Protection Against Cyberattacks with Passwordless Authentication. 

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Protection Against Cyberattacks with Passwordless Authentication. 

April 12, 2023

Did you know? The first-ever major cyberattack took place in 1988 – prior to the World Wide Web’s debut, according to Arctic Wolf.

Known as the “Morris Worm”, executed by Cornell grad student – Robert Morris, infected computer systems at top universities like Stanford, Princeton, and more.

There have been numerous attacks ever since in different forms and through increasingly modern methods. In this blog, you will find the common types of cyber-attacks and how you can avoid them.

Brute Force Attacks

In cybercrime, trial and error is expedient and some hackers choose to resort to it. In Brute Force Attacks, hackers enter different password combinations until they successfully log into an account. According to CyberNews, “123456” was amongst the most common passwords. Such passwords make it extremely easy for attackers to gain access to the accounts.


Credential Stuffing
Since most users prefer using their old password and username combinations for different accounts, attackers leverage by using stolen passwords to log in. Reverse Brute Force Attacks are most effective in this case.


Dictionary Attacks
By combining stolen passwords with common words, hackers can easily gain access to entities and networks. It is typically easier to guess as the platforms and passwords are nearly correlated. They are also called Hybrid Brute Force attacks.


Amongst all kinds of Password Attacks, Phishing portrays to be the most legitimate and convincing. As bad actors have grown to be more resourceful, they can pose as an authority or any legitimate party that the target may be in touch with.

Targets are usually contacted through emails, messages, and phone calls, which typically contain a link to a deceiving website with tabs to be filled in with the target’s information. When the target does so, his credentials are directly sent to the attackers. According to Ponemon Institute, 57% of people who have experienced a phishing attack have not changed their password management techniques.

There are various kinds of Phishing attacks including the following:

  1. Clone Phishing: Attackers use a cloned template from a legitimate email and change the links in it with false ones.
  2. Spear Phishing: Attackers use credentials and the appearance of the target’s close contact to deceive the target.
  3. DNS Cache Poisoning: Attackers re-write Domain Name System Information to reroute users to malicious websites.
  4. URL Hijacking: Attackers create an illegitimate website that closely resembles actual sites with nearly identical names; if targets mistype, they are redirected to these sites.

Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

Insecure connection channels enable bad actors to intercept and gain access to authentication messages between clients and servers. As the target browses through the website, these cybercriminals retrieve the target’s personal information and recognize their online behavior, while the target remains entirely clueless.

Password Spraying

According to The Harris Pole, 78% of Gen Z users use the same passwords for several online accounts. Despite the security measure that notifies users of suspicious activities, such as too many login attempts, hackers continue to hack accounts through more modern methods.

As a workaround to this measure, they try a single password across multiple platforms before circling back to the first website with a new password. The duration between the second attempt on the same website is long enough to keep the user from being notified.

Pro tip: multi-factor authentication complicates this process.


As technology advances, hackers innovate more modern ways to hack accounts. This technique involves the installation of surveillance software onto the target’s device to record and log keystrokes. Keylogging spyware can be installed through hardware elements (USB, Hidden Cameras, or Keyboard Attachments) or malicious software portrayed to be supplemental software (virus scanners and productivity applications).

How to avoid cyberattacks?

Passwordless Authentication can play a significant role in securing your accounts from most types of cyberattacks. As most of the attacks are related to passwords, switching to Passwordless Authentication can eliminate the threat to a great extent. Phishing, Brute Force Attacks, and Password Spraying rely heavily on trying different combinations of letters and numbers to form a password that grants access to attackers. Passwordless, on the contrary, uses MFA and biometrics as a measure to log in, which actively makes it extremely difficult for attackers to crack. According to Ponemon Institute, 57% of internet users would prefer the Passwordless Authentication method to protect their identity in the future.

Man-in-the-middle attacks can be prevented by only using secure communication protocols, such as HTTPS, that enable communication encryption between two parties. They can protect users by making the attacker interception difficult.
Lastly, to prevent keylogger attacks, it is best to use a reputable antivirus program and be cautious about the emails and websites you visit.

With Unifyed Passwordless, you can protect your accounts from multiple types of attacks. Furthermore, Unifyed Passwordless ensures a better user experience, reduced operational cost, better security posture, and more IT visibility.