Most of us would be guilty of setting a password with our birth year and birth date. Individuals prefer to set passwords with their personal information because they are very easy to remember. However, such insecure and unsafe passwords can be easily hacked, so it is best to avoid setting such passwords.
Password attacks refer to getting your password stolen by cybercriminals or hackers. Hackers and cybercriminals have been launching different types of password attacks. This is why it is important to learn about the common types of password attacks and prevent them.
Research conducted in 2020 revealed that approximately 81 percent of data breaches occurred due to compromised and unsecured credentials. The number of password attacks and thefts has considerably increased in recent years.
As password thefts have become enduringly prominent, we have prepared a list of some of the most common types of password attacks, which will help you to protect confidential business data and keep your employees safe.
Phishing is one of the most commonly reported password-type attacks. So it might come as a surprise to several readers when they hear that approximately 75 percent of organizations were victims of phishing attacks last year. Indeed, you can’t avoid being targeted, but you can prevent them.
It is crucial to understand that the success of phishing attacks depends on human errors. Hackers will not have to crack passwords; instead, user credentials are handed over due to human error.
During a phishing attack, hackers send emails to victims, which will be disguised as they are from a network provider, bank, delivery service, or any other trustworthy source. The victim will click on the email link without verifying its authenticity, and they may even enter their credentials, which gives hackers access to their account.
So, if you take time to verify emails and ensure that they are coming from trustworthy sources, you will be able to stay away from phishing attacks to a certain limit.
Credential Stuffing Attacks
Cybercriminals and hackers are well aware of the fact that most humans have bad memories. This is exactly why remembering multiple passwords for various accounts can be quite overwhelming for us. As a result, six out of ten people end up using the same password for different accounts, which was revealed in a Google survey.
Credential stuffing attacks rely on the tendency of humans to use the same password for different accounts. During a credential stuffing attack, hackers use various combinations of stolen passwords and usernames to gain access to accounts, where victims have reused a password that has been compromised.
Brute Force Attacks
One of the easiest and common methods used by hackers for gaining access to accounts is called brute force attacks. A recent study revealed that approximately 80 percent of hacking breaches are estimated to involve brute force attacks.
Hackers use a computer program for trying all possible symbol, number, and letter sequences until they get the right combination. This is usually done systematically, and it often starts by using common passwords such as “password” and “123456”.
Dictionary attacks are indeed a form of brute force password attacks, but there is a major difference between them. Traditional types of brute force attacks try to crack passwords character-by-character. On the other hand, dictionary attacks attempt to hack passwords through common phrases and words.
In other words, dictionary attacks rely on the variations of commonly used words in passwords. That said, advanced dictionary attacks will be personalized for certain users. In most cases, hackers will easily find their details online.
For instance, you will be able to identify the name of someone’s pet from their Instagram or Facebook account. Likewise, you can discover the name of someone’s favourite band from their Spotify account.
Password Spraying Attacks
Password spraying is another type of brute force attack that uses commonly used passwords to access accounts. What’s different about password spraying attacks is that they can simultaneously target thousands or millions of users.
Password spraying attacks usually target cloud-based and sign-on platforms. It is important to note that these password attacks can be very dangerous for sign-on and cloud-based platforms.
MITM or Man-In-The-Middle attacks usually involve a form of interception, especially when data is in transit. Hackers and cybercriminals will sit between two separate locations and attempt to relay the data between the locations. Victims will not know that a person is in the middle of launching an attack.
It is important to note that MITM attacks usually happen due to the absence of SSL or TLS certificates. However, you can prevent such attacks by investing in a cost-effective SSL and ensuring that it has been properly installed. If you wonder about the affordable and reliable SSL options in the cybersecurity market, you could invest in a cheap positive SSL or AlphaSSL certificate and secure your connection.
If you are already using an SSL certificate for your website, you must ensure that the certificate is working properly and has not expired. If you fail to do that, you are at a higher risk of MITM attacks.
Keyloggers or keystroke loggers are very dangerous, as even the safest and strongest passwords cannot be protected from them. If someone is watching over you while you are typing in your password, they will get the password no matter how strong it is. This is how keystroke loggers work.
Keyloggers do not attempt to crack passwords; instead, they spy on victims and record passwords when they enter them. Keyloggers do not just record passwords, but they record everything you are typing in. As a result, they will be able to identify your credit card details, username, and other information.
Reused, weak, and stolen passwords are common causes of hacking-related data breaches. Unfortunately, they can also be exploited to access your accounts and IT resources.
Fortunately, you will be able to prevent password attacks to a greater extent by assigning strong passwords with a combination of symbols, letters, and numbers. You must also clearly understand different password attacks and how they are being launched, as it might help you save away from them.