You may feel like password cracking is something that only serious hackers do while they sit in the dark stealing millions of dollars, secret information, and exposing hypocrites. But this is not always the case. Your competitors could learn how to crack passwords, and they could steal your information. You need to know how the process works, how to protect yourself, and what to do to help your business protect sensitive information.
What Is Password Cracking?
Password cracking is a technique hackers and business intelligence operatives use every day to get into accounts around the world. Cracking a password involves educated guesses, phishing for information, malware, and other techniques that any business can use. Professionals are not the only ones who can hack passwords. Even ordinary individuals with some time on their hands can crack passwords.
There are also non-malicious reasons for password cracking. If you would like to test the security of your company’s computers or networks, you can use password-cracking techniques to see if you can get in. Do this if you would like to test your new team members. You can easily judge how seriously they take security. You can also measure the effectiveness of generated passwords versus passwords chosen by your staff.
If someone leaves, tragically passes away, or refuses to give you access to their work accounts, you may need to hack their password. This is especially helpful in a world where people change jobs all the time. You never know when someone might leave without telling you how to get into their business email account.
Finally, some individuals do this at home when someone forgets a password and is locked out of the system. Sadly, these examples are not the most types of password cracking. Hackers try to steal passwords every day, and they can do this to steal your personal information, your identity, and even your money.
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6 Popular Techniques Used By Hackers To Crack Your Password
Hackers have been refining password-cracking techniques for many years. Even an excellent password policy can be foiled because hackers have gotten more sophisticated over time. You should have a good understanding of these techniques as you create your password policy, manage your business, or try to protect your personal information.
1. Brute Force Attack
Brute force hacking is a technique that uses a program that will try all the combinations possible for a particular password. Hackers can use the information they have gained to refine their system, and they can hack into accounts quickly if they are using quality software. If you were to search for these types of programs, you will see many articles describing which ones you should use. This means that anyone could try the brute force technique if they wanted to.
2. Dictionary Technique
The dictionary technique involves adding words from the dictionary until getting the password correct. This is a very effective technique when you know people are not adding numbers or symbols to their passwords. Therefore, a password policy is important for any business. You can easily foil a password cracker if you have changed your password that renders the dictionary technique ineffective.
Phishing is a popular technique used for many years, and it involves using emails or landing pages. When consumers enter their personal information on these pages, their information can be stolen easily. Those involved in a phishing scheme may not even realize there is a problem. Anyone can use Phishing to steal information, and hackers can create amazing webpages that look like they belong to legitimate companies.
4. Rainbow Table Attack
Hackers who use rainbow table attack have access to a database of passwords or words that might create passwords. You might use this attack if you have access to a personnel database, or you could use this method if you have collected information about people from social media.
For example, it is very simple for you to go on social media, look up the names of wives, children, husbands, friends, birthdays, and relatives. You can use this information to determine passwords that may have been created by people who are hacking. This is an excellent way to guess passwords, and you could use it on your staff if you are testing your security protocols.
Malware can attack computers, or terminals, and passwords can be gathered from these machines. These programs log keystrokes, and that makes it very simple for a hacker to guess or copy passwords. For example, a hacker might use information gathered from one of your terminals to start a rainbow table, or they could use information gleaned to start a brute force or dictionary attack.
6. Shoulder Surfing
Anyone can look over your shoulder, and they might get your password because it is copied on your desktop. This is also an effortless way for people to steal passwords if they are passing through an office as a potential customer. You should not copy your passwords onto sticky notes on your computer, and you should not store them in the open where people can see them. Someone who watches you type a password a few times can guess what it is.
How Do You Avoid Password Or Security Breaches?
You can use a few salient tips to avoid hacking attacks or problems with your passwords. The first thing you need to remember is that password policies are good for businesses. You can tell your staff how to set passwords, or you might have your systems designed to ask for passwords that meet certain criteria.
Popular password criteria include upper case letters, symbols, and numbers. In fact, you could make your password policy even more stringent by disallowing consecutive letters or numbers. You might ask that no password end with a number or symbol and require users to use upper case letters.
Ask your staff to change their passwords regularly, or set up your system to force a password change every three months. You should also instruct your staff to never write down passwords in any form. You can even use Teamstack to help you manage passwords in the cloud. Passwords can be secured easily, and you can take control of your password management plan.
When you want to avoid hacking attacks, you need to understand how hackers think. Work with your programmer and employees to ensure that you have a solid password policy. Test your password policy by trying to hack your own systems, and you can use these techniques if you need to get into a machine that has been left behind by a former employee. You can protect your private information, and you can even hire Teamstack to help manage passwords on the cloud.