What Is a Brute Force Attack and How to Prevent One

Hackers may use brute force to bypass passwords. It is a basic, still effective, method of gaining unauthorized access to accounts, systems, and networks.

At its most basic, the hacker tries many names and passwords until they find the appropriate combination. There are different types of brute force attacks, though. Here are some of them.

Dictionary Attacks

A dictionary attack is a kind of brute force hacking that compares potential passwords against the target’s login. The attack method isn’t technically a brute force attack, but it may aid a bad actor in cracking passwords.

Dictionary attacks are when hackers alter words using special characters and digits. This kind of attack takes a long time to conduct in comparison to newer, more effective assault strategies.

The Brute Force Hybrid

This is when hackers combine dictionary and brute force assaults. The hacker is aware of the username and employs a dictionary attack and brute force to get the account login information.

Before experimenting with character, letter, and number combinations, the attacker prepares a list of probable words. By mixing popular names with numbers, years, or random characters, hackers may discover passwords like “SanDiego123” or “Rover2020.”

Reverse Brute Force

In a reverse brute force attack, the attacker begins with a known password, which is often obtained via network intrusion. They search millions of people for a match using the password.


Attackers collect stolen username and password combinations and test them on other websites to see whether they work. If individuals use the same username and password for many accounts and social media sites, this technique works.

Preventing Brute Force Attacks

To prevent brute force attacks, use the following are some of the best password practices:

  • Use passwords with several characters. This increases the difficulty and time required to crack a password unless a hacker has access to a supercomputer.
  • Use lengthy passwords. While using longer passwords is good password hygiene, certain websites may have length restrictions. To prevent simple dictionary attacks, use sophisticated passes. Passwords are made up of multiple words or portions that include special characters.
  • Avoid using common words. To get access to people’s accounts, hackers use common keywords or phrases in passwords, like the word “password” or a person’s name.
  • Use different passwords for each account. Hackers examine passwords used on websites to see whether they are used elsewhere. Unfortunately, this method works effectively because people reuse passwords for email, social networking, and news websites. Never reuse the same password across several websites or accounts. 
  • Make use of password managers. A password manager assists customers in creating safe, one-of-a-kind passwords for all of their internet accounts. It creates and saves several logins for users, enabling them to access all accounts simply by logging into the password manager. 

Making passwords tough to crack is the simplest way to protect against password brute force attacks which is especially important when using AI in healthcare. End-users may help protect their personal and their organization’s data by using stronger passwords and following strict password standards. Attackers will have to work harder and longer to guess their passwords, and will sometimes give up.