Password sharing is a problem with any website which allows users (members) to login. It is especially true with paysites where users purchase access. Adult websites, in particular, are prone to password sharing which can be very expensive in terms of bandwidth and lost sales. Sharing of passwords usually results from two actions:
An existing member shares, trades, or sells his password to other person(s). Less common and less a problem since they typically share their password to a select small group of people like friends. Nevertheless, it which results in lost sales.
A second method is used by individuals (hackers) who have not purchased access – or at least do not have an existing active member account: dictionary and brute force attacks. A dictionary attack is a technique for defeating authentication mechanism by trying to determine its password by trying hundreds or sometimes millions of likely possibilities, such as words in a dictionary. A brute force (also known as brute force cracking) is a trial and error method used by application programs to decode encrypted passwords, through exhaustive effort (using brute force) rather than employing intellectual strategies. In other words, both strategies try to guess usernames and passwords. If they succeed, again the cost of bandwidth and lost sales when discovered passwords are shared with others. These passwords are typically shared with larger groups (usually strangers), and often on password sharing websites. This makes this sort of password sharing even more costly. Further, these sorts of attacks can overload a server, which can be disruptive and costly.
Our Password Sentry application was designed to detect and block password sharing by monitoring logins. If the number of unique logins exceeds your defined threshold, the user is automatically suspended. The optional PHP Authentication Plugin goes a step further. The Plugin blocks dictionary and brute force attacks by challenging users via Captcha in order to defeat password cracking software which is used by crackers trying to guess passwords.
So, detecting and stopping password sharing is paramount to any website success and livelihood. Our Password Sentry app is the app to provide that reliable and accurate measure of protection.