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What is a Brute Force Attack? Occurrence and Prevention Measures.

what is a brute force attack

A Brute Force Attack is a cryptographic hack that is based on a password cracking method. It works on a hit and trial methodology which uses all possible combinations of username and password until the correct combination is discovered.

For strong and long passwords, cracking the credential can be a time-consuming task however weak passwords can be guessed without putting any extra effort. Weak and common passwords help in easy exploitation, that is why security experts advocate the use of strong and long password. Aircrack-ng, L0pthCrack, Hashcat, John of Ripper, and Ncrack are few common security tools used to carry out a Brute Force Attack.

Common Goals of Brute Force Attack 

Here are some of the most commonly seen goals and focus points of a such an attack:

  1. It mainly targets individual and key personal information including account passwords, confidential information, Personal Identification Numbers, and much more.
  2. It can be used to redirect users to infected and suspicious third party websites.
  3. Apart from this, a Brute Attack can also be used to steal and sell user’s information to third-party agencies.
  4. It is also used to carry phishing attacks.

Types of Brute Force Attack

  • Credential Stuffing: This type of attack occurs when the password combination is known to hackers and can be used to access various user accounts. 

Keeping a simple password can put you into unavoidable situations, so it is always recommended to use a strong and complex password along with 2-factor authentication.

  • Hybrid Brute force Attack: Here attackers use various password cracking methodologies to guess the correct combination. They can either use a simple approach or deploy a specific logic to determine the correct password.
  • Dictionary Attacks: Dictionary words, strings, and phrases are used to guess the username and password combinations.
  • Reverse Brute Attack: In this type of attack, hackers use a common group password to guess the possible username.
  • Rainbow Table attack and simple Brute Force attack are other types of attacks. 

Tips to Prevent Brute Force Attack

Using a strong and complex password is one of the most effective preventative measures. Here are a few prerequisites:

  • Your password should be a combination of alphabets (both upper and lower case), numbers, and special characters.
  • Never use your key personal information like a nickname, date of birth as passwords.
  • Avoid using similar passwords for multiple accounts.
  • Refrain from using passwords with common patterns, for example, a combination of date of birth and name is the most obvious password to crack.

In addition to the above mentioned preventive measures, you should also use 2-factor authentication to add an additional layer of security to your device.

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