A brute force attack is an attack carried out on a machine against another machine using a sort of trial-and-error method to break into a system, by retrieving crucial information, namely pins and passwords. Sounds like nasty business already right? Well we’re just going to assume if you ever make an attempt as carrying out one, it will just be to test your own systems. And if that is the case, it is not a bad idea if you have something password protected out there on the airs of the world wide web worth stealing.
A brute force is carried out by an automated system capable or guessing thousands of possible password combinations in an attempt to break into a variety of systems. The “brute” part of the term is very apparent in it’s simplicity. Think of it like this: a brute force attack utilized the speed of the machine it’s being run on to input as many possible password combinations as it can, as quickly as the machine can support. It is the caveman attack of the 21st century.
Some of the bad news is these attacks can be carried out very easily and for cheap. Luckily these kind of attacks are not difficult to avoid being exploited by. They are barbaric hacking forms in a sense. The best thing you can do is start looking at them as passphrases, rather than passwords.
This is the reason that most websites now require that your password contain at least eight characters, and include numbers and special characters. You should make a habit of doing this, make a password or phrase with lots of variation and unusual characters. If you take these precautions, chances are any software trying to attack you will time out before it can ever guess your password. Keep in mind this isn’t bulletproof from extremely powerful machines if they really, really want in.
On a WordPress site there is a plugin called Jetpack that takes measures to protect your website from brute force attacks that is quite effective. A simple feature such as limiting the number of times you can guess a password with a certain time frame can almost put a stop to this.
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