Brute force and Dictionary Attack : Is this same (Live Example) Safe from Cyber Attack

Cyber Experts using one or more computers to attack one or more computers or networks is called a cyber attack (Brute force and Dictionary Attack). A cyber attack can be used to shut down computers, steal data, or use a computer that has been broken into as a starting point for more attacks.


Cyber Experts can launch an attack in many different ways, such as through malware, phishing, ransomware, denial of service, and other methods.

What is Brute Force Attack?

A brute force attack, also called brute force cracking, is like trying every key on your key ring until you find the right one.

In 2022, brute force attacks were the cause of 6% of confirmed data breaches. Attacks that use force are easy and work well. Attackers let a computer do the work for them. For example, they let the computer try different combinations of usernames and passwords until they find one that works.


The best way to stop a brute force attack is to catch it in progress and stop it. Once an attacker has access to the network, it’s much harder to see them.

In this article, we also discuss the Brute Force attack and dictionary attack details. Because many people have confused the Brute Force attack and dictionary attack are the same.

Why Perform Brute Force Attack?

A brute force attack is a type of hacking that uses trial and error to break passwords, login credentials, and encryption keys. It is a simple and reliable way to get into people’s accounts and organizations’ systems and networks without their permission.

  • Use ads or user activity data
  • Malware Distribution
  • Steal private information
  • Exploit Systems for Malicious Purposes
  • Ruin the Reputation of a Business or Website

Hacking by brute force takes a lot of patience because it could take attackers months or even years to crack a password or encryption key. But the rewards could be very big.

Types of Brute Force Attacks:

There are different kinds of brute force attacks that hackers can use to get in without permission and steal user data.

  • Simple Brute Force Attacks
  • Hybrid Brute Force Attacks
  • Credential Stuffing
  • Dictionary Attacks
  • Reverse Brute Force Attacks

Brute force attacks need a lot of resources yet are quite effective. They could potentially be the initial stage in a multi-stage onslaught. On the CrowdStrike blog, an example of this is examined in detail, examining a case where a brute force attack was part of a multi-step hack that enabled unauthenticated privilege escalation to full domain privileges.

How do Brute Force Attacks Works?

For brute force attacks, attackers use automated tools, and people who don’t know how to make their own can buy them in the form of malware kits on the dark web.

They can also buy information like stolen credentials that can be used in a credential stuffing attack or a hybrid brute force attack. These lists may be sold as part of a package, in which the seller includes the lists along with the automated tools and other value-added items like management consoles.

Once the attacker has configured their tools and seeded them with appropriate lists, the attack commences.

Botnets can be used to execute brute force assaults. Botnets are networks of compromised computers that provide processing power without the user’s consent or knowledge. In addition to malware kits, bot kits may also be obtained on the dark web.

In the past year, SSH servers belonging to banks, medical facilities, educational organizations, and others were compromised using a botnet.

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How to be safe from Brute Force Attacks?

There are several ways to thwart or avoid brute force assaults.

A policy requiring strong passwords is the most evident. Each public server or online application should require the usage of strong passwords. Standard user accounts, for instance, must have a minimum of eight characters, a number, upper- and lowercase letters, and a special character. Servers should also demand regular password updates.

  • Access may be restricted to users inside a certain IP range.
  • Specialized URLs for logging in
  • Two-factor authentication
  • If you alter the sshd config file, the root user will be unreachable through SSH.
  • Put Captcha to Use
  • Reduce the number of unsuccessful login attempts
  • Change the port number in your ssh config file, don’t use the default.
  • Watch the server logs

Follow Those things for safe from brute force attackers. because it’s a powerful attack for striking your login credentials.

What is Dictionary Attacks?

A dictionary attack entails inputting every word in a dictionary as a password to gain access to a password-protected computer, network, or other IT resource. A dictionary attack can also be used to try to decipher a communication or document that has been encrypted.

Dictionary assaults are successful because so many people and organizations insist on using common terms as passwords.

These attacks frequently fail when conducted against systems that use multiple-word passwords and passwords made up of random combinations of uppercase, lowercase, digits, and letters.

Why Use Dictionary Attacks?

Dictionary attacks can be used to decrypt a message or document. Many consumers and businesses use dictionary words as passwords.

Dictionary attacks that use a smaller prioritized list of plausible passwords can be more effective. Sophisticated hackers may also be able to deactivate the detecting mechanisms or limit the number of password attempts.

Brute Force attack and dictionary attack are related cyber attacks (Brute Force attack and dictionary attack), which use for stealing passwords and personal information.

When it comes to offline assaults, a hacker has few limitations in terms of the number of passwords they may try. An offline assault, on the other hand, necessitates system access to the password storage file. Only then may an offline dictionary attack be conducted.

How to be safe from dictionary attacks?

Limiting the number of tries within a specified period and using strong passwords or keys may make a system almost impenetrable to brute force attacks.

The following three requirements must be met for an approach to make a system resistant to dictionary assaults and almost resistant to brute-force attacks:

  • allows just three tries at the password;
  • The password or key is a string of random letters, numbers, and special characters.
  • fifteen minutes must pass before the next three tries are permitted;

Frequently, email spammers use a kind of dictionary attack. Messages are delivered to email addresses consisting of words or names, followed by the @ sign and the name of a certain website.

Long lists of given names, such as Frank, George, Judith, or Donna, or individual letters of the alphabet followed by surnames, such as smith, Wilson, or Thompson, in conjunction with a domain name are often successful.

How Dictionary Attacks Works?

During a dictionary attack, software systematically attempts to access a system, account, or encrypted file by entering words from a list as passwords.

An assault on a dictionary may be conducted both online and offline. In an online assault, the perpetrator continually attempts to log in or get access as if they were a legitimate user.

This sort of attack is more effective if the hacker has a list of probable passwords. If the assault takes too long, a system administrator or the original user may detect it.

how dictionary attack works

During an offline assault, however, there are no network restrictions on the number of times a password may be guessed. To do this, hackers must get the password storage file for the target system, making it more difficult than an internet assault.

Once they obtain the correct password, though, they will be able to log in undetected.

Difference between Brute force and Dictionary Attack:

A Brute Force attack is a kind of cryptographic hacking that includes gaining unauthorized access to login credentials or encryption keys by exploring the full keyspace of the algorithm via trial and error.

As this is a laborious operation that does not demand intellectual engagement, tools are often utilized to do the work.

A dictionary Attack is a kind of brute force attack that targets unsophisticated users using non-unique passcodes.

In this scenario, the intruder utilizes a list of popular words or phrases that people and companies may use as passwords to obtain access to secured computers, networks, or other IT resources.

There are lots of differences between the Brute Force attack and the dictionary attack. They are –

Parameters Brute Force attack Dictionary Attack
Definition The adversary tries every conceivable passcode combination. The attacker employs a list of known passcodes that has been precompiled.
Primary Utility In general, this is used to challenge encryption methods. This is often used to attack passwords.
Keys There are several key combinations involved. This is restricted to a certain number of keys.
Effectiveness The brute force attack is more effective if the passcode is short. Dictionary Attack is more successful if the passcode is often used.
Success rate Destined to succeed. It might be unsuccessful.


FAQ About Brute Force Attack and Dictionary Attack:

Q.1. What kind of attack combines a Brute Force attack and a dictionary attack?

Brute Force attack and dictionary attack are often used together in a hybrid attack. People use these attacks to figure out passwords that are made up of a mix of common words and random characters.

Q.2. How long does it take to launch a dictionary attack?

A dictionary attack uses a list of words that have already been made. A brute-force attack, on the other hand, tries every possible combination of letters, numbers, and special symbols.

In an hour, it can figure out a six-character password. If your password is long and hard to figure out, it could take someone days or even years to figure it out.

Q.3. Is a brute force attack the same as a dictionary attack?

A type of brute force attack in which an intruder uses a “dictionary list” of common words and phrases used by businesses and people to try to break into a security system that needs a password.

Q.4. How many words does a dictionary attack use?

Brute force attacks can also be done online and offline. But, there are 1,022,000 words in English. With the letters of the alphabet and the numbers 0 through 9, you can make 218,340,105,584,896 eight-character passwords.

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