Brute Force Attack

A brute force attack uses trial-and-error to guess login info, encryption keys, or find a hidden web page. Attackers let a computer do the work – trying different combinations of usernames and passwords, for example – until they find one that works.

The most basic brute force attack is a dictionary attack, where the attacker works through a dictionary of possible passwords and tries them all. A supercomputer can input 1 trillion combinations per second. With that amount of power, a hacker can reduce the time it takes to try 2.18 trillion password/username combinations (an 8 digit password) to just 22 seconds!

Today, individuals possess many accounts and have many passwords. People tend to repeatedly use a few simple passwords, which leaves them exposed to brute force attacks. Also, repeated use of the same password can grant attackers access to many accounts. Such cyberattacks account for roughly 5 percent of all data breaches.

Strong passwords protect you from brute force attacks.