The brute force attack is still one of the most popular password cracking methods. Nevertheless, it is not just for password cracking. Brute force attacks can also be used to discover hidden pages and content in a web application. This attack is basically “a hit and try” until you succeed. This attack sometimes takes longer, but its success rate is higher. In this article, I will try to explain brute force attacks and reverse brute force attacks.

What is a Brute force attack?

Brute-force attack when an attacker uses a set of predefined values to attack a target and analyse the response until he succeeds. Success depends on the set of predefined values. If it is larger, it will take more time, but there is better probability of success. The most common and easiest to understand example of the brute-force attack is thedictionary attack to crack the password. In this, attacker uses a password dictionary that contains millions of words that can be used as a password. Then the attacker tries these passwords one by one for authentication. If this dictionary contains the correct password, attacker will succeed.
In traditional brute force attack, attacker just tries the combination of letters and numbers to generate password sequentially. However, this traditional technique will take longer when the password is long enough. These attacks can take several minutes to several hours or several years depending on the system used and length of password.
To prevent password cracking by using a brute-force attack, one should always use long and complex passwords. This makes it hard for attacker to guess the password, and brute-force attacks will take too much time. Most of the time, WordPress users face brute force attacks against their websites. Account lock out is another way to prevent the attacker from performing brute force attacks on web applications. However, for offline software, things are not as easy to secure.
Similarly, for discovering hidden pages, the attacker tries to guess the name of the page, sends requests, and sees the response. If the page does not exist, it will show response 404 and on success, the response will be 200. In this way, it can find hidden pages on any website.
Brute force is also used to crack the hash and guess a password from a given hash. In this, the hash is generated from random passwords and then this hash is matched with a target hash until the attacker finds the correct one. Therefore, the higher the type of encryption (64-bit, 128-bit or 256-bit encryption) used to encrypt the password, the longer it can take to break.

Reverse brute force attack

reverse brute force attack is another term that is associated with password cracking. It takes a reverse approach in password cracking. In this, attacker tries one password against multiple usernames. Think if you know a password but do not have any idea of the usernames. In this case, you can try the same password and guess the different user names until you find the working combination.

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