The cybercrime market on the dark web has been experiencing market boom lately with so many incidents of data breach and cracking of passwords. Today, the frequent occurrence of a data breach has become a norm of the day as no one is free from the snare of hackers, not even the cybersecurity agencies.
In a bid to uncover some of the common methods employed by hackers in the cracking of passwords, this article will also highlight some of the ways to stay safe from being victims of hacking incidents.
Keystroke Logging in Cracking of Passwords
This method is widely used by hackers to record keystroke whiles they are being typed. It is one of the most used methods in cracking passwords, and very difficult to tackle. It happens when the keystroke logging application is installed on the target’s computer.
Keystroke logging tools monitor whatever information being typed on the keyboard to be reviewed later. It is mostly a software application but also come in the form of hardware. The hardware device is a tiny connector between a computer and a keyboard. This mostly looks like a standard connector, and it may be difficult to identify them as keystroke logging tools. People take a proactive measure by checking the computer every morning or anytime new users use it.
Measures Against Keystroke Logging
To avoid being a victim of this hacking tool, it is recommended to use a lockdown program such as Deep Freeze Enterprise. This is compatible with Windows, Linux, and macOSX. You can also consider usingg CB Protection, a Carbon Black’s Positive Security whitelist application. It strongly helps to fight off advanced malware and allows users to configure which executable can be launched on the device system.
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It is also advisable to use a firewall. The firewall may not prevent keylogging entirely, but has a possibility of detecting something fishy. The keystroke logging tool makes attempts to transmit information to the attacker through the victim’s computer internet connection. The firewall may have the chance to suspect the data and prevent it. Also, it is important to update the system software to reduce the chance of being beaten by keystroke logging tools.
The cracking of passwords using the keylogging tool Is very difficult to deal with as pointed above. Sometimes users put all the necessary cybersecurity measures in place, but hackers still manage to steal the user password before an alarm is raised. In this case, it is suggested that changing passwords on a regular basis should be a tradition. Using different passwords every two weeks to change a password is a very effective way to fight keylogging as attackers do not get ample time to take advantage of the stolen information.
A changed password renders stolen password useless. Wo two weeks of changing of passwords be enough unless the attack was specifically targeted at you. It is also important to use a password manager to take advantage of its autofill functionality as keystroke logging tools only capture keystrokes and log the information.
Network Analyzer in Cracking of Passwords
Maybe people have not yet noticed the danger of using public wireless networks. Hackers are capable of using network analyzers in the cracking of passwords which is very effective. Passwords are cracked in this method by sniffing the packet traversing the network. Hackers do this by having physical access to the target computer, access its wireless network and set up their network analyzer.
Hackers usually use password hacking tools like Cain and Abel which has network analyzing capability to obtain thousands of passwords passing through the network within a few hours. This can apply to FTP, Web and many more.
Network analyzer requires hackers to capture data on the hub segment of their network. This enables them to see the data of anyone traversing the network. Hackers also sometimes connect their network analyzer to the hub of the public side of their firewall. This makes them capture every packet entering and leaving the network. This is a very effective method employed in the cracking of passwords by hackers. Most of the time, following the normal guideline of protecting your password, is not enough as hackers can still use an unsuspecting method to steal them, access your account and upload sensitive information on the dark web.
Measures Against Network Analyzer
Since Network Analyzer is a very effective method in the cracking of passwords, it is important for individuals and organizations to place much priority on basic protection guidelines. There are many ways to counter the threat of network analyzer, and one of them is ensuring that unsupervised areas such as training rooms do not have live network connection since an Ethernet port is all an unauthorized personnel needs to get access to the internal network.
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In addition, it is advisable to disallow any unauthorized personnel from getting any physical access to the network connection of the public side of the firewall or to switches. This is to prevent any individual from tapping into the unswitched network segment outside the firewall in a bid to capture packets.
It is also advisable to use switches instead of the hub. Even if there is the need to use hubs on the network segment, PromiscDetect is capable of detecting cards in promiscuous mode.
Cracking of passwords has been much easier these days because of weak user passwords. Many users choose any combination just to make it easy for them to remember without giving it another thought of hackers taking advantage. A lot of Stand-Alone Applications such as email and accounting software generally store the password locally. This makes password vulnerable as hackers can find them stored in clear text on the local hard drive of the target computers by performing basic text searches. Others even use FileLocator Pro to automate the process.
Hackers also use the window text search function including grep or findstr to locate passwords in computer drive. Also, some programs write passwords to disk. Some also level the passwords stored in the memory. Hackers are always looking for ways to hack passwords and take over accounts, calling for the need to pay attention to password security.
Measures Against Weak Password
The solution to weak passwords is quite easy compared to the rest as users can take proactive measures to prevent their passwords from being exposed to actors. It is highly advisable that, before users upgrade any application, they should first contact the application vendors to find out how passwords are managed. Better still, users can seek help or solution from a third party.
Also, it is better for users not to store their passwords when prompted. Another effective way to protect a weak password is to use applications that manage passwords securely.
Hackers mostly employ phishing attacks in the cracking of passwords. Aside from the above-listed methods, this is another effective method.
Phishing can be very tricky as hackers convince targets to click on a provided malicious link disguised as a genuine one. In most cases, actors disguise a link as a Facebook group link, or online payment page link or an email link. Once these links are clicked on, victims are led to a login page that looks exactly the same as the genuine page of the account they intend to hack, and once the victim attempt to log in by entering their passwords, and click on “log in” or “submit”, the victim is taken to an error page or even blank page whiles the hackers obtain the password.
Even though there are several methods of protecting passwords from being exposed to hackers, the most probable and reliable way is the frequent changing of passwords.
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