Types of Password Attack and Ways to Stop Them

Password attacks, in particular, are a standard method employed by malicious actors seeking illegal access to sensitive information.

Types of Password Attack and Ways to Stop Them

This article delves into

  • The diverse types of password attacks
  • Their threats to security and
  • The wide range of tools and strategies available to strengthen defences in an ever-evolving cyber environment.
  1. Brute Force Attacks:

It falls under one of the most common and easiest ways to gain access to accounts. Usually, attackers systematically try all possible combinations until the correct password is found.

This includes all possible number, letter, and symbol sequences character-by-character until the right combination is found.

  • Tools to Stop:

Account Lockout Policies: Implement policies that lock out an account after a certain number of failed login attempts.

Fail2Ban: An intrusion prevention framework that automatically blocks IP addresses making too many failed authentication attempts.

  1. Dictionary Attacks:

Even though it is a type of brute force attacks,  there’s a difference between brute force and dictionary attacks.

In standard brute force attacks, hackers attempt to crack the password character by character. However, hackers use a list of commonly known words or phrases in dictionary attacks.

Attackers usually use variations of commonly used words. However, advanced hackers tend to use details tailored according to the users. These details are easy to find online.

Attackers can discover a user’s pet name from their social media account or find their favorite singer’s from the music apps they use. 

  • Tools to Stop:

Password Policies: Enforce strong password policies that include complexity requirements and prevent using common words.

Rate Limiting: Limit the number of login attempts within a specific time frame.

  1. Credential Stuffing:

This type of cybercrime depends on a person’s tendency to reuse passwords. Attackers use previously leaked credentials to illegally access other accounts where users have reused the same passwords.

Hackers obtain these information from the dark web or reuse the ones they have already stolen through different credential theft methods.

This type of hacking is risky for those whose accounts have already been compromised.

  • Tools to Stop:

Credential Monitoring Services: Use services that monitor and alert when user credentials are found in data breaches, prompting users to change their passwords.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Requires an additional verification step, even if the password is compromised.

Also Read: High-Risk Password Attacks and Strategies to Prevent

  1. Phishing Attacks:

Phishing involves tricking users into revealing their login credentials by posing as trustworthy entities.

Hackers disguise themselves as delivery service, network provider, or a bank, asking the users to carry out particular activities.

  • Tools to Stop:

Email Filtering Solutions: Use advanced email filtering solutions to detect and block phishing emails.

Security Awareness Training: Educate users to recognize and report phishing attempts.

  1. Keyloggers:

Keyloggers work by spying and monitoring on users. Not just passwords, keyloggers record everything a user types – credit card details, security questions, and social security numbers.

This means that attackers don’t have to guess usernames and passwords as they already have been recorded.

To successfully infect a victim’s device with malware, attackers usually use the phishing method, drive-by download, or Trojan.

Tools to Stop:

Antivirus and Anti-Malware Software: Use reputable security software to detect and remove keyloggers.

Endpoint Protection: Employ solutions that monitor and protect endpoints from various threats.

  1. Rainbow Table Attacks:

Hashing refers to the technique of mathematically converting and encrypting user’s passwords. They are stored in the system as cryptographic character sequences.

Anyone with access to this database of passwords would be able to see these encrypted values rather than the actual passwords.

Like dictionary attacks, attackers use rainbow table instead of a list of words. This offers a faster way of cracking passwords.

In a rainbow table, precomputed hash functions are saved along with their hashed values. Attackers compare the values against this table to decrypt the hashed passwords saved in the database.

  • Tools to Stop:

Robust Hashing Algorithms: Use strong, one-way cryptographic hash functions for password storage.

Salted Hashing: Add a unique salt to each password before hashing to prevent the use of precomputed tables.

  1. Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) Attacks:

In this type of attack, a hacker will disguise themselves as a proxy to intercept the data in transit.

A hacker will create a kind of fake site and allow access to the user. They will encourage the users to enter their credentials on the fake page. Then, the hackers will use the fake credentials to log in to the actual website.

Whatever action the user performs on the fake site, the hacker performs those of the real site. The hacker, in turn, transmits the actual site’s responses back to the victim.

  • Tools to Stop:

Secure Communication Protocols: Use HTTPS and other secure protocols to encrypt data in transit.

Network Security Solutions: Employ firewalls and intrusion detection/prevention systems to detect and block suspicious activities.

  1. Biometric Spoofing:

Types of Password Attack and Ways to Stop Them

Biometric marker details are stored in secured databases. And, like digital storage, it can be hacked with the right biometric hacking software.

Fraudsters can create AI-generated deepfakes and register them as human beings. Deepfakes use a form of AI to generate dupe images of retinal patterns, fingertips, and so on. Deepfake technology can even create convincing false fictional profiles from scratch.

Account numbers and passwords can be changed. But for biometric data, users can’t switch out their fingerprints or retinal patterns. Since biometric information is permanent, the user’s privacy is permanently compromised.

  • Tools to Stop:

Liveness Detection: Implement biometric systems with liveness detection features.

Multi-Modal Biometric Systems: It involves a process called biometric fusion where it’s difficult for hackers to gain access to accounts with only one set biometric credential.

  1. Insecure Password Storage:

Users are exposed to risks when they store passwords insecurely. This may be in the form of plaintext or weak encryption. Using strong encryption makes sure that the passwords are stored securely.

Conducting regular security audits helps to identify and address weaknesses in password storage practices.

  • Tools to Stop:

Strong Encryption: Use strong encryption algorithms to store passwords securely.

Regular Security Audits: Conduct audits to identify and address vulnerabilities in password storage practices.


The use of these tools depends on proper configuration, regular updates, and a detailed security strategy. Using multiple tools and practices creates a more robust defense against password attacks.

As the digital world progresses, so do the strategies employed by hackers. Protecting against password attacks depends on proper configuration, regular updates, and a detailed security strategy. Using multiple tools and practices strengthens the defences against illegal access or potential data theft. Understanding the details of various password attacks and using the proper countermeasures is essential. This helps users to enjoy a secure cyber defence and navigate the online world confidently.

For more such updates follow us on Google News ITsecuritywire News. Please subscribe to our Newsletter for more updates.