What is the brute force attack method?
A brute force attack uses the trial and error method to guess access information, encryption keys, or find a hidden web page. Hackers work through all possible combinations in hopes of guessing correctly.
These attacks are carried out by « brute force », which means that they use excessive force attempts to try « to force » their entry into your private account (s).
This is an old attack method, but it is still effective and popular with hackers. Because, depending on the length and complexity of the password, decrypting it can take anywhere from a few seconds to many years.
What do hackers gain from brute force attacks?
Brute force attackers have to try a little to make these schemes work. Although technology makes it easier, you may wonder: why would someone do this?
Here’s how hackers benefit from brute force attacks:
- Take advantage of ads or collect activity data
- Theft of personal data and valuables
- Spread malware to cause interruptions
- Kidnapping your system for malicious activities
- Ruining a website’s reputation
Use of announcements or collection of activity data
Hackers can exploit a website alongside others to earn advertising commissions. The most popular ways to do it are:
- Place spam ads on a highly visited website to earn money every time visitors click on an ad or see it.
- Redirect traffic from a website to custom ad sites.
- Infect a site or its visitors with malicious activity tracking software, usually spyware. The data is sold to advertisers without their consent to help them improve their marketing.
Theft of personal data and valuables
Getting into online accounts can be like opening a bank’s safe – everything from bank accounts to tax information can be found online. Adequate irruption is enough for a criminal to steal your identity, your money, or sell your private credentials for profit. Sometimes sensitive databases of entire organizations can be exposed to corporate data breaches.
Spread of malicious programs to cause disorders because
If a hacker wants to cause trouble or practice his skills, he can redirect traffic from a website to malicious sites. They can also directly infect a site with hidden malware for installation on visitors’ computers.
Kidnapping your system for malicious activities
When a machine is not enough, hackers recruit an army of unsuspecting devices called a botnet to speed up their efforts. Malware can infiltrate your computer, mobile device, or online accounts for spam phishing, improved brute force attacks, and more. If you don’t have an antivirus system, you may be more exposed to infection.
Types of brute force attacks
Each brute force attack can use different methods to discover your sensitive data. You can be exposed to any of the following popular brute force methods:
- Simple attacks of brute force
- Dictionary attacks
- Hybrid Gross Force Attacks
- Reverse brute force attacks
- Fill in credentials
Simple brute force attacks: hackers logically try to guess their credentials, without the help of software tools or other means. These can reveal extremely simple passwords and PINs. For example, a password configured as « guest12345 ».
Dictionary attacks: In a standard attack, a hacker chooses a target and compares potential passwords to that username. This is known as dictionary attacks. Dictionary attacks are the most basic tool of brute force attacks. Although they are not necessarily brute force attacks in themselves, they are often used as an important component for password decryption. Some hackers go through dictionaries without abbreviation and increase words with special characters and numerals or use special word dictionaries, but this type of sequential attack is cumbersome.
Hybrid attacks of brute force: These hackers mix external media with their logical guesses to attempt an intrusion. A hybrid attack often mixes dictionary and brute force attacks. These attacks are used to find out combined passwords that mix common words with random characters. An example of brute force attack of this nature would include passwords like NewYork1993 or Spike1234.
Reverse brute force attacks: As the name suggests, a reverse brute force attack reverses the attack strategy starting with a known password. Hackers then search millions of username until they find a match. Many of these criminals start with leaked passwords that are available online from existing data breaches.
Fill in credentials: If a hacker has a username and password combination that works on one website, it will also test it on many others. Since users are known to reuse login information on many websites, they are the sole target of such an attack.
Tools that aid brute force attempts
Guessing a password for a specific user or site can take a long time, so hackers have developed tools to get the job done faster.
Automated tools help with brute force attacks. They use a quick guessing system to create all possible passwords and try to use them. Brute force hacking software can find a dictionary word password in one second.
These types of tools have solutions programmed to:
- They work against many computer protocols (such as FTP, MySQL, SMPT, and Telnet)
- Allow hackers to crack wireless modems.
- Identify weak passwords
- Decrypt passwords in encrypted storage.
- Translating words to leavespeak – « don’thackme » becomes « d0n7H4cKm3 », for example.
- Ejecutar todas las combinaciones posibles de caracteres.
- Operar ataques de diccionario.
Some tools scan pre-calculated rainbow tables for known hash function inputs and outputs. These « hash functions » are the algorithm-based encryption methods used to translate passwords into long series of letters and fixed length numbers. In other words, rainbow tables eliminate the most difficult part of brute force attacks to speed up the process.
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