Password Cracking Techniques Hackers Use

You never want to be on the wrong end of a password cracker. Your account will be compromised and a hacker can use that information to steal your identity. Don't risk having your password stolen: follow these techniques and download a data breach alert tool that will notify you if your password is exposed.

What is password cracking?

Password cracking is the act of discovering a user's password. Websites use encryption to store your passwords so that third parties cannot figure out your real passwords. Hackers and cybercriminals use password cracking methods to bypass encryption protections, discover your passwords, and gain access to your personal information.

Common password cracking techniques

Your password is stored on a website's server as an encrypted string of characters called a hash. Hackers cannot reverse hashing algorithms and figure out your password. But there are many password cracking techniques they can use to get what they want. They may even make you type your password on an unauthorized and dangerous website.

Some types of password attacks and other ways to crack passwords and circumvent encryption are becoming more sophisticated and diversified. Here are some of the top password cracking methods and how you can protect yourself from them.

Guess passwords

Passwords should be hard to crack but easy to remember. Unfortunately, people underestimate the risks and are too inclined to make their passwords hard to forget. It is often easy to access information simply by guessing that the password is, in fact, "password."

Other common passwords are birthdays and hobbies, which make your password easy to guess. When setting your passwords, don't use terms that can be easily guessed or found on the Internet. Instead, use long, hard-to-guess passwords or passphrases that combine several random words.

How can you create a strong password that you won't forget? Memorizing your password or writing it down can be risky. This is why you should use a password manager, which is a much more secure way to store your passwords.

Brute force attack

Brute force methods try every imaginable character combination. Brute force password crackers convert millions of possible passwords into hashes and compare those hashes with the one associated with your password.

This method is time-consuming: the more complex the password, the longer it takes to crack it. It would take a powerful computer hundreds or even thousands of years to crack a sufficiently complex password. Although some of these attacks use the power of botnets, the correct password can evade a brute force attack.

Brute force hacking can also take advantage of credential recycling, which is the use of previous cracked username and password combinations. Similarly, reverse brute force attacks start with a common password (such as "password") and snoop on usernames instead.

As the range of password cracking methods has become more sophisticated, using data breach monitoring software has become more important.

Dictionary attack

Dictionary attacks involve a huge table of relatively common passwords and their hashes. For example, a dictionary attack tool could compare an encrypted hash found on Facebook's server with one from its database. And it is quite possible that you will find a match.

These sample passwords contain phrases or dictionary words along with slight variations. Thus, a password that adds or omits a character or with a random number in the middle of the password could still be exposed.

If you're wondering how a list with hundreds of millions of possible passwords can exist, the answer is that a text file containing that much text is still only a few gigabytes and can be easily downloaded.

The dictionary attack list also functions as a database of previously cracked passwords, putting those who reuse their passwords multiple times at greater risk. Dictionary attacks highlight the importance of always using unique passwords.

Social engineering

Rainbow table attacks eliminate the need to store hundreds of millions of password combinations. Rainbow tables remember parts of hashes before trying to locate the entire string, which reduces bulk and makes any password-hash combination much easier to find.

Whereas brute force attacks take a long time and dictionary attacks take up a lot of space (because you have to sort massive files), rainbow table attacks make certain trade-offs and reduce the amount of time and space needed. This has proven to be very effective, especially with the popular RainbowCrack tool.

 Mask attack

Mask attacks assume that a password assumes a common form, such as using one uppercase letter at the beginning followed by several lowercase letters, instead of going through all possible iterations. This allows mask attacks to crack passwords in a matter of minutes, instead of the years that brute force cracking could take.


Spidering is the process of combing through a company's internal or external communications to find phrases or slang that employees can use as passwords. Like individual passwords, company passwords often reflect the daily activities of those who use them. The more training documents and promotional materials a company has, the more likely it is that their passwords can be cracked.

Offline hack

Offline hacking occurs when a hacker obtains a set of hashed passwords from a compromised server and then compares a plaintext password with the offline hash. The website won't know something is going on, and the hacker has plenty of time to crack the password.

Password cracking tools

Network sniffers and packet capture tools are two types of password cracking tools that monitor and intercept data packets. These tools require a network connection, but once established, the bits of data going in and out can be converted to plain text. Fortunately, these same tools can also help a company discover security flaws.

Password crackers

Many of the most popular password crackers use a combination of the above techniques. Its ease of use, combined with the growing consumer demand for high-powered computers, has more and more people turning to hacking.

Protect yourself against password cracking, which monitors the latest data breaches and alerts you immediately if one of your passwords has been breached. So you can quickly change your passwords before someone else can use them to compromise your accounts.


Malware is another password cracking tool. Specifically, keyloggers are a type of malware that secretly records all your keystrokes and sends them to whoever put the keylogger on the system.

Be sure to use the best antivirus software you can find to defend against keyloggers and other malware. Installing a powerful anti malware tool will keep password hacking software away from your device.


Brutus is a brute-force password cracker that uses a comprehensive, dictionary-based attack method that allows endless testing. In addition to its popularity with cybercriminals, Brutus also has legitimate uses, such as when someone doesn't know their own router's password.


RainbowCrack helps hackers crack passwords by generating rainbow tables, those precomputed sets of hashes that speed up the password cracking process. Fortunately, the use of rainbow tables can be thwarted by a common technique known as salting, a process whereby web hosts insert random text strings into plaintext passwords before hashing them in the database. .

Cain and Abel

Cain and Abel extracts all the passwords found on a PC. Unless you do a thorough wipe of all system files, a Windows 10 password cracker like Cain and Abel can unearth passwords for email addresses, operating systems, Wi-Fi connections, and much more.


Medusa works by matching passwords against a list of words, and can even be used to extract the passwords of other machines on the same Wi-Fi network. Medusa requires some technical knowledge to work, but it's easy to come up with instructions to use it.

The proliferation of tools like the Medusa password cracker means it's more important than ever to use long, unique, and hard-to-guess passwords or passphrases.

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