Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue
Information Security

MFA Fatigue: A Silent Threat to Your Security

Multifactor Authentication (MFA) has become a crucial defense against cyber threats. By requiring users to provide multiple forms of identification, such as a password and a one-time code, MFA significantly reduces the risk of unauthorized access. However, there’s a growing menace that undermines the effectiveness of MFA: MFA fatigue.

What Is MFA Fatigue?

Also known as MFA abuse attacks, MFA fatigue occurs when an attacker spams a target victim with MFA push notifications. These notifications prompt users to approve login attempts via email, phone, or authenticator apps (UT uses DUO). The attacker’s goal is simple: annoy victims to the point where they approve one of the notifications just to make them stop. Harmless as it may seem, this action effectively bypasses MFA by tricking users into granting access.

How Does MFA Fatigue Work?

  1. Notification Overload: Attackers flood users with MFA push notifications, bombarding them with constant approval requests.
  2. Annoyance Factor: Users, frustrated by the incessant notifications, eventually approve one just to end the annoyance.
  3. Bypassing MFA: By getting users to approve a login attempt, the attacker gains access without needing the second authentication factor.

Implications of MFA Fatigue

The dangers associated with MFA fatigue are significant:

  1. Compromised Accounts: Approving a fraudulent login notification unwittingly grants access to the attacker.
  2. Naming Conventions: Once an attacker has your password, they can potentially uncover naming conventions for other users’ accounts.
  3. Repeat Offenders: Successful MFA fatigue attacks make an organization more likely to be targeted again.

How to Protect Yourself

  1. Stay Vigilant: Continue ignoring fraudulent push notifications. Approving them only worsens the situation.
  2. Reset Your Password: Since the attacker triggered MFA push notifications, assume they have your password. Change it immediately.

Remember, MFA fatigue is a silent adversary. Stay informed, stay cautious, and keep your defenses strong.