The rapid advancement of technology in all industries has led to the threat of ever-increasing cyberattacks that target businesses, governments, and individuals alike. A common threat targeting businesses is MFA fatigue attacks—a technique where a cybercriminal attempts to gain access to a corporate network by bombarding a user with MFA prompts until they finally accept one.
MFA refers to multi-factor authentication, a layered end-user verification strategy to secure data and applications. For a user to log in, an MFA system needs them to submit various combinations of two or more credentials.
Using MFA Fatigue attacks, cybercriminals bombard their victims with repeated 2FA (two-factor authentication) push notifications to trick them into authenticating their login attempts to increase their chances of gaining access to sensitive information.
This attempt can be successful, especially when the target victim is distracted or overwhelmed by the notifications or misinterprets them with legitimate authentication requests.
One major MFA Fatigue attack, also known as MFA bombing, targeted the ride-sharing giant Uber in September 2022.
Uber attributed the attack to Lapsus$, a hacking group that started by compromising an external contractor’s credentials. Furthermore, preliminary research revealed the Uber breach resulted from an MFA fatigue attack.
Prevalence of MFA overload and its impact
Cybercriminals increasingly use social engineering attacks to access their targets’ sensitive credentials. Social engineering is a manipulative technique used by hackers to exploit human error to gain private information.
MFA fatigue is a technique that has gained popularity among hackers in recent years as part of their social engineering attacks
This is a simple yet effective technique with destructive consequences as the hackers are banking on their targets’ lack of training and understanding of attack vectors.
Since many MFA users are unfamiliar with this style of attack, they would not understand that they are approving a fraudulent notification.
As the MFA notifications appear continuously, a user may get tired and assume it’s an annoying system malfunction; hence accept the notification as they did previously. Unfortunately, this grants the hacker access to the user’s critical infrastructure.
As these MFA bombing attacks have obvious negative impacts on businesses, companies should ensure that all their critical infrastructures and resources are protected from internal or external threats.
These attacks can damage a company’s reputation and erode the trust of its customers, leading to a loss of customers and sales volume. Additionally, MFA attacks can disrupt your operations, cause loss of sensitive information and alter your business practices.
Solutions to Mitigate MFA Fatigue
Overall, IT security plays a vital role in your organization’s safety. Implementing state-of-the-art security features can save your business from perennial cyber threats. The following are some of the measures you can implement to prevent MFA fatigue:
This solution can prevent MFA fatigue since it helps confirm a user’s identity by using at least two factors. These include knowledge(something you know), possession (something you own), or inheritance (something you are).
The strategy here is to limit the number of MFA requests per user. Once a certain threshold has been passed, the account is locked and the issue is raised to the domain administrator.
Gamifying the system
This can be achieved using systems such as Specops uReset Active Directory self-service password reset solution. This system gives users a self-service portal where they can reset their passwords or unlock their accounts with a star-based system that gamifies the verification process in a way that makes end-users more likely to opt into use.
Most cyber-attacks happen due to a lack of knowledge. You can prevent MFA bombing attacks by educating your users on security threats. In addition, this education helps your users be aware of their own cyber security practices they take part in daily.
For advanced protection against MFA-related cyber-attacks, Specops provides a self-service password reset software that allows businesses to eliminate suspicious reset calls to the IT service desk. Specops solutions enable end-users to securely reset their Active Directory passwords regardless of location or device, putting them in control of the MFA alerts and when to expect them.
Security is crucial to your day-to-day business needs. Therefore, you need to consider the safety of your organization’s critical infrastructure and make it your number one priority.
With cyber threats evolving roughly at the same pace as new digital trends and business practices, it is necessary to stay one step ahead. You can do that by investing in SpecOps’ enhanced password security solutions.
Sponsored and written by Specops Software