Account lockout attack

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What is a Account lockout attack?

In an account lockout attack, the attacker attempts to lockout all user accounts, typically by failing login more times than the threshold defined by the authentication system. For example, if users are locked out of their accounts after three failed login attempts, an attacker can lock out their account for them simply by failing login three times. This attack can result in a large scale denial of service attack if all user accounts are locked out, especially if the amount of work required to reset the accounts is signficant.

Common uses of the attack technique

Account lockout attacks are used to exploit authentication systems that are susceptible to denial of service.

Related vulnerabilities

Related countermeasures