When you think of someone hacking your Computer, Website, email account or worse yet, bank account, what do you think of? Some geeky computer prodigy working out of his mother’s basement, meticulously hacking his way into any computer system? The hackers you see in movies and on TV are a far cry from reality.
Hackers, better know now as “Script Kiddies” now rely on “scripts” or automated programs that perform hacking tasks automatically. These scanning scripts are readily available to download. They run against thousands of IP addresses 24/7 unattended. Once a vulnerability is found anywhere, it is flagged and then exploited.
One of the simplest ways for a hacker to compromise your account is called a Dictionary Attack.
A Dictionary Attack is when a script uses a dictionary file that includes every word in the dictionary to try and access your account. It runs and runs tirelessly trying to login using each word. This is the easiest form or attack because users still do not use strong passwords. Many people are in the habit of using easy, everyday words or names that are easily cracked.
The Next form of attack is called the the Hybrid Dictionary Attack. This stems from the fact the people use numbers or characters after simple words and names. So john1, john2, [email protected], etc. are easily cracked using this method.
Finally, there is the brute Force Attack which is comprehensive attack on your password and can take weeks.
The point of all this is that you must use strong passwords to protect yourself from these advanced hacking programs.
A strong password should have alpha, numeric, upper & lower case characters. A good example of a strong password is “Bl%[email protected]” . It may be hard to remember but it is worth the effort. This simple method can protect you from potential disaster.
Password bit and length correlation is beyond the scope of this post. Follow this link to learn more on Password Entropy and Length Correlations.