Password Cracking:What is a Dictionary Attack

Note:- This information is for educational purpose only so that you can knowabout various kinds of password cracking techniques. the author or http://learnhacking.in is not responsible for any kind of misuse of this information. We aim only to create awareness so that people can protect themselves from getting hacked and save themselves in this unsafe world of hacking

Dictionary Attacks

A Dictionary Attack is when a text file full of commonly used passwords, or a list of every word from the dictionary is used against a password database. Strong passwords usually aren’t vulnerable to this kind of attack. In the following example, I will use Brutus, a very common password cracker (download link given below), to show a dictionary attack against an ftp server. Brutus is a Windows only program, but at the end of this chapter I will list a couple more password crackers, some of which are made for Mac, Windows, and Linux.

Before I get into the example, you must first know what an FTP server is. FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. FTP is a simple way to exchange files over the internet. If a Hacker got FTP access to my website, he could delete/upload anything he wants on my server. An FTP address looks similar to a website address except it uses the prefix ftp:// instead of http://. I set up an FTP server on my computer so I could demonstrate. You can get Brutus at http://www.hoobie.net/brutus/ .

1. First the hacker would choose a target. In this case it’s my home computer and the IP address for your home computer is 127.0.0.1 .

2. By going to ftp://127.0.0.1 I get a pop-up box asking for a username and password.

Dictionary attack | Learn Hacking

3. Next the hacker would launch a program similar to Brutus and attempt to crack the password.

Dictionary attack | Learn Hacking

4. In the target you put the IP address of the website and to the right select the appropriate option, which in this case is FTP.

5. The default port is 21 but some websites change this to make them a little more secure. If you find out that the port isn’t 21, you can find the right one by doing a port scan. We will get into this later in the book.

6. If you don’t know any of the usernames for the FTP server, then you will have to get a list of the most common usernames.

7. For a dictionary attack you will have to choose the pass mode Word List and browse and select the file containing your word list. You can get some good password lists at

http://packetstormsecurity.org/Crackers/wordlists/ . Below are examples of what a username and password list might look like.

Dictionary Attack | Learn Hacking

Dictionary attack | Learn Hacking

8. Once you hit Start the program will attempt to connect to the server and begin to try all the possible combinations from your lists.

Dictionary Attack | Learn Hacking

9. If you’re lucky, eventually it’ll get the right Username:Password combination. As you can see below, it got the correct combination of username – admin and password – password.

Dictionary Attack | Learn Hacking

10. A smarter hacker would use a proxy when using a program like this. What a proxy does is cloaks your IP address by sending your connection request through another computer before going to the target. This is a smart idea because as you will see in the image below, Brutus leaves a huge log of your presence on the target server.

Dictionary Attack | Learn Hacking

11. In place of the IP address 127.0.0.1 would be the hackers IP address. Footprints like these get a hacker caught and into a lot of trouble with the law.

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