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Saturday, 21 July 2012

Password Cracking (Counter Measures)

Counter Measures

I will now show you all the countermeasures you should take to protect yourself from all of the password cracking attacks talked about in this blog.


Social Engineering

To protect yourself from social engineering attacks like the one discussed in this blog you must learn to question the possible attacker. If you get a phone call from someone, and you think that there may be a chance that the person isn’t who he says he is, then ask him some questions that he should be able to answer to establish his legitimacy. Some professional social engineers study the company before attacking, so they might know all the answers. That’s why, if you still have some doubts, you should ask the head of whatever department the attacker is from to find out if he is legit. Better safe than sorry.


Shoulder Surfing

When you type in your password make sure there is no one behind you attempting to peak. If there is, turn around and drop kick him/her in the face. No not really. Also, make sure you don’t keep any sticky notes laying around that have your password or password hints on them.


Guessing

To prevent this attack from happening, never use a password like your birth date, your mother’s maiden name, your pets name, your spouse’s name, or anything that someone may be able to guess.


Dictionary Attacks

Dictionary attacks are very simple to prevent. Don’t use a password that is in the dictionary. Some people may think that if they use a word from the dictionary but replace most of the letters with a number, then they are safe. They are not. There are 1337 speak dictionary’s out there too. Basically what 1337 speak is, is changing a word like “animal” to 4n1m41. For a secure password, I would recommend using a phrase such as “doyoulikecheese?88”.


Brute-force Attacks

Brute-force attacks may be prevented by creating a very long password and using many numbers and odd characters. The longer the password the longer it takes for the hacker to crack your password. If after a few days the hacker hasn’t been able to crack your password through a brute-force attack, then he is very likely to just give up. Like I said in the dictionary attacks, creating a phrase for your password is your best option for staying secure. 

 

Rainbow Tables

You can avoid rainbow table cracking by simply making your password extremely long. Creating tables for passwords that are long takes a very long time and a lot of resources. That is why there aren’t many of these tables available.

 

Phishing

Phishing attacks are very simple to avoid. When you are asked to put your personal information into a website, look up into the URL bar. If for example you are supposed to be on Gmail.com and in the URL bar it says something completely different like gmail.randomsite.com, or gamilmail.com, then you know this is a fake. When you are on the real Gmail website, the URL should begin with www.google.com Phishing anything else is a fake.

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