To understand what is a Brute Force attack, let’s get the basics right.
With the proliferation of IT in our daily lives, we tend to value the convenience that IT infrastructure offers more than the security around it. We tend to ignore the security that such systems offer or rather lack of it. Although IT security is an important part in business transactions, it doesn’t deserve the attention it requires. It could be in part due to the obscurity of loopholes and vulnerabilities, you know, out of sight is out of mind. This introduces risks like hacking, identity theft, hijacking and many such serious cyber crimes.
Hacking is defined as an unauthorized entry into any system with the intention of causing harm or stealing valuable information. Hacking and other breaches in IT infrastructure has cost millions of dollars in revenue for many businesses and individuals alike. The hit that the business takes on its reputation is insurmountable. To guard against hacking, it is important to know the types of hacking and how it is perpetrated.
There are several types of hacking. One of them called Brute Force Attack is what we shall focus on, in this article.
Brute Force Attack is a cryptographic hack. Also known as Exhaustive Search, this kind of hack involves attempting several combinations for a password until one of them lets you in. The hacker could also attempt to guess the key which is derived from the password using a key derivation function. This is known as Exhaustive Key Search.
Brute force attacks may work for simple and short password breaking, but might not be an ideal choice for complicated and longer passwords. It will take a long time to work out all combinations for a longer password.
There are primarily 5 types of brute force attacks.
This kind of attack is based on logical guesses, rather than using a targeted software. This is typically used on weak passwords.
This kind of attack relies on a script or hacking tool, using a dictionary list of common words and phrases in general use.
These attacks typically combine logical guesses with dictionary attacks to figure out passwords that use a combination of dictionary words and random characters.
The reverse brute force attack, is exactly what the name implies, it takes a commonly used password and tries these passwords on millions of accounts until they find a match.
Once a hacker has a working username and password, there is all the chance that the same credentials will work on many other online assets.
What are the tools that hackers employ for brute force attacks?
Popular tools that perpetrators of this crime use are listed below.
Aircrack-ng, John the Ripper, Rainbow Crack, L0phtCrack, Ophcrack, Hashcat, Dave Grohl, Ncrack, THC Hydra.
How are brute force attacks detected.
Brute force attacks on a system with either MS Windows or Linux installed, leave a trace of the unsuccessful attempts made. If you see a string of unsuccessful attempts to login in to the respective log files of Linux and Windows, you know your machine is under attack.
There are many techniques to stop or prevent a brute force attack.
All major internet security software suites offer this feature to red flag brute force attacks to the administrator. Tools like McAfee, Norton Internet Security, Kaspersky and many more will help you by alerting these brute force attempts so you secure your assets well enough. The tools also detect loop holes that could be exploited for brute force attacks and red flag these to the administrator.
Brute Force attacks can expose your invaluable corporate data including your business secrets and intellectual property to the ever increasing tribe of cyber criminals. Secure your assets with best practices followed in the industry and review security on a periodic basis.
So, have you made up your mind to make a career in Cyber Security? Visit our Master Certificate in Cyber Security (Red Team) for further help. It is the first program in offensive technologies in India and allows learners to practice in a real-time simulated ecosystem, that will give you an edge in this competitive world.