• Category
  • >Information Technology

Introduction to Brute-Force Attack

  • Yashoda Gandhi
  • Jun 30, 2022
Introduction to Brute-Force Attack title banner

In the world of cybercrime, a brute force attack is an activity that involves making repeated attempts to break into any website using various password combinations. This attempt is made with vigor by the hackers, who also use bots installed maliciously in other computers to increase the computing power required to carry out such attacks.


What is Brute Force Attack?


A brute-force attack is a method that application programmes use to decode login information and encryption keys in order to gain unauthorised access to systems. Using brute force instead of intellectual strategies is an exhausting effort.


A brute-force attack on applications, like a criminal breaking into and cracking a safe by trying many possible combinations, tries all possible combinations of legal characters in a sequence. 


To gain access to a website, account, or network, cybercriminals typically use a brute-force attack. They could then install malware, disable web applications, or commit data breaches.


A simple brute-force attack typically employs automated tools to guess all possible passwords until the correct input is discovered. This is an old but still effective attack method for cracking common passwords.


The length of a brute-force attack can vary. Brute-forcing can quickly crack weak passwords. Strong passwords can take hours or days to generate. Complex password combinations can be used by organizations to extend the attack time, buying time to respond to and thwart the cyber attack.


Motive behind the Brute Force Attack


Brute force attacks occur during the reconnaissance and infiltration stages of the cyber kill chain. Attackers require access or entry points into their targets, and brute force techniques are a "set it and forget it" method of obtaining that access. 


Once inside the network, attackers can use brute force techniques to increase their privileges or perform encryption downgrade attacks.


Brute force attacks are also used by attackers to look for hidden web pages. Websites that live on the internet but are not linked to other pages are known as hidden web pages." A brute force attack checks various addresses to see if they return a valid web page and then looks for a page that can be exploited. 


Things like a software vulnerability in the code that they could exploit for infiltration – similar to the vulnerability used to infiltrate Equifax – or a web page that exposes a list of usernames and passwords to the public.


Because a brute force attack requires little finesse, attackers can automate several attacks to run in parallel to increase their chances of finding a positive result.


Also Read | 10 Types of Phishing Attacks 


Types of Brute Force Attacks


There are several types of brute force attack methods that attackers can use to gain unauthorized access and steal user data.

The image shows the Types of Brute Force Attacks which include : Rainbow Table Attacks, Dictionary Attacks, Simple Brute Force Attacks, Hybrid Brute Force Attacks, Reverse Brute Force Attacks and Credential Recycling

Types of Brute Force Attacks


  1. Brute-Force Attacks


A brute force attack occurs when a hacker manually attempts to guess a user's login credentials without the use of the software. This is typically accomplished through the use of standard password combinations or personal identification number (PIN) codes.


These attacks are simple because many people still use simple passwords like "password123" or "1234," or practice poor password etiquette like using the same password for multiple websites. Hackers can also guess passwords by doing minimal reconnaissance work to crack an individual's potential password, such as the name of their favorite sports team.


  1. A Dictionary Abuse


A dictionary attack is a simple form of brute force hacking in which the attacker chooses a target and then tests potential passwords against that person's username. Although the attack method is not technically a brute force attack, it can play a significant role in a bad actor's password-cracking process.


The term "dictionary attack" refers to hackers going through dictionaries and adding special characters and numbers to words. When compared to newer, more effective attack methods, this type of attack is typically time-consuming and has a low chance of success.


  1. Attacks Using Hybrid Brute Force


When a hacker combines a dictionary attack method with a simple brute force attack, the result is a hybrid brute force attack. It all starts with the hacker knowing a username, followed by a dictionary attack and simple brute force methods to find an account login combination.


The attacker begins with a list of possible words and then tries various character, letter, and number combinations to find the correct password. Hackers can use this method to find passwords that combine common or popular words with numbers, years, or random characters, such as "SanDiego123" or "Rover2020."


  1. Reverse Brute Force Attacks


A reverse brute force attack begins with a known password, which is typically discovered through a network breach. They use that password to search through millions of usernames for a matching login credential. Attackers may also use a commonly used weak password, such as "Password123," to search a database of usernames for a match.


  1. Stuffing Credentials


Credential stuffing takes advantage of users' lax password habits. Attackers collect the stolen username and password combinations and test them on other websites to see if they can gain access to additional user accounts. This method works well if people use the same username and password or reuse passwords across multiple accounts and social media profiles.


  1. Botnets


A brute force attack is a numbers game that requires a significant amount of computing power to execute at scale. Attackers can avoid the costs and hassles of running their systems by deploying networks of hijacked computers to execute the attack algorithm. Furthermore, the use of botnets adds a layer of anonymity. Botnets can be used in virtually any type of brute force attack.


  1. Spraying Passwords


Traditional brute force attacks attempt to guess a single account's password. Password spraying takes the opposite approach, attempting to use a single password across multiple accounts. 


This method avoids being caught by password lockout policies that limit the number of password attempts. Password spraying is commonly used against targets that use SSO and cloud-based apps that use federated authentication.


Also Read | Network Security: Types, Advantages and Disadvantages


Benefits of Brute Force Attacks for Hackers


Brute force attackers must exert some effort to make these schemes work. While technology makes it easier, you may still wonder why someone would do this.


Here's how brute force attacks benefit hackers:


  1. Profiting from Advertisements or gathering activity data


Hackers can earn advertising commissions by exploiting a website alongside others. Popular methods for accomplishing this include:


  • Putting spam ads on a popular website to earn money each time a visitor clicks or views an ad.
  • Redirecting website traffic to ad sites that have been paid for.
  • Infecting a website or its visitors with activity-tracking malware (usually spyware). Without your permission, data is sold to advertisers to help them improve their marketing.


  1. Taking Personal Information and Valuables


Breaking into online accounts is similar to breaking into a bank vault: everything from bank accounts to tax information is available online. A criminal only needs the right break-in to steal your identity, money, or sell your private credentials for profit. Corporate-level data breaches can sometimes expose sensitive databases from entire organizations.


  1. Spreading Malware for the sake of causing Disruptions


A hacker may redirect a website's traffic to malicious sites if they want to cause trouble or practice their skills. Alternatively, they may directly infect a site with hidden malware that will be installed on the computers of visitors.


  1. Using your system to conduct malicious activity


When a single machine is insufficient, hackers enlist the help of an army of unsuspecting devices known as botnets to accelerate their efforts. Malware can infiltrate your computer, mobile device, or online accounts and use them for spam, phishing, and other malicious activities. You may be more susceptible to infection if you do not have an antivirus system.


  1. Tarnishing a website's reputation


If your website is vandalized, a cybercriminal may decide to infest it with obscene content. This could include text, images, and audio that are violent, pornographic, or racially offensive.


Also Read | What are Encrypting Viruses?



How can Brute Force Attacks be Prevented?


Below are some ways how brute force attack can be prevented:


  1. Password Length: A longer password is the first step in preventing brute force attacks. Many websites and platforms now require users to create passwords of a certain length (8–16 characters).


  1. Password Complexity: It is also critical to create a complex password. Passwords such as 'ilovemycountry' or 'password123456' are not recommended; instead, your password should include uppercase and lowercase alphabets, as well as numbers and special characters. The complexity of the password causes the cracking process to take longer.


  1. Limit Login Attempts: A simple but effective action is to limit the number of login attempts on your WordPress admin or any other admin panel. If your website receives five failed login attempts, it should block that IP address for a set period of time to prevent further attempts.


  1. Use Captchas : Captchas are now widely used on websites. They stop bots from executing automated scripts, which are commonly used in brute force attacks. It is relatively simple to incorporate a captcha into your WordPress site.


Install the Google Invisible reCaptcha plugin and connect your Google account. Return to the plugin settings page and specify the locations where you want the user to enter the captcha before performing the actual task. Additionally, WooCommerce, BuddyPress, and custom forms are supported by this plugin.


  1. Two Factor Authentication: It is an additional line of defense that can protect your account from Brute Force attacks. The chances of successfully carrying out a Brute Force attack on a 2FA-protected site are extremely slim. 


There are several methods for incorporating 2FA into your WordPress site. The simplest method is to use one of the top WordPress two-factor authentication plugins.


  1. Cloudflare: Cloudflare is a well-known WordPress service that specializes in CDN and caching. It also acts as a defense against brute force attacks. Users can configure Cloudflare to set rules for accessing login pages and to enable Browser Integrity Check.


Brute Force Attacking Tools


Many free tools for working against a wide range of platforms and protocols are available on the open internet. Here are some examples:


  • Aircrack-ng: Aircrack-ng is a free brute force wifi password cracking tool. It includes a WEP/WPA/WPA2-PSK cracker and analysis tools for performing Wi-Fi 802.11 attacks and can be used with any NIC that supports raw monitoring mode.


  • DaveGrohl: DaveGrohl is a Mac OS X brute-forcing tool that supports dictionary attacks. It has a distributed model that allows an attacker to launch attacks on the same password hash from multiple computers.


  • Hashcat: Hashcat is a free CPU-based password cracking tool. It runs on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux systems and can perform a variety of attacks, including brute force, dictionary, and hybrid.


  • THC Hydra: THC Hydra cracks network authentication passwords. It conducts dictionary attacks on over 30 protocols, including HTTPS, FTP, and Telnet.


John the Ripper is a free password-cracking tool designed for Unix systems. It is now available for 15 other operating systems, including Windows, OpenVMS, and DOS. John the Ripper detects the type of hashing used in a password and can thus be used against encrypted password storage.


  • L0phtCrack: L0phtCrack cracks Windows passwords using simple brute force, dictionary, hybrid, and rainbow table attacks.


  • NL Brute: An RDP brute-forcing tool available on the dark web since at least 2016. Ophcrack is a free and open-source Windows password cracker. It employs LM hashes in conjunction with rainbow tables. 


Also Read | What is Spoofing? Types of Spoofing


The main benefit of brute force attacks is that they are relatively simple to execute and, given enough time and the absence of a mitigation strategy for the target, they always work. A brute force attack can crack any password-based system or encryption key out there.


The time it takes to brute force into a system is a useful metric for determining the security of that system. The main benefit of brute force attacks is that they are relatively simple to execute and, given enough time and the absence of a mitigation strategy for the target, they always work. A brute force attack can crack any password-based system or encryption key out there.

Latest Comments

  • magretpaul6

    Jun 30, 2022

    I recently recovered back about 145k worth of Usdt from greedy and scam broker with the help of Mr Koven Gray a binary recovery specialist, I am very happy reaching out to him for help, he gave me some words of encouragement and told me not to worry, few weeks later I was very surprise of getting my lost fund in my account after losing all hope, he is really a blessing to this generation, and this is why I'm going to recommend him to everyone out there ready to recover back their lost of stolen asset in binary option trade. Contact him now via email at kovengray64@gmail.com or WhatsApp +1 218 296 6064.

  • Katherine Griffith

    Jul 02, 2022

    Hello everyone, I wish to share my testimonies with the general public about Dr Kachi for helping me to win the LOTTO MAX, i have been playing all types of lottery for the past 9years now. the only big money i have ever win was $3000 ever since things became worse to enduring because i couldn’t been able to win again, i was not happy i need help to win the lottery, until the day i was reading a newspaper online which so many people has talked good things about best lottery cast Dr Kachi who can change your life into riches. So I contacted him and he cast the spell and gave me the hot figures. I played the LOTTO MAX DRAW Behold when I went to check and to my greatest surprise my name came out as one of the winners. I won $60 Millions Dr Kachi, your spell made it wonderful to win the lottery. I can't believe it. Thank you so much sir for dedicating your time to cast the Lottery spell for me. I am eternally grateful for the lottery spell winning Dr Kachi did for me. I’m now out of debts and experiencing the most amazing good life of the lottery after I won a huge amount of money. I am more excited now than I ever have been in my life. In case you also need him to help you win, you can contact: drkachispellcast@gmail.com OR WhatsApp number: +1 (570) 775-3362 Visit his Website, https://drkachispellcast.wixsite.com/my-site