The Differences Between Credential Stuffing and Brute Force Attacks

With the high rates of cyber-attacks, people need to ensure that they have protected their digital data. Researchers are always searching for ways that companies and individuals can protect their data. And the hackers are always looking for weak points to access digital information to make a profit. Thus, people need to understand how fraudsters work to develop the right strategies to ensure their data is protected.

Two of the popular cyber-attack techniques are credential stuffing and brute force attack. However, most people assume that these two cyber attack methods are the same, and in most cases, they are used interchangeably. But the truth is that they are different. You should understand what each technique entails assisting you when protecting your personal or business data. Here is a look at the difference between credential stuffing and brute force attacks.

What Is A Credential Stuffing Attack?

The use of credential stuffing is where the attackers will use an automated script to iterate through their list of stolen credentials. The fraudsters will try each credential against a list of a target web application. Since they are attempting different sites, they will be recorded and used later to find a successful login.

The credential stuffing works, since most users used the same login details and passwords in almost all the accounts they create. The attackers use bots or automated scripts to attack to get the information. However, this only works for people who have the same password for several accounts. It is easier to use the same password since it is easy to remember but will make you or your business vulnerable to an attack.

However, credential stuffing is a numbers game that means that the attackers must try several accounts to get a few. They will use the usernames and passwords they get and will be used in various bank accounts, social media, online marketplaces, and any other accounts that the hackers can get hold of. In case they get an account that has money, they will ensure they have drained the account. If they get into the online marketplace, they will use the data to commit credit card fraud. Even if the attacks only get into your social media account, they can use the information to engineer email and telephone scams and encourage you to give up access to your account. They can also use your details to access those you connect to on the social media account.

What Is A Brute Force Attack?

The use of brute force attack is used to obtain personal information like passwords. The hackers who use this method will use the usernames and unique identification numbers and a script, hacking application, or similar process to carry out a string of continuous attempts to get the needed data.

The use of the brute force attack is mainly a trial and error. Fraudsters use bots to attempt to make as many guesses as possible with the aim of gaining access to the account. They make use of this method with the purpose that they will eventually get the right combination to use. Just like credential stuffing, the use of brute force is also a numbers game that relies on increasing possibilities.

It might not be possible for the attacker to gain access to the account during their first attempt or second, but the persisting will lead to the attackers gaining the account. In a nutshell, the use of brute force is like breaking down the door—the reason being that this is a technique that relies on sophisticated or complex strategies. Instead, the method relies on overwhelming the system with guesses until they get the needed access. The method does not use any intelligence.

Once the hackers get your information, they will create a list of passwords and use the popular combination first. The attackers rely on logic when using this form of attack. When the logic method does not work, the attackers can guess what is out of the guessing.

The Difference between Credential Stuffing and Brute Force

  • With the credential stuffing, the hackers will use stolen credentials to try and log on to other sites. In contrast, the brute force attack uses possible combinations to find the right password and username pairs.
  • The use of credential staffing utilizes advanced technology while brute forces use raw computing power. Though it might try to use logic, it typically requires a simple automation method.
  • The other difference is that credential staffing can target numerous accounts and use the password combination across various websites. With brute force, they only use one or a few accounts at a time.
  • Credential stuffing is fast, whether it succeeds or not, and that is why it is not easy to detect. On the other hand, brute force is slow, making it easy to see.

How to Handle Credential Stuffing or Brute Force Attack

It is possible to use security products to mitigate the possibility of the attack taking place. However, before you implement any security measures, you need to understand that no single products are 100% reliable against all attack forms.

Screen Users Accounts

Companies ought to have a layered approach to protect against attacks. Organizations need to be particularly cautious not to compromise the user names and password combinations. When hackers get usernames and passwords, they will attempt to use them on several accounts. Thus, it is important for organizations to opt to screen their user’s accounts for compromised credentials and should also take action to degrade any threats.


This is where the users will need to perform a certain action to prove they are human. But keep in mind that the hackers can easily bypass the CAPTCHA by using headless browsers. However, it is best to use it as it will limit the effectiveness of cyber credential attacks.

IP Blacklisting

Another method that organizations can use to limit cyberattacks is IP blacklisting. This will ensure an effective defense to block an IP that attempts to log in to multiple accounts.

Fawad Malik

Fawad Malik Technology geek by heart, blogger by passion, and founder of, He regularly explores ideas and ways how advanced technology helps individuals, brands and businesses survive and thrive in this competitive landscape. He tends to share the latest tech news, trends, and updates with the community built around Nogentech.

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