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How Password Hacking Programs Work

There are a variety of programs that hackers use to decrypt or guess your password to a variety of different applications and accounts. If you know some things about how password hacking programs work then you can take extra steps to protect your passwords from being stolen. The algorithms that are used by password hacking programs depend upon the infrastructure of the password system which determines the method of how the password protection component is breached by the hacker.

Types of Password Hacking Programs

There are a wide variety of different types of password hacking programs but the most common methods include the following types of attacks.

  • Dictionary Attacks: A dictionary attack works on the premise that most computer users choose a password that is easy for them to remember so they do not have to worry about memorizing or forgetting their passwords. Dictionary attack programs use all of the words in the dictionary to try and guess your password. This includes variations of the word and different word combinations. The program will keep trying different words and combinations until it comes up with the right password.
  • Ciphertext Attacks: A ciphertext attack can uncover a password that is in plaintext format by using cryptanalysis which is a decrypting process used by password crackers. The encryption device for the plain text password is easily controlled provided the encryption algorithms contain no vulnerabilities. Cryptanalysis is used in conjunction with a dictionary attack to determine the plaintext password.
  • Brute Force Attack: A brute force attack works just like the name implies. This type of attack uses brute force by using a program that keeps attempting every password that is possible until it hits the right one. Brute force attacks take a long time to execute especially if the passwords are long and contain a lot of different combinations.

If you use a password cracking calculator to determine how long it will take to decrypt the password you have chosen with a password hacking program, you will find that it can be anywhere from 10 minutes to several months depending upon the complexity of the password.

Protection Against Password Hacking Programs

You can help to protect your password against hacking programs by using passwords that are really difficult to guess. Your passwords should always contain a combination of both uppercase and lower case letters and numbers. Additionally, you should never use the same password across the board for all of your accounts.

Although using a lot of different passwords requires you to remember them and to keep them in a safe place that is separate from your PC's hard drive, it is worth the peace of mind to invest the time to protect all of your passwords. The time you invest in password protection will be minimal compared to the time you will invest if your identity is stolen.

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Spyware has many ways of getting onto your computer, such as:

When you download programs - particularly freeware, or peer-to-peer sharing programs.

More covertly, spyware can install itself just by you visiting certain sites, by prompting you to download an application to see the site properly.

ActiveX controls. These pesky spyware makers will prompt you to install themselves while using your Internet browser