Password Hacker refers to the person attempting to crack the secret word, phrase or string of characters used to gain access to the secured data. Login theft is also referred to as cracking your secret. In a particular situation, the password thief is trying to retrieve passwords from data that is transmitted or stored on a computer.
System administrators can use password hacking as a preventive tactic to retrieve a forgotten password from a legitimate user. In addition , it also helps them to easily track hacked passwords to change them for increased security.
Cyber criminals and fraudsters online hack passwords to get access to a secure system. Their intention is malicious and often it is about making money through the illegal means.
How To Hack Someone’s Passwords?
There are basically two methods used to hack passwords-one is the method of brute force and the other is by guessing.
Brute Force: A password hacker tries to input every possible sequence of passwords to find out a password in the brute force method. This method is by far the efficient method used by a password hacker to infer the password hash function, or mathematical calculation, or algorithm used to encrypt password data, or code it.
Guessing: A password hacker might use personal information from the password owner to figure out the password in the guessing method. The date of birth, pet, relative or other information of the password proprietor is all used to guess the correct password.
Before get into the topic, lets start learn about something on Password cracking.
What is Password Cracking?
Password cracking is the act of attempting to obtain unauthorised access to restricted systems by using common passwords or password guessing algorithms. In other words, it is the art of acquiring the correct password that allows entry to a device that is secured by an authentication process.
Password cracking uses a variety of tactics to accomplish its objectives. Cracking can be accomplished by comparing stored passwords to a word list or by using algorithms to create passwords that fit.
In this Tutorial, we will introduce you to popular password cracking techniques as well as countermeasures you can use to secure your device from such attacks.
What exactly is password strength?
Password strength is a metric that measures a password’s ability to withstand password cracking attacks. A password’s strength is calculated by;
- Length: the number of characters in the password.
- Complexity: does it employ a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols?
- Unpredictability: Is it something that an intruder would quickly guess?
Let’s take a look at a real-world illustration. We will use three codes, which are as follows:
When creating passwords in this case, we will use Cpanel’s password strength indicator.
The stronger the password, the higher the strength number.
Assume we need to store our above passwords using md5 encryption. To generate md5 hashes from our passwords, we will use an online md5 hash generator.
|Password||MD5 Hash||Cpanel Strength Indicator|
We will now use http://www.md5this.com/ to crack the hashes listed above. The images below display the password cracking results for the passwords mentioned above.
As you can see from the results above, we were able to crack the first and second passwords with lower strength numbers. We were unable to crack the third password because it was longer, more complicated, and unpredictable. It possessed a higher strength rating.
Techniques for cracking passwords
Password cracking methods come in a variety of flavours. The most widely used ones are listed below;
Dictionary attack– This approach involves comparing user passwords to a wordlist. The dictionary attack is similar to the brute force attack.
Brute force attack – Brute force attacks generate passwords using algorithms that incorporate alpha-numeric characters and symbols. Using the brute force attack, for example, a password with the value “password” can also be tried as p@$$word.
Rainbow table attack– This technique makes use of pre-computed hashes. Assume we have a database that stores passwords as md5 hashes. Another database with md5 hashes of widely used passwords can be developed. The password hash we have now can be compared to the hashes contained in the database. If we find a match, we have the password.
Guess– As the name implies, this approach entails guessing. Passwords like qwerty, password, admin, and so on are often used or set as default passwords. They can be easily compromised if they have not been updated or if the user is lazy when choosing passwords.
Spidering– Most businesses use passwords that contain sensitive company details. This details can be found on business websites, social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, and so on. Spidering collects data from these sources to create word lists. Following that, the word list is used to execute dictionary and brute force attacks.
Password cracking tool
There are software applications used to break user passwords. In the preceding example, we looked at a similar tool for password power. To break passwords, the website www.md5this.com employs a rainbow table. We’ll now take a look at some of the most widely used techniques.
The identity of John the Ripper is unknown.
To crack passwords, John the Ripper employs the command prompt. As a result, it is appropriate for experienced users who are comfortable dealing with commands. It cracks passwords using a wordlist. The software is free, but the word list must be purchased. It provides you with free alternative word lists that you can use.
Go to https://www.openwall.com/john/ to learn more about the product. for more detail and instructions on how to use it
Cain and Abel
Cain & Abel is a Windows-based game. It is used to recover user account passwords, recover Microsoft Access passwords, perform networking sniffing, and so on. Cain & Abel, unlike John the Ripper, employs a graphical user interface. Because of its ease of use, it is very common among newbies and script kids.
Ophcrack is a cross-platform Windows password cracker that cracks passwords using rainbow tables. It is compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. Among other things, it has a module for brute force attacks. For more details and instructions on how to use the product, go to ophcrack.sourceforge.io.
Countermeasures for Password Cracking
- An company may use the following approaches to reduce the likelihood of password cracking.
- Passwords that are too short or too predictable should be avoided.
- Passwords with predictable patterns, such as 11223344552266, should be avoided.
- Passwords contained in the database must be encrypted at all times. It is preferable to salt password hashes before storing them for md5 encryptions. Salting is the process of adding a word to the given password before generating the hash.
- Most registration systems have password strength indicators; thus, organisations must implement policies that support high password strength numbers.
Hacking Activity: Hack Immediately!
In this case, we will crack a Windows account using a simple password. Passwords are encrypted in Windows using NTLM hashes. In Cain and Abel, we’ll use the NTLM cracker method to accomplish this.
Passwords can be cracked using the Cain and Abel cracker;
- Dictionary attack
- Brute force
In this case, we’ll use the dictionary attack. You must first obtain the dictionary attack wordlist by clicking here. 10k-Most-Common.zip is a zip file that contains the file 10k-Most-Common
Password breaking procedures
- When you launch Cain and Abel, you will see the following main screen.
- As shown above, make sure the cracker tab is selected.
- On the toolbar, click the Add button.
- The dialogue box shown below will appear.
- The following are the local user accounts that will be shown. Please keep in mind that the results shown will be of the user accounts on your local computer.
- Right-click on the account you want to crack and select Crack Account. For the purposes of this tutorial, we will use Accounts as the user account.
- The screen shown below will appear.
- As shown above, right-click on the dictionary section and select Add to list menu.
- Navigate to the 10k most common.txt file you just downloaded.
- Press the start button.
- If the user used a simple password, such as qwerty, you should get the following results.
- It is important to note that the time it takes to crack the password is determined by the password’s strength, complexity, and the processing power of your computer.
- If a dictionary attack fails to break the password, you can try brute force or cryptanalysis attacks.
Unethical hacking has risen in large numbers since the advent of electronic transactions as the illicit activity offers access to details of email addresses, credit card data and other sensitive information. Here are a few ways for hackers to collect the details they need:
This basic software records key sequence and keyboard strokes into a machine log file and then passes them on to the password hacker. This is why Net-banking sites offer the user the choice of using their virtual keyboards.
Denial of Service (DoS\DDoS)
The technique of DDoS hacking overwhelms a website or server with a lot of traffic, finally choking it to crash. Often hackers use the botnets or zombie computers they have in their network to drown the system of a victim with packets of requests. Notably, day by day the DDoS attacks are steadily increasing.
The hacker makes use of a program to dupe a wireless access point and the hacker accesses all the required data once inside the network. One of the simpler hacks to accomplish is the Fake WAP and one only requires a basic program and wireless network.
The most frequently used hacking technique is the Phishing which allows a hacker to duplicate the most visited sites and trick the victim by sending the spoofed link. The links mostly arrive in the victim’s email.
Also known as UI Redress – the victim is deceived by the ClickJacking Attack by hiding the actual UI where the victim needs to click. The attack targets users trying to download an app, stream films or visit torrent websites. It is often used for the hacking of personal information.
Free Tools for Hacking
Over the years password hacking has evolved tremendously which is also known as password cracking. On the technical front, hacking involves forcing a hacker brute into a website admin panel, which requires faster CPUs. Nevertheless, a well-informed Cybersecurity team should be able to avoid the brute forcing attempt. And, Aircrack, Crowbar, John the Ripper, L0phtCrack, Medusa, ophcrack, RainbowCrack, SolarWinds, THC Hydra and more are the most vulnerable websites that can be tricked into with password hacking tools.
How to Defend from Hacking Password?
The best way to thwart the password thieves is to rely on a password that is hackproof. Find the essential tips underneath to build a strong password.
Build a longer password consisting of alphanumeric, special characters (@#$ percent ^ & *), and use upper and lower case letters as well. Longer passwords are more potent passwords. Hackers with passwords won’t be able to crack it for a while. Passwords aren’t passwords therefore don’t share.
Last but not least, often change password. A periodic password change helps keep hackers at bay for passwords.
- Password cracking is the process of retrieving passwords that have been stored or transmitted.
- The length, sophistication, and unpredictability of a password value decide its power.
- Dictionary attacks, brute force, rainbow tables, spidering, and cracking are all common password techniques.
- Password cracking software streamlines the password cracking operation.