5 Different Types of Password Attacks: A Comprehensive Guide


Everyone has at least once in their lifetime set a password with their birth date and birth year. People often opt for using their personal info as a password so that it would be easier to remember. However, such unsafe and insecure passwords are easily hacked and broken into by different hackers around the world. Hackers devise a common pattern to be easily able to crack your password and hack into your system. Password attacks simply refer to your password being stolen by a hacker. According to research in 2020, 81% of data breaches were caused due to unsecured and compromised credentials. 

Types of password attacks

Following are the top 5 password attacks given:

  1. Phishing
  2. Brute force attack
  3. Dictionary attack
  4. Keyloggers
  5. Credential stuffing

1. Phishing:

This is one of the most common types of password attacks. Phishing simply refers to a hacker posing as a trustworthy party to whom you can reply and extorting all your sensitive information to be easily able to hack into your system. There are many different methods a hacker can contact you to get you to fall into their trap. A few examples of phishing are given below:

•    Regular phishing: You get an email from a website that you believe to be trustworthy. The email asks you to reset your password, and you go ahead without properly checking the details and website. It turns out the website was an unsecured and fake one, and the hacker has stolen your credentials and info. This type of password attack is known as regular phishing.

•    Spear phishing: This is done through a malicious email from your friend, colleague, or associate. The hacker hopes to attack your computer through the link sent through the malicious email.

•    Smishing and vishing: You must have often got a message from your bank asking you not to disclose your personal info and sensitive information to anyone who asks through the phone because there is a risk of a phishing password attack.

Phishing attacks can be avoided by checking the sender’s name, the source of the email, or the IT team. 

2. Brute force attack:

This type of password attack is similar to the trial and error method. A hacker tries millions of most common password combinations in only a couple of seconds. This is known as a brute force attack. To avoid such password attacks, one must ensure that they set up a difficult and complex password, enable multi-factor authentication, and configure remote access.

3. Dictionary attack:

This password attack is similar to a brute force attack. Here the hackers jot down the most commonly used words by users and then break into the system. For example, you often use your pet’s name or children’s names as your passwords. Anyone can easily hack into your sensitive information by getting access to such info. Sophisticated dictionary hacks include words that are crucial to you, like birthplace or names of loved ones. Avoid using dictionary words as your passwords, and invest in a password manager for preventing such dictionary attacks.

4. Keyloggers:

Keyloggers refer to malicious software installed in your computer designed to track every keystroke and report it back to a hacker. Basically means a user will install software from an unknown source, which will, in turn, install a keylogger without notice. Check your physical hardware and run a virus scan to prevent such attacks.

5. Credential stuffing: 

If you have undergone a malicious attack in the past, be sure to change all your passwords thoroughly because hackers usually keep repeating combinations of former usernames hoping the victim never got them changed. Keep your accounts monitored to prevent credential stuffing.


Preventing password attacks requires thorough monitoring and safeguarding of your accounts. Get access to multi-factor authentication and a smart remote as these are very helpful in tracking password attacks. Password attacks cannot be completely prevented but can sure be avoided.

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 them an edge in this competitive world.



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