2021 Credential Stuffing Report on F5 Labs

Over the last few years, security researchers at F5 and elsewhere have identified credential stuffing as one of the foremost threats. In 2018 and 2019, the combined threats of phishing and credential stuffing made up roughly half of all publicly disclosed breaches in the United States.

Now it is February 2021 and the tech industry is reeling from the twin shocks of the theft of FireEye’s red team tools and the SolarWinds Orion supply chain attack. We at Shape & F5 Labs anticipate there will be many more announcements and unwelcome discoveries surrounding credential spills and, it is important to point out, these campaigns also presented an opportunity for attackers to achieve persistence in the environments of thousands of organizations.

For this year, we have renamed the Credential Spill Report (previously published by Shape Security, now part of F5) to 2021 Credential Stuffing Report. We did this in order to look at the entire lifecycle of credential abuse, dedicating much time and effort to not just quantifying the trends around credential theft but also to understanding the steps that cybercriminals take to adapt to and surmount enterprise defenses.

Some Key Findings in the report include;

  • The number of annual credential spill incidents nearly doubled between 2016 and 2020.
  • Despite consensus about best practices, industry behaviors around password storage remain poor.
  • Median time for discovering a credential spill between 2018 and 2020 was 120 days; the average time to discovery was 327 days.
  • there are many more...

Head over to the F5 Labs, 2021 Credential Stuffing Report to see more key findings, dive into the details around terminology and real-world data, look at lifecycle analysis around theft, fraud, sale, and abuse, and lastly - look at some steps you can take to minimize your exposure to the threats around credential stuffing.

Published Feb 11, 2021
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