Attacks on a company or organization's computer systems take many different forms, such as spoofing, smurfing, and other types of Denial of Service (DoS) attacks. These attacks are designed to harm or interrupt the use of your operational systems. This article deals with a single wide-spread form of attack known as password cracking.
Password cracking is a term used to describe the penetration of a network, system, or resource with or without the use of tools to unlock a resource that has been secured with a password. In this article I will take a look at what password cracking is, why attackers do it, how they achieve their goals, and what you can do to do to protect yourself. I will briefly take a look at the attackers themselves: their psychological makeup and their motives. Through an examination of several scenarios, I will describe some of the techniques they deploy and the tools that aid them in their assaults, and how password crackers work both internally and externally to violate a company's infrastructure. Finally, the article provides a checklist to help protect you from password cracking.