Password cracking is the process of retrieving the password to gain unauthorized access to online accounts. Using the retrieved password, the online account can be misused and can lead to financial loss.
As an Internet user, you may have passwords to access various online accounts, such as your email, online shopping, and online banking. Therefore, you should ensure that you understand the basics about password cracking techniques so that you can secure your passwords used for your online accounts.
Password Cracking Techniques
There are various techniques used for password cracking, let’s look at some of the most commonly used techniques
Dictionary attack: This method is used to break into a password protected account by using the dictionary words as user password. This method is often used by hackers to crack passwords of online accounts.
Brute force attack: It is performed by hackers using a list of common password combinations to attempt and gain unauthorized access to the victim’s computers and files. One can easily guess these common password, some of them are password123, 123456, q1w2e3, qwerty, password etc.
Guess: Generally our password selections are based on our interests, hobbies, family and so on. Today with social media is used to share our interest which also holds the clue about our passwords to the hackers. Simply put it is guessing the password based on the individual activity.
Some of the major reasons for password breach is as follows:
- Using simple or weak passwords that are easy to guess, such as the name and anniversary or birthday dates
- Using dictionary words as password
- Maintaining the same password for prolonged period without changing
- Storing the password physically either as a soft copy or as a hard copy
How to protect?
Some of the measures to protect you from password cracking or compromise are listed here:,
Use two-factor authentication (2FA): In today’s cyber world, most of the websites provide two-factor authentication options. This option provides an additional authentication step over your regular password. Even if you password gets compromised, it would be tough for hackers to gain access bypassing your two-factor authentication.
Do not use similar passwords: When you change the passwords, ensure that the new password is completely different from the existing one. Do not use similar passwords while changing.
Never share passwords: No one will ask confidential information via email or phone. So do not share your password to anyone even to an authorized person, such as a bank official or an income tax department official.
Do not use common dictionary words: Some of the common dictionary words used as passwords are “Welcome” and “Secret”. Ensure that you do not use such passwords.
Use complex passwords: Ensure that you use complex passwords so that it is difficult to breach. For example, your password can be a mix of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
Change passwords frequently: It is a good practice to change your passwords in regular intervals, at least once in a month.
Use unique passwords: Ensure that you use unique passwords for each account, such as banking and shopping, so that even if the hacker gains access to one account, he or she cannot gain access to other accounts.
There are numerous random password generator applications. Few of them are listed here:
Online random password generator: This is a website which is used to generate random passwords. You can specify the length and complexity of the password that you want to generate.
Desktop applications: This is a open source project which provides random password generator for Microsoft Windows. This tool is used to generate passwords and passphrases. It also uses strong encryption algorithms.