Watch Out For These Password Hacking AttemptsBy Staff Reporter
Recently, there has been an upsurge of cyberattacks. Passwords are useful as the anchor in the achievement of cybersecurity and safety. However, they are subject to attacks by password crackers who use different techniques to access your password, and later, your credentials.
A dictionary attack is an automated process that uses a system that allows hackers to feed commonly used passwords and usernames until something matches. It is an advanced technique from the brute force attack.
This method relies on the fact that most people use common phrases and short names as passwords. To avoid such an attack, experts recommend using long-length passwords with mixed and spaced out characters.
Mass attacks use the same technique as the dictionary attack only that mass attackers clearer in their scope. They usually have existing knowledge about your password. For instance, if they know your password begins with a number, they can tailor the mask to only such types of passwords. They can try to configure the mask by modifying the length, special characters, and figures' arrangement.
Beat such hackers by creating unique and robust passwords and utilizing a password checker, a web tool that verifies your password strength.
Hackers use network analyzers to monitor and intercept data sent via a network hence lifting the plain text passwords therein contained. Such attackers use physical access to the network switch or malware. Most of them use this method and then follow it up with a dictionary or a brute force attack.
An excellent way of avoiding such a hacker is by integrating a VPN (a virtual private network). It creates a private system from a public internet connection, thus providing you with online privacy.
A brute force attack
There are different ways a hacker can use a brute force attack to access a system, all of which involve guessing the password.
One way is whereby a hacker tries to crack your password by guessing using relevant clues associated with you. Another way is through credential recycling in which hackers rely on previously used passwords that have been subject to previous data breaches. If you are in the category that re-uses passwords, you are likely to be attacked that way. Another method is the reverse brute force attack in which the hacker uses commonly used passwords and tries to guess the usernames.
An excellent way to avoid a brute force attack is to use a password manager as most of these processes are usually automated.
With social engineering, hackers trick you into believing they are legitimate agents. For instance, they can call in the name of repairing or fixing a technical hitch with your account where they ask for your passwords and details to provide "assistance."
Do not give your password to anyone without verification.
It involves hackers disguising themselves to gain access to company sites or institutions and looking over the staff's shoulder to access passwords or critical information. Or, someone looking over your shoulder to check as you key in a password in a device.
As cliche as it sounds, it is a hacking technique that many people have fallen prey to unknowingly.
Keep such an attack at bay by being vigilant when keying in passwords when in a public place.
Having some knowledge about the different methods that cybercriminals can use to crack your password can help you avoid falling into such attacks.
* This is a contributed article and this content does not necessarily represent the views of universityherald.com