How a dictionary attack works

How a dictionary attack works

A dictionary attack is a common way to steal a password. Here’s how a dictionary attack works, in layperson’s terms. More importantly, here’s how to beat the attack.

A dictionary attack is a much more efficient alternative to brute force hacking, but it requires a local copy of the user database to work. That usually means stealing the database first, if a bad guy is doing it. But nothing stops a company from doing a dictionary attack on its own user accounts to make sure people aren’t using insecure passwords. It’s unusual, but not unheard of.

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SQL injection explained

I’ve never seen SQL injection explained really well, until one of my coworkers did just that. I’m going to try to repeat his explanation here, because SQL injection is something that everyone seems to expect everyone else to just know.

SQL injection (sometimes abbreviated SQLi) is the technical term for getting a form in a web site to run SQL commands when it shouldn’t. You need to know this if you get into vulnerability management and especially web app pen testing. Here’s what it is and how and why it works.

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The problem with dictionary passwords

Consulting firm Deloitte is warning that 8-character passwords will be obsolete this year. Sound familiar? Of course, the Slashdot crowd blamed it as security “experts” (their words) creating hype to make money.

Well, I’m a certified security professional who doesn’t have a dog in this fight, except that I don’t want your accounts getting stolen. So here’s the problem with many of the solutions the Slashdot crowd posed.

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