What is push-bombing and how can you prevent it?

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18th May 2023

What is push-bombing and how can you prevent it?

Cloud account takeover has become a major problem for organisations. Between 2019 and 2021, account takeover rose by 307%. Many organisations use multi-factor authentication to stop fraudulent sign-ins. But its effectiveness has spurred workarounds by hackers. One of these is push-bombing.

How does push-bombing work?

When a user enables multi-factor authentication on an account, they typically receive a code or authorisation prompt of some type. The user enters their login credentials. Then the system sends an authorisation request to the user to complete their login.

With push-bombing, hackers start with the user’s credentials and take advantage of that push notification process. They attempt to log in many times. This sends the legitimate user several push notifications, one after the other. When someone is bombarded with these, it can be easy to mistakenly click to approve access.

Push-bombing is a form of social engineering attack designed to:

  • Confuse the user
  • Wear the user down
  • Trick the user into approving the multi-factor authentication request to give the hacker access

Ways to Combat Push-Bombing at Your Organisation

  • Educate employees
  • Reduce business app “sprawl”
  • Adopt phishing-resistant multi-factor authentication solutions
  • Enforce strong password policies
  • Put in place an advanced identity management solution

Additionally, businesses can use identity management solutions to install contextual login policies.


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