What is a brute force attack? What are the methods of protection against it?

What is a brute force attack

If you are interested in the world of security, in this article, we will mention about the brute force attack, which is one of the simplest and at the same time the most successful types of attacks to obtain a password.

Security has always been a concern for all of us. This issue becomes even more important in the virtual world. In the virtual world, various attacks can endanger the security of users. One of the types of attacks in the security world is the brute force attack, which we will explain in the continuation of this attack and how to protect against it.

What is a brute force attack?

This type of attack, which translates as a brutal attack, is one of the most popular and, of course, the simplest types of attacks, which some claim constitute up to 5% of successful security breach attacks, which is one of the most successful types of attacks. In a brute force attack, virtually, the hacker tries to get the same password as the user by trying out all possible passwords.

There are different types of brute force attacks, which are mentioned below:

Simple brute force attack: In this method, the hacker uses the same systematic method of guessing the password without considering any external rules.

Hybrid force brute attack: In this method, the hacker first uses external rules to determine which passwords are more likely, and then tests possible changes to get closer to the real password.

Dictionary Attack: In this method, the hacker uses a dictionary containing possible strings to obtain the desired password.

Reverse Brute Force Attack: In this method, the hacker uses one or a group of passwords that are very commonly used among the general public and tries these passwords on different usernames. In this way, the hacker targets a network of users who have used known passwords, and previous hackers have been able to obtain their passwords.

Credential stuffing: In this method, the hacker uses a pair of passwords and usernames to log in to other websites. This vulnerability is due to the fact that many users use the same username and password for different types of accounts on different websites.

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How to prevent a brute force attack?

To protect your personal information and the information of the organization in which you work, you must pay good attention to security issues. In other words, in a network such as a company or an organization, the weakest member present in the organization in terms of security is the point that allows the hacker to access the information of that organization. Therefore, following simple but practical principles will protect you and your organization from all kinds of attacks. Some of the tips that can prevent your passwords from being hacked through the brute force method are:

  • Never use information such as first name, last name, date of birth, etc., that you have shared on the Internet and is available.
  • Use strong combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols in passwords.
  • Use a different password for each of your accounts.
  • Do not use common patterns and leaked passwords that are commonly used by many people, such as 123password, etc. (Note the weak and well-known passwords section)
  • Use longer passwords to make the brute force attack harder and more time-consuming.

Poor and known passwords

Since we all have accounts on many websites today, we usually use a single password on all of them so that we do not forget the passwords. On the other hand, many people usually use simple passwords for their accounts, which in itself makes the brute force attack more successful. Among these common and simple passwords, we can mention the following:

  • Qwerty
  • 123456
  • abcdef123
  • a123456
  • abc123
  • Password
  • asdf, hello
  • welcome
  • 654321
  • 987654321
  • And…

Of course, it should be noted that security is always a relative issue, meaning that the security methods used today, given the processing power of current systems, have the necessary security and may break with the advancement of technology and increase the processing power of systems. Make passwords that are currently secure become very simple.


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