• Ron Kulik

What does a brute force attack mean for your business?

Updated: Jul 13, 2021

Cybercrime can take many forms. This year, there have been cyber-attacks on more than 30 high-profile countries and jurisdictions, impacting hundreds of millions of customers. And it’s not just about phishing scams and hacking into computers and networks — these criminals also want your personal information.

One particularly dangerous method is called a brute force attack. Here is how it works.

What Is a Brute Force Attack?

Hackers use numbers, patterns, and other factors to guess common passwords, then apply those methods to the accounts of millions of people to see if they can get through. If they can, they steal money and information.

A successful brute force attack can lead to a variety of distressing problems, like:

  • Identity theft

  • Data breaches

  • Using your company's emails for scams

A Quick Example of a Brute Force Attack

During a brute force attack, a highly sophisticated computer hacking service using the latest technology will attempt to guess your password using numerous methods.

It may try several things:

  • It may try combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols (each of which is a single character).

  • It might try using familiar words in a different order or substituting symbols for other characters.

  • It might try a variety of ingenious methods to figure out your password, such as isolating you from computers using virtual private networks or deleting all traces of your account from public computers.

The Goal of a Brute Force Attack

This kind of attack can take place over the Internet, but typically involves a botnet (an enormous collection of computers controlled by a single entity) and usually requires physical access to your computer or device to carry out the fraud.

The goal of a brute force attack is simple and straightforward: it is to attempt every combination of obscure characters, numbers, and symbols so that if the account password fails—as it always will—the attacker can brute force his way through every password until he gets lucky.

Corporate Heads Don’t Even Know It Exists

Brute force attempts often go unrecognized because they can often appear as if someone has forgotten their password and is just trying different ways to access their accounts.

How many times have you heard of a company being breached and then a few days later the CEO is telling the press the attackers were just trying to access their own bank account? That’s a classic example of a brute force attack.

It’s a Little-Known Danger

Most people unfamiliar with technology and security problems don’t realize how vulnerable their passwords might be to a brute force attack.

It may be hard for you to imagine that a criminal could ever gain access to your business’s most sensitive information, including your customers’ credit card information. But that’s exactly what happens when hackers steal data from companies that are manufacturing or selling stolen credit card information.

A brute force attack involves using large numbers of methods to guess the data from memory chips in machines running banking software. These attacks can break through even the most fortified digital defenses and steal personal data in as little as four hours.

Hundreds of Millions of Accounts Stolen Regularly

As we speak, hundreds of millions of accounts are being stolen from small businesses and consumers. Credit card data has become so valuable that cybercriminals are hacking into corporate and personal computer systems to steal customer data and financial information.

If your organization has been touched by this problem, you know how frustrating it can be to know that a simple password could be stolen from your computer or organization’s network—or worse yet, hackers can gain physical access to your office and take control of your information.

Preventative Measures to Protect Sensitive Information

Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent a brute-force attack, including:

  • Strong passwords

  • Multi-factor authentication

  • Limited log-in attempts

Call us today for more information on how you can protect your business from a brute force attack. Call now 512-761-7652 or email us at info@safemodeIT.com

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