A brute force attack (also known as brute force cracking) is the equivalent of a cyberattack where you try all the keys in your keyring and eventually find the right one. 5% of confirmed data breach incidents in 2017 were from brute force attacks.

Brute force attacks are dependable. Hackers let a computer do the work, trying different combinations of usernames and passwords, for example, until they find one that works. Catching and neutralizing a brute force attack in progress is the best counter. Once attackers gain access to the network, they are much harder to grab.

Classifications of Brute Force Attacks

Dictionary attacks start with some guesses about common passwords to try to guess from the list of dictionaries. These attacks tend to be somewhat outdated, giving the latest and most effective techniques. The most primary brute force attack is a dictionary attack. where the attacker works through a dictionary of possible passwords and tries them all.

Recent computers made in the last ten years can brute-force crack an 8-character alphanumeric password in about two hours. Computers are so fast that they can use brute force to crack a weak encryption hash in just a few months. These types of brute force attacks are known as exhaustive key searches. where the computer tries all possible combinations of all possible characters to find the correct mixture.

The back-pedal brute force attack uses a common password and then tries to force a username to match that password. Since passphrase is one of the most common passwords in 2017, this technique is more successful than you might think.

Reasons Behind of These Attacks

These attacks occur early in the cyber kill chain. Typically during the examination and attack stages. They use brute force techniques for gaining access. Once inside the network, attackers can use brute force techniques to raise their advantages or execute encryption by encryption-breaking attacks.

Attackers use brute force attacks to find hidden web pages. These attacks try different addresses to see if they return a valid web page and look for a page that you can use.

Attackers can automate multiple attacks to run in parallel to expand their chances of finding a positive outcome for themselves.

How to Defend Against Attacks

These attacks take time to execute. Most defences against brute force attacks involve increasing the time to success beyond what is technically possible.

  • Increase password length – more characters equals more time for brute force.
  • Increase password difficulty – Increases the time it takes to brute force crack.
  • Limit login attempts – Attacks increment a counter of failed login attempts on most directory services. A good defence against brute force attacks is to lock users out after a few failed attempts, thereby nullifying a brute force attack in progress.
  • Implement Captcha- Captcha is a common system for verifying that a human is a human on websites and can stop attacks in progress.
  • Use multi-factor authentication – Multi-factor authentication adds a second layer of security to every login attempts to prevent attacks.

The dynamic way to stop these attacks starts with monitoring. We have threat models that monitor threat model blocking behaviours that detect potential credential stuffing. All of this is designed to detect and prevent brute force attacks before they escalate.

It is always good to determine an attack and get the necessary steps to prevent it than hoping your passwords are strong enough. Once you identify and stop that attack you can even blacklist your IP addresses and prevent it.

What is a Brute Force Attack?

These attacks guess possible combinations of passwords used for logins, encryption keys, or hidden web pages.

FAQ

What is a brute force attack example?

If you have a password that only contains one character, using numbers and letters there would be 62 different possibilities for that character. A brute force attack would try all possible characters in an instant to try to learn your one-character password. With normal passwords of around 8 characters, the possibilities are multiplied into billions of possibilities, which can take a bot only a few seconds to try.

How does a brute force attack work?

A bot tries every mixture of numbers and letters to identify your password. In reverse, it will calculate well liked passwords against the usernames.

What is the best protection against a brute force attack?

The best protection against a brute force attack is to make sure your passwords are as strong as possible, reducing the time it takes for a hacker to break in, and increasing the likelihood that they’ll give up and move on.

What are the benefits will attackers gain?

  • Access to personal data.
  • Access to your system for malicious activity.
  • Ability to edit your website and ruin your reputation.
  • Ability to spread malware.
  • Profit from ads or activity data.

How successful are brute force attacks?

According to Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigation Report: Over 80% of hacking breaches involve brute force or the use of lost or stolen credentials.