How Do Password Get Cracked By Hackers ?
In one of our article on this website, we discussed the various methods that cybercriminals can use to try to obtain your password. If they are unable to do this, however, they can always try another strategy, which is to simply guess what it is.
There are numerous ways to hack and compromise an account. Password cracking is one of them; it employs computational and other techniques to bypass the password authentication process. In this article, we will explore a variety of password breaking strategies. Today, it is possible to discover specialized password-cracking programs that are not limited to nefarious objectives. But before we get into the specifics, let’s define password cracking.
Passwords were regarded an acceptable method of protecting privacy in the digital world for many years. As cryptography and biometrics grew more accessible, however, the faults in this simple technique of authentication became more apparent. Recent data from the NCSC indicate that approximately one in six individuals use the names of their pets as passwords, making them extremely predictable. Moreover, these passwords are frequently repeated across several sites, with one-third of users (32%) having the same password for multiple accounts.
It should come as no surprise that passwords are a cybersecurity expert’s worst nightmare. There are steps worth taking to address this issue, such as implementing robust multi-layer authentication. It is also worthwhile to consider the steps cyber criminals must take to hack your account in order to “know your enemy.” We’ve compiled this article on how password get cracked by hackers is to help you and your company be better prepared.
Passwords That Everyone Uses
The hacker will first attempt to use the most common passwords. There are lists of the most commonly compromised passwords used in data breaches. Passwords like “111111” and “password” appear near the top of the majority of these lists. A hacker will try each password on this list until they gain access to your account.
Open sources intelligence
If you avoid using common passwords, this does not mean your passwords are safe. Hackers can use Open-Source Intelligence to guess your passwords (OSINT). OSINT refers to any information about you that is easily accessible online. Hackers, for example, will search your social media accounts for information such as names, key dates, locations, or hobbies that you might use in passwords. Hackers will then combine all of this information to generate likely passwords. For example, a hacker might discover on your social media that your pet’s name is Fido and your birth year is 1990. The hacker will then try to guess passwords like “Fido1990.”
A hacker can crack your password even if you avoid using personal information in it. Passwords are frequently reused across multiple sites. Hackers will look for data stolen in previous data breaches to see if your credentials have already been compromised. The hacker will then try that password on your other accounts in an attempt to gain access.
Accounts with similar passwords are also targeted by hackers. If you use “PasswordDisney” for your Netflix account and “PasswordStarz” for your Hulu account, for example. Alternatively, you could use “PasswordFall” for one account and “PasswordWinter” for another. For example, “Password1” for one account and “Password2” for another. Hackers are aware of these patterns and use them to gain access to accounts.
If these strategies fail, hackers can still “brute force” their way into an account. This means they must try every possible password. When users make the mistake of using short passwords with a very limited set of characters, this technique works. A seven-character password containing only numbers and lower-case letters can be cracked in about one day. When the user includes capital letters, this increases to 40 days. Increasing the number of characters in your password from 7 to 8 will take a hacker nearly 7 years to crack.
Dictionary attack to crack password
A brute force attack, such as the dictionary attack, is an example of an attack that is slightly more advanced.
This makes use of an automated method that involves entering a collection of phrases and passwords that are frequently used into a computer system until one of them works. Although the majority of dictionaries will be comprised of credentials obtained from past hacks, they will also include the most typical passwords and word combinations.
This strategy takes advantage of the fact that many people use memorable phrases as passwords, which are typically formed by stringing together whole words. When setting up a password, most software applications will recommend using a combination of different kinds of characters because of this primary consideration.
Password could be get cracked by mask attack
Mask attacks are much more specific in their reach than dictionary attacks, which use lists of all conceivable phrase and word combinations. These attacks frequently include refining assumptions based on letters or numbers, and they are typically founded in prior information.
For instance, if a hacker is aware that a password starts with a number, they will be able to modify the mask so that it only tries those kinds of passwords if they know this information. Some of the criteria that can be used to configure the mask include the length of the password, the order in which the characters are arranged, whether or not special characters are included, and the number of times that a single character is repeated.
Spidering is the technique used to crack password
In the process of hacking, known as “spidering,” hackers get to know the targets of their attacks very well in order to steal credentials based on the activities they engage in. The approach is quite similar to those employed in phishing and social engineering assaults; however, it requires a far more amount of legwork on the part of the hacker, and as a result, it is typically more successful.
Spidering is a hacking technique that can be used in a variety of ways, depending on the target. For instance, if the target is a large corporation, hackers may try to obtain internal material, like as handbooks for new employees, in order to get an idea of the platforms and security measures that the target employs. You can frequently find instructions on how to access particular services or comments on how to make use of the office Wi-Fi network within these.
It is common practice for businesses to make use of passwords that are connected to their line of work or brand in some way. The primary reason for this is that it is simpler for employees to keep in their heads. Hackers are able to take advantage of this by researching the products that a company develops in order to construct a hitlist of possible word combinations. This hitlist can then be used to support a brute force attack.
Rainbow table attack used by hackers to crack password
When a password is saved on a computer, it is usually encrypted using a ‘hash,’ which is another name for a cryptographic alias. This makes it impossible to discover the genuine password unless the accompanying hash is known. Hackers keep and exchange files that record passwords and their accompanying hashes. These directories are frequently constructed from prior intrusions, which allows hackers to circumvent this restriction and reduce the amount of time it takes to break into a system (used in brute force attacks).
Rainbow tables go one step farther than hash tables by storing a precompiled list of all potential plain text forms of encrypted passwords based on a hash algorithm. This is in contrast to hash tables, which just provide a password and its corresponding hash value. After that, hackers are in a position to contrast these listings with any encrypted passwords that they find in a company’s system.
When compared to previous ways, this approach makes it much simpler and more expedient to launch an attack because a significant portion of the computation is completed in advance. The sheer variety of conceivable combinations results in rainbow tables that can be quite large, frequently taking up hundreds of terabytes of space. This presents a problem for those who commit cybercrime.
Shoulder surfing to steal your password
You could be forgiven for thinking that the concept of someone looking over your shoulder to see your password is a Hollywood invention, but unfortunately, this is a real risk, even in the year 2020.
Hackers who disguise themselves in order to break into company websites and practically look over the shoulders of workers to steal confidential documents and passwords are brazen examples of this type of behavior. Given that smaller companies are unable to adequately control their websites in comparison to larger organizations, it is possible that they are the ones most at danger from this.
Recently, members of the security community expressed concern regarding a flaw in the authentication procedure utilized by WhatsApp. When users try to use WhatsApp on a new device, they are prompted to enter a unique code that has been supplied to them through text message. This code can be used to restore a user’s account and chat history from a previous backup. It was discovered that if a hacker was able to obtain a user’s phone number, they are able to download the app to a clean device and issue a prompt for a new code. If the hacker is within spying distance, they are able to copy the code as it arrives on the user’s own device. This is a vulnerability that has been exploited by hackers in the past.
Exploitation of a Password Manager
What about password management software? Is it possible to crack them? A password manager aids in the creation and storage of complex passwords. While this protects your password on the vast majority of websites, it also introduces a single point of failure. A hacker who breaks into your password manager will have access to all of your accounts. A hacker may find it extremely difficult to hack your password manager if you use a complex, long, random password.
What You Can Do to Keep Passwords Safe ?
By creating complex, memorable passwords, you can avoid the need for a password manager. You can do this by generating passwords with a system like Diceware. Diceware generates words by rolling 5 six-sided dice. You can use the generated word to generate a number of sufficiently long passwords. For example, you could roll three dice and get the phrase “Hunger Starship Genre.” The words can then be combined with random numbers, symbols, and capital letters to form something like “Hu#n2Ger StarSh!ip4 gen&54RE.” This password is only three words long, but it is complex enough that it will take a hacker a decade to crack.
Enabling two-factor authentication is another excellent security strategy (2FA). Two-factor authentication requires you to provide two types of identification, such as a password and a one-time token sent to your phone. Even if a hacker obtains your password, he will be unable to access your account because he lacks the token.
Let’s go through this again now that you have an understanding of how hackers crack password and reasons and the strategies they employ to do so:
- Use a password that is at least 11 characters long and has a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters if you are serious about warding off hackers.
- The password should not include any identifying information about the user, such as names or important dates.
- It is imperative that the password not be utilized on any other websites.
- If you use a password manager, make careful to use a robust master password or a system like Diceware to generate random passwords that are simple to remember if you want to keep your data secure.
- Enable two-factor authentication as a final step so that even if a hacker gets lucky and figures out your password, he is still unable to access your account.