Protecting Yourself from Dictionary Attacks
A dictionary attack is a type of cyber attack that uses a pre-compiled list of words, known as a dictionary, to try and guess a password. The attacker will use a program to automatically enter each word in the dictionary as a potential password to gain access to a targeted account or system.
One of the most common forms of a dictionary attack is a “brute force” attack. The attacker uses software to systematically try every possible combination of letters, numbers, and symbols until the correct password is found. However, dictionary attacks are much faster and more efficient than brute force attacks, as they only try the most likely passwords.
Dictionary attacks can be highly effective, especially if the targeted individual has chosen a weak or easily guessable password. In addition, commonly used words, such as “password” or “1234”, are often included in dictionary lists, making them vulnerable to attack.
To protect yourself from a dictionary attack, it is essential to use a strong and unique password that is not easily guessable. Avoid using common words or phrases, and include a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols. Additionally, enabling two-factor authentication on your accounts can provide additional protection against dictionary attacks.
It’s important to note that attackers can also use custom dictionaries tailored to the victim, such as using the name of the company or the name of the victim’s family member as a password guess. With the rise of AI-powered solutions, this is getting even easier for bad actors to know much more about the person or organisation they are targeting. This is why it is crucial to have a unique password for every account and not reuse passwords.
In summary, a dictionary attack is a type of cyber attack that uses a pre-compiled list of words to try and guess a password. It can be highly effective if the targeted individual has chosen a weak or easily guessable password. Therefore, using a strong and unique password and enabling two-factor authentication on your accounts is essential to protect yourself from a dictionary attack.