dictionary attack

Quick Reference

An attempt to enter a network illegally using a large number of passwords generated from a computerized dictionary. A cracker using this form of attack would repeatedly try to discover the passwords used in a system by repeatedly trying a series of passwords extracted from a dictionary and applying them to a password file. This is a surprisingly successful way of entering a network illegally: studies carried out in the 1990s indicated that somewhere between 10 to 40 per cent of all passwords could be discovered using this form of attack.

Subjects: Computing.

Reference entries