That is more than 62 trillion times the size of the first space. A computer running through all the possibilities for your 12-character password one by one would take 62 trillion times longer. If your computer spent a second visiting the six-character space, it would have to devote two million years to examining each of the passwords in the 12-character space. The multitude of possibilities makes it impractical for a hacker to carry out a plan of attack that might have been feasible for the six-character space.
There are other ways to guard against password cracking. The simplest is well known and used by credit cards: after three unsuccessful attempts, access is blocked. Alternative ideas have also been suggested, such as doubling the waiting time after each successive failed attempt but allowing the system to reset after a long period, such as 24 hours. These methods, however, are ineffective when an attacker is able to access the system without being detected or if the system cannot be configured to interrupt and disable failed attempts.
_________________________________If A = 26 and N = 6, then T = 308,915,776D = 0.0000858 computing hourX = 0; it is already possible to crack all passwords in the space in under an hour_________________________________If A = 26 and N = 12, then T = 9.5 × 1016D = 26,508 computing hoursX = 29 years before passwords can be cracked in under an hour_________________________________
If A = 100 and N = 10, then T = 1020D = 27,777,777 computing hoursX = 49 years before passwords can be cracked in under an hour_________________________________If A = 100 and N = 15, then T = 1030D = 2.7 × 1017 computing hoursX = 115 years before passwords can be cracked in under an hour________________________________If A = 200 and N = 20, then T = 1.05 × 1046D = 2.7 × 1033 computing hoursX = 222 years before passwords can be cracked in under an hour
This practice poses a serious problem for security because it makes passwords vulnerable to so-called dictionary attacks. Lists of commonly used passwords have been collected and classified according to how frequently they are used. Attackers attempt to crack passwords by going through these lists systematically. This method works remarkably well because, in the absence of specific constraints, people naturally choose simple words, surnames, first names and short sentences, which considerably limits the possibilities. In other words, the nonrandom selection of passwords essentially reduces possibility space, which decreases the average number of attempts needed to uncover a password.
For four-digit passwords (for example, the PIN code of SIM cards on smartphones), the results are even less imaginative. In 2013, based on a collection of 3.4 million passwords each containing four digits, the DataGenetics Web site reported that the most commonly used four-digit sequence (representing 11 percent of choices) was 1234, followed by 1111 (6 percent) and 0000 (2 percent). The least-used four-digit password was 8068. Careful, though, this ranking may no longer be true now that the result has been published. The 8068 choice appeared only 25 times among the 3.4-million four-digit sequences in the database, which is much less than the 340 uses that would have occurred if each four-digit combination had been used with the same frequency. The first 20 series of four digits are: 1234; 1111; 0000; 1212; 7777; 1004; 2000; 4444; 2222; 6969; 9999; 3333; 5555; 6666; 1122; 1313; 8888; 4321; 2001; 1010.
For added safety, a method known as salting is sometimes used to further impede hackers from exploiting stolen lists of username/fingerprint pairs. Salting is the addition of a unique random string of characters to each password. It ensures that even if two users employ the same password, the stored fingerprints will differ. The list on the server will contain three components for each user: username, fingerprint derived after salt was added to the password, and the salt itself. When the server checks the password entered by a user, it adds the salt, computes the fingerprint and compares the result with its database.
For a good database with almost no gaps, the memory needed to store the calculated pairs is a million times smaller than that needed for method 2, as described earlier. That is less than four one-terabyte hard disks. Easy. Also, as will be seen, using the table to derive passwords from stolen fingerprints is quite doable.
As described in a recent report, Hive found that an 8-character complex password could be cracked in just 39 minutes if the attacker were to take advantage of the latest graphics processing technology. A seven-character complex password could be cracked in 31 seconds, while one with six or fewer characters could be cracked instantly. Shorter passwords with only one or two character types, such as only numbers or lowercase letters, or only numbers and letters, would take just minutes to crack.
Due to the progress in graphics technology, most types of passwords require less time to crack than they did just two years ago. For example, a 7-character password with letters, numbers and symbols would take 7 minutes to crack in 2020 but just 31 seconds in 2022. Given these advances in technology, how can you and your organization better secure your password-protected accounts and data? Here are a few tips.
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Credentials are involved in most breaches today. Forrester Research has estimated that compromised privileged credentials are involved in about 80% of breaches. When a compromised account has privileges, the threat actor can easily circumvent other security controls, perform lateral movement, and crack other passwords. This is why highly privileged credentials are the most important of all credentials to protect.
In this section, we will look at common password cracking techniques. Some of these techniques may overlap in tools and methodologies. Attackers often blend multiple, complimentary tactics to improve their chances of success.
If the threat actor knows the password length and complexity requirements of the target account, the dictionary is customized to the target. Advanced password crackers often use a dictionary and mix in numbers and symbols to mimic a real-world password with complexity requirements.
If a password only has alphabetical characters, including capital letters or lowercase, odds are it would take 8,031,810,176 guesses to crack. This assumes the threat attacker knows the password length and complexity requirements. Other factors include numbers, case sensitivity, and special characters in the localized language.
Anytime a password is reset, there is an implicit acknowledgment that the old password is at risk and needs to change. Perhaps it was forgotten, expired, or triggered a lockout due to numerous failed attempts. The reset, transmission, and storage of the new password poses a risk until the password is changed by the end user. Of course, sometimes the end user neglects to change the password at all.
Password eavesdropping refers to a password exposure occurring because of being overheard. Password eavesdropping may be either inadvertent or intentional and can encompass both voice-based and digital eavesdropping.
While password lists, hash tables, and rainbow tables are available on the dark web, users sometimes sell their own credentials. Users with access to multiple individual and/or shared credentials may sell them in bulk.
Today, companies frequently engage white hat hackers and penetration testers to increase the resiliency of their security networks, including password cracking. Subsequently, the availability and development of cracking software has increased. Modern computer forensics and litigation support software also includes password cracking functionality. The most sophisticated cracking software will incorporate a mixture of cracking strategies to maximize productivity.
Some password cracking techniques rely on system vulnerabilities or gaining access to a privileged account to achieve lateral movement and amass other passwords. However, most cracking relies on inadequate password hygiene and absence of appropriate credential management tools.
The existence of embedded credentials presents several risks. Sometimes, credentials are embedded during development for easy access, then forgotten and published into production. Pieces of code may be shared on GitHub or another platform for collaboration, but with sensitive passwords embedded within. If an attacker gains access to an endpoint or system, they may be able to scan for plain test passwords. This grants them access to sensitive assets. 2b1af7f3a8