Julie A. Sparks

Author Archives: Julie A. Sparks

Inside Cloudflare: Preventing Account Takeovers

Inside Cloudflare: Preventing Account Takeovers
Inside Cloudflare: Preventing Account Takeovers

Over the last week, Cloudflare has published blog posts on products created to secure our customers from credential stuffing bots, detect users with compromised credentials, and block users from proxy services. But what do we do inside Cloudflare to prevent account takeovers on our own applications? The Security Team uses Cloudflare products to proactively prevent account compromises. In addition, we build detections and automations as a second layer to alert us if an employee account is compromised. This ensures we can catch suspicious behavior, investigate it, and quickly remediate.

Our goal is to prevent automated and targeted attackers regardless of the account takeover technique: brute force attack, credential stuffing, botnets, social engineering, or phishing.

Classic Account Takeover Lifecycle

First, let's walk through a common lifecycle for a compromised account.

In a typical scenario, a set of passwords and email addresses have been breached. These credentials are reused through credential stuffing in an attempt to gain access to any account (on any platform) where the user may have reused that combination. Once the attacker has initial access, which means the combination worked, they can gain information on that system and pivot to other systems through methods. This is classified Continue reading