Brute force actually means depending on the application of power or strength to achieve something rather than a more strategic, efficient, and carefully planned method. We usually hear it used when a person forcibly takes something away physically to gain possession of that item.
In the online world, there is also such a thing as a brute-force attack. A brute force attack is a cryptographic hack that relies on guessing probable sequences of an intended password until the right one is discovered—the more complex the password, the more combinations that will need to be tested. A brute force attack can be difficult to perform and time-consuming, and at times even impossible.
A weak password, however, could take only a few seconds without any effort. That is why you and your team should apply a strong password policy across systems.
Objectives of a brute-force attacker
Here are the reasons why an attacker uses brute force.
- To steal critical information like passwords to gain access to network resources and online accounts.
- To collect credentials and then sell them to third parties.
- To redirect domains to malicious sites.
- To deface websites and other information in the public domain to damage the reputation of the organization.
- To pose as users to send phishing links.
A hacker cannot do it alone; he or she uses tools to complete the attack. To crack passwords, the hacker uses brute force password cracking software. Some of the tools they usually utilize include John The Ripper, Aircrack-ng, RainbowCrack, and L0phtCrack.
What are the types of Brute-force attacks?
There are different types of brute-force attacks. Here are some of them.
- Hybrid brute-force attack
The hybrid is the most common of all brute-force attacks. It is also known as dictionary attacks because it makes use of a dictionary to pick out words to crack passwords. Others just use common passwords, which could be cracked in seconds.
- Credential stuffing
Many users choose the same usernames and passwords for all their logins. These users are highly susceptible to brute-force attacks because they can use the information to get into a user’s multiple network resources.
- Reverse brute-force attack
This one does not attack a particular username. Instead, it uses a common individual or group password to gain access to a network resource.
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