5 Ways Hackers are Stealing Passwords and How to Stop Them

by | Jan 10, 2024 | Cyber Security | 0 comments

5 Ways Hackers are Stealing Passwords and How to Stop Them

Cybercrime is a big business, and hackers are constantly looking for new ways to steal passwords. There are many ways that hackers are stealing passwords now. If you’re not careful, they can easily gain access to your accounts and sensitive information. However, by being aware of the most common methods hackers use for stealing passwords, you can take steps to protect yourself. To keep your company safe, it is crucial for you and your employees to:

  1. Recognize the risks of hackers stealing passwords
  2. Understand password-stealing methods
  3. Prevent password theft

Risks of Hacked Passwords in Business

The vast majority of businesses rely on passwords to protect their valuable data and systems. However, passwords are not foolproof. In fact, they are often the weakest link in an organization’s cyber security defenses.

Risks include:

  • Unauthorized access to company systems and data
  • Disruption of business operations
  • Loss of revenue
  • Damage to reputation

There are many ways hackers steal passwords, and they are constantly finding new methods. If you’re not careful, they can easily gain access to your accounts and sensitive information. However, by being aware of the most common methods hackers use to steal passwords, you can take steps to protect yourself.

Common Password Stealing Methods

Hackers use a variety of methods when stealing passwords. The most popular methods include:

1. Social Engineering

Social engineering is a type of attack where hackers trick humans into divulging information or performing actions. This then allows the attacker to gain access to systems or data.

Phishing attacks are one of the most commonly known types of social engineering attacks. This is a type of password hacking where hackers disguise themselves as people you know, such as family members, friends, or co-workers. They typically use phishing emails or text messages. The goal of this is to convince you they are someone you know. This then enables them to include a link or attachment that will either download malware to your device or prompt you to fill out a form with your personal information.

2. Malware

This is a malicious software program downloaded to a device in order to steal data and information. Malware most commonly comes from phishing emails and texts. But it can also come in the form of online advertisements containing malware or websites with pop-up ads and “free download” links.

Malware can gain access to a person’s password, bank account information, or other sensitive information. It can also install viruses on a person’s computer or device. It is one of the most frequently used methods of cyberattack, and it can have serious consequences for the victim.

Keylogging is a type of malware that records the keys a person presses on their keyboard. This information can then gain access to passwords, bank accounts, or other sensitive information.

3. Brute Force Attacks

One of the most common methods of password hacking is a brute-force attack. This essentially involves guessing a password with a large number of combinations until the correct one is found. Hackers often use software to help them generate possible passwords. These software systems can include every possible combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.

Typical types of brute force cyber attacks include:

  • Password spraying – trying common passwords against many accounts
  • Dictionary attacks – trying words from a dictionary as passwords
  • Hybrid attacks – using a combination of dictionary words and most commonly used passwords
  • Guesswork –  trying personal information such as birthdays or addresses
  • Credential stuffing – using lists of stolen username and password combinations to gain access to accounts
  • Shoulder surfing –  looking over someone’s shoulder to see what they are typing

Preventing Password Theft

  1. A good way to prevent password theft is to implement a strong password policy. This should include using a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, symbols, and proper password length. Employees should also avoid plain text passwords. This password policy should require employees to change their passwords regularly.
  2. In addition, you should consider using two-factor authentication (2FA) whenever possible. This requires users to enter both a password and a code that is sent to their phone or email before they can access an account. 2FA adds an extra layer of security that makes it much harder for hackers to steal passwords.
  3. The best preventative option includes training your team members. As a business owner, you should educate your employees about the risks of password hacking and the importance of cyber security. Through employee phishing training, you can help prevent your employees from falling victim to password theft.

Password Hacking FAQs

How do hackers get passwords?

There are a few different ways that hackers steal your passwords. A few examples include a brute force attack or a malware attack.

One typical way is by using a program that guesses passwords until it finds the right one. An alternative way is by stealing passwords from people who have saved them in an unsecured file on their computer or smartphone. Another way is by obtaining passwords through a phishing attack. These attacks are when a hacker sends you an email that looks like it’s from a legitimate company. They then ask you to enter your password into the website or email address included in the email.

Truly, the list of cyber attacks on passwords is extensive. Read an in-depth description of different methods in the excerpt above.

How can malware be used to steal your password?

Another way hackers can get passwords is by using spyware or malware to steal them. Spyware is software that secretly collects information about you. Malware is malicious software that can damage or take control of your computer. Password hackers can use keylogging malware to record the keys pressed on a device, in order to gain the victim’s passwords.

Be sure to keep your computer’s security software up-to-date, and never click on links or download files from emails that you don’t trust.

How to stop getting hacked?

There are a few things you can do to help protect yourself from getting hacked:

  • Use strong passwords and change them regularly
  • Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts
  • Install a good antivirus and firewall program
  • Make sure your operating system and software are up to date
  • Be careful about what links you click on and what attachments you open
  • Don’t give out your personal information unless you absolutely have to
  • Team up with a skilled IT Support Company to help secure your business

How fast can hackers get your password?

It depends on the strength of the password, how often it is used, along with other factors.

Generally speaking, the stronger the password, the longer it will take for a hacker to crack it. And if a password is only used for a specific site or application, it will be easier for a hacker to crack than if used for multiple sites or applications.

There are also software programs that can help hackers steal passwords more quickly. So the bottom line is that it depends on the specific circumstances. The more password protection used the better.

What password do hackers usually use?

The most common password is “password”. Other easily guessed passwords are “123456” and “qwerty”.

To create a strong password, you should use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. It’s also a good idea to change your password regularly.

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