A brute-force attack is a technique used to gain unauthorized access to a computer or other electronic device. This type of attack involves trying many combinations of passwords or passcodes until the correct one is found. While this approach can be successful, it can also be time-consuming and not always work. For this reason, it is important to use strong passwords and take other measures to protect your devices from brute-force attacks.
What Are The Components Of A Brute-Force Attack?
A brute-force attack involves three primary steps:
- Compile an exhaustive list of passwords and passcodes;
- Try each one in sequence until the correct password is found;
- Once the correct password is found, gain access to the protected resource or device.
How Does A Brute-Force Attack Work?
Computer programs known as “dictionary” or “brute force” attacks can be used by hackers to identify users’ passwords quickly. The software tries every word in a dictionary as the potential password. If the incorrect password is entered into a system, it’s rejected, and another possible password is tried. This process is repeated until a match is found. Since not all words in a dictionary are acceptable for usage as passwords, hackers can program their software to include popular slang terms and foreign languages.
How To Prevent Brute Force Attacks?
Brute-force attacks are prevented by restricting the number of times a password can be tried before access to the protected resource is denied. The two most common restrictions are time delays and account lockouts. With time delays, after a specified period of time has passed without successful login attempts, all future logins from that IP address will be delayed for a certain amount of time. So, hackers have to wait to make further attempts.
There are several measures you can take to protect against brute-force attacks:
1. Changing Your Passwords Regularly
If possible, change them every month or at least every three months.
2. Using Longer Passwords
Longer passwords can make a brute-force attack impractical by increasing its time to try all the possible combinations. Instead, you should ideally use passphrases and/or random character strings.
3. Use Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication requires users to provide two means of identification. For example, something you know (a password, PIN, or other information needed to log in) and something you have (a USB keychain token). Most sites that offer two-factor authentication also allow smartphone users to download an app that will generate one-time passwords. These codes expire after just a few minutes, so hackers would need both your password and your smartphone to gain access to your account.
4. Using Reliable Security Software
You should also use an antivirus solution with real-time protection, built-in anti-phishing modules, and automatic updates when available. In order to protect against brute-force attacks, you should ensure that the software monitors all inbound and outbound network traffic for signs of potential attacks. It can block further attempts from specific IP addresses or blacklisted malware signatures if it detects suspicious activity.
5. Refraining From Clicking Suspicious Links
Do not click on any links you receive from unknown sources. Such emails typically contain a link to a fake website that will steal your sensitive information. Even if a link is displayed in a message from a trusted source, never click on it unless you’re certain that it’s safe to do so.
6. Changing BIOS Passwords
If you own a laptop or desktop computer using USB storage, it’s highly recommended that you enable BIOS password protection. This ensures that no one can boot from USB and bypass the operating system. To set a BIOS password, go to “Security,” “Password,” and enter your desired password.
7. Backing Up Your Data
Back up your important files and folders to secure storage space. This ensures that, even if hackers compromise the contents of your hard drive, it will be easier for you to restart your operations since you can reload your backup(s) later on.
8. Using Public Computers Carefully
Although this is a general security tip, it’s still worth mentioning here. Public computers are exposed to many different people, so they can be vulnerable to hacking or other kinds of attacks. We strongly advise you to not use any public computer for online banking, shopping, or other activities which require you to insert sensitive information such as passwords.
1. Why Do Hackers Perform Brute Force Attacks?
They want to gain access to valuable information and resources by hacking into websites, networks, and email accounts. The main goal is to steal information, plant malware, and/or spy on users.
2. What Does “Brute Force” Stand For?
The term comes from “brute force and ignorance,” which refers to trying every possible combination until the right one is found.
3. Can Hackers Develop Programs To Help Them Launch Brute Force Attacks?
Yes, they can! Hackers use specialized software to try thousands of passwords per minute. In some cases, hackers will purchase accounts from companies and users who have been hacked. These accounts will have the same usernames and passwords as the original owners, making it easier for hackers to get into their accounts.
4. What Can You Do To Protect Yourself From Brute-Force Attacks?
There are several measures you can take to protect yourself from such attacks. First, you should secure your computer and other devices by installing reliable security software. You should also change your passwords regularly, use longer passwords with random characters, and enable two-factor authentication. Lastly, you can protect yourself by using a secure operating system and ensuring that BIOS is password-protected.
As you can see, brute-force attacks are quite dangerous and sophisticated. The best thing you can do to protect yourself from such attacks is to exercise caution when you’re online. You should also install reputable security software on all of your devices. Also, keep your operating system and applications updated at all times, and refrain from clicking suspicious links. If you follow these tips, you’ll be able to stay safe from all kinds of online threats, including brute-force attacks.