerabilities in software. However, a new security c...
Technology is often exploited by hackers for their benefit, but one avenue of attack that’s consistently neglected is the mobile device. Smartphones and tablets are arguably at greater risk than desktops and workstations due to them being exposed to ...

Onsite Service Coverage Area

Although we provide remote services and support to businesses in over 20 states, onsite services are limited to within reasonable driving distance from our office in NH.  For locations outside of our service area, we will manage a local vendor to provide onsite assistance when needed.

 

Onsite Computer Support Services are available to businesses within 100 miles of Nashua New Hampshire. We have excellent onsite coverage from Concord NH, south through Manchester NH, and then down into Boston. From Northern and Central Mass, we cover from Worcester, east to the North Shore, including the Salem and Portsmouth NH area.

 

White Mountain IT Services
33 Main Street, Suite 302
Nashua, New Hampshire 03064

 

603-889-0800

map nashua4 1

 

Open Positions