Password Cracker Test: How to Find Out How Long It Would Take to Hack Your Password.
Password Cracker Test: What You Need to Know About Password Cracking and How to Prevent It
Password cracking is the process of recovering passwords from data that has been stored in or transmitted by a computer system in scrambled form. Password cracking techniques include guessing, brute force attack, rainbow table attack, and dictionary attack. Password spraying is another type of approach that uses a list of common passwords. Password cracking tools simplify the process of cracking passwords.
The purpose of password cracking might be to recover a forgotten password, gain unauthorized access to a system, or act as a preventive measure. With the information malicious actors gain using password cracking, they can undertake a range of criminal activities. Those include stealing banking credentials or using the information for identity theft and fraud.
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In this article, we will explore some of the most common password cracking techniques and tools, as well as how to prevent them from compromising your online security.
Password Cracking Techniques
There are different methods that hackers can use to crack passwords. Some of them are more sophisticated than others, but they all pose a threat to your online accounts and data. Here are some of the most popular password cracking techniques:
A brute-force attack is when a hacker tries to crack a victims password by randomly generating thousands of passwords based on a wide range of variables. The hacker then tries each password until they find the correct one. This method can take a long time depending on the length and complexity of the password.
Some examples of tools that use brute-force attack are John the Ripper, Cain and Abel, THC Hydra, and Medusa. These tools can also perform other types of attacks such as dictionary attack and cryptanalysis attack.
To defend against brute-force attack, you should use long and complex passwords that include uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, symbols, and spaces. You should also avoid using common or predictable passwords such as names, dates, keyboard patterns, etc. Additionally, you should enable multi-factor authentication for your accounts whenever possible.
A dictionary attack is when a hacker tries to crack a victims password by using a list of words or phrases that are commonly used as passwords. The hacker then tries each word or phrase until they find the correct one. This method can be faster than brute-force attack if the password is simple or based on a dictionary word.
Some examples of tools that use dictionary attack are CrackStation, Password Cracker, RainbowCrack, and ophCrack. These tools can also perform other types of attacks such as brute-force attack and rainbow table attack.
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Rainbow table attack
A rainbow table attack is when a hacker tries to crack a victims password by using a precomputed table of hashed passwords and their corresponding plaintext passwords. The hacker then compares the hash of the victims password with the hashes in the table until they find a match. This method can be faster than brute-force attack and dictionary attack if the password is hashed using a weak algorithm or without salt.
Some examples of tools that use rainbow table attack are RainbowCrack, Ophcrack, and RTGen. These tools can also perform other types of attacks such as brute-force attack and dictionary attack.
To defend against rainbow table attack, you should use strong hashing algorithms such as SHA-256 or SHA-512 that are resistant to collisions and preimage attacks. You should also use salt, which is a random string added to the password before hashing, to make the hash unique and unpredictable. Additionally, you should change your passwords regularly and avoid reusing them across different accounts.
A cryptanalysis attack is when a hacker tries to crack a victims password by exploiting the weaknesses or vulnerabilities of the encryption or hashing algorithm used to protect the password. The hacker then applies mathematical techniques or tools to break the cipher or hash and recover the plaintext password. This method can be very effective if the algorithm is outdated or flawed.
Some examples of tools that use cryptanalysis attack are Hashcat, John the Ripper, and Cryptool. These tools can also perform other types of attacks such as brute-force attack and dictionary attack.
To defend against cryptanalysis attack, you should use up-to-date and secure encryption or hashing algorithms that have no known weaknesses or vulnerabilities. You should also use encryption modes that provide confidentiality, integrity, and authentication, such as AES-GCM or ChaCha20-Poly1305. Additionally, you should use key derivation functions such as PBKDF2 or bcrypt to slow down the password cracking process.
Password Cracking Prevention
Now that you know some of the most common password cracking techniques and tools, you might wonder how to prevent them from compromising your online security. Here are some best practices for creating and managing strong passwords:
Best practices for creating strong passwords
The first step to prevent password cracking is to create strong passwords that are hard to guess or crack. Here are some tips for creating strong passwords:
Use at least 12 characters for your passwords. The longer the password, the harder it is to crack.
Use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, symbols, and spaces for your passwords. The more complex the password, the harder it is to crack.
Use unique and random passwords for each of your accounts. The more different the passwords, the harder it is to crack.
Use encryption or hashing to protect your passwords from being stored or transmitted in plaintext. The more secure the encryption or hashing, the harder it is to crack.
Benefits of using password managers and multi-factor authentication
The second step to prevent password cracking is to use password managers and multi-factor authentication to store and protect your passwords. Here are some benefits of using these methods:
Password managers are applications that generate, store, and autofill your passwords for different accounts. They help you create and manage strong passwords without having to remember them.
Multi-factor authentication is a security feature that requires you to provide more than one piece of evidence to verify your identity when logging in to an account. It can be something you know (such as a password), something you have (such as a phone), or something you are (such as a fingerprint). It helps you prevent unauthorized access to your accounts even if your password is compromised.
Some examples of password managers are LastPass, Dashlane, 1Password, and Bitwarden. Some examples of multi-factor authentication methods are SMS codes, email codes, authenticator apps, biometric scanners, and security keys.
Risks of using weak passwords and reusing passwords
The third step to prevent password cracking is to avoid using weak passwords and reusing passwords across different accounts. Here are some risks of using these practices:
Weak passwords are passwords that are easy to guess or crack by hackers. They can be based on common or predictable words, phrases, patterns, dates, names, etc. They can also be short, simple, or repeated.
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Using weak passwords and reusing passwords can lead to serious consequences such as data breaches, identity theft, fraud, blackmail, etc. According to a report by Verizon, 81% of hacking-related breaches involved weak or stolen passwords in 2017. According to a survey by Google, 52% of people reuse the same password for multiple accounts and 13% use the same password for all their accounts.
Password cracking is a serious threat to your online security and privacy. Hackers can use various techniques and tools to