Learn the 5 techniques that cybercriminals use to steal passwords and how to prevent it

Password. (photo: ITSite)

Since the passwords are often the only thing standing between cybercriminals and personal and financial data, cybercriminals they try to steal or decrypt these connections.

The average person has 100 logins to remember, and this number has grown in recent years. Therefore, Not surprisingly, shortening pathways are chosen and safety is compromised.

Therefore, ESET, leader in proactive threat detection, warns of the 5 most common ways cybercriminals steal passwords, so that you are better prepared and thus reduce the risk of being a victim.

What a cybercriminal can do with a stolen password

Passwords are the virtual key to the world digital, since they give access to on line bank, email Y social networks, you count as Spotify or Apple ID, and all data stored in the cloud. By obtaining login information, cybercriminals can:

– Sell access to your own account. Crime sites quickly market these connections. Buyers can use logins to get everything from Free taxi transfers and video streaming to discounted rides from a committed mileage account.

– They use a password to unblock other accounts in which you use the same.

– Steal information from personal identification and sell it to other criminals on the forums.

An expert cybersecurity hacker reviews some code on his computer.  EFE / Oskar Burgos / Archive
An expert cybersecurity hacker reviews some code on his computer. EFE / Oskar Burgos / Archive (Oskar Burgos /)

5 Ways For Cybercriminals To Steal Passwords

1. Malware

A common way to obtain passwords is through malware. Emails from phishing They are the main vehicle for these types of attacks, although you can also be a victim of malware by clicking on malicious ads (malicious or malicious ads) or even accessing a previously compromised website (drivebydownload).

As the ESET researcher has repeatedly pointed out, Lukas stefanko, malware can even hide inside a mobile app legit-looking, often found in third-party app stores.

There are several types of malware to steal information, but some of the most common are designed to record keystrokes or take screenshots of a device and send them to attackers. Among them, the keyloggers.

2. Shoulder Surfin (look over the shoulder)

Remember that some spying techniques are also potentially risky. That’s not the only reason prying eyes over a user’s shoulder are always potentially risky.

A version of higher technology, known as attack “Man in the middle”, involves listening to WiFi and could allow Hackers within public WiFi connections spy on a password as it is entered if it connects to the network.

3. Pishing and social engineering

Social engineering is a psychological trick designed to convince someone to do something they shouldn’t do, and scams are the best known form of social engineering.

Through these types of attacks, cybercriminals pose as legitimate entities such as friends, family, public institutions and well-known companies, etc. Emails or text messages received will appear genuine, but they will contain a malicious link or attachment which, if clicked, will either download malware or take you to a page asking you to enter personal data. Fortunately, there are ways to detect the warning signs of a phishing attack.

Scammers even use phone calls to directly obtain IDs and other personal information from their victims, often posing as technical support engineers.

4. By deduction

While cybercriminals have automated tools to perform brute-force attacks and password discovery, sometimes they don’t even need them – even the guesswork is simple, unlike the approach used more systematically in brute-force attacks.

The most popular password for 2021 is “123456”, followed by “123456789”. And if the same password is recycled or a closely derived password is used to access multiple accounts, it is easier for attackers, increasing the risk of identity theft and fraud.

5. Violent attacks

The average number of passwords a person has to manage increased by about 25% year-over-year in 2020. This has led most people to switch to easy-to-remember (and easy-to-use) passwords. and make the mistake of using the same password to access multiple websites and services.

However, what is often overlooked is that weak passwords can open the door to so-called brute force techniques for password discovery.

One of the most common forms of violence is credential stuffing. In this case, attackers dumped large volumes of previously compromised username / password combinations into automated software.

Then the tool verify login information on a lot of sites hoping to find a match. In this way, cybercriminals can unlock multiple accounts with a single password.

Last year, there were about 193 billion such initiatives worldwide, by one estimate. Recently, the Canadian government was the victim of this attack.

Another brute force technique is password spreading. In this case, the criminals used automated software to verify a list of commonly used passwords for an account.

Cyber ​​attack.  (photo: Business Destination)
Cyber ​​attack. (photo: Business Destination)

How to block these forms of theft

– Make sure all the operating system and applications of your device are updated to the latest version

– Use a single, strong password or passphrase for all online accounts, especially bank, email, and social media accounts.

– Use a password manager to store strong and unique passwords for each website and accounts, make a simple and secure connection.

– Change your password immediately if your provider informs you that the data may be compromised.

– Do not click on links or open attachments in unsolicited emails.

– Never log into an account when connected to a public Wi-Fi network. In case of using such a network, it is recommended to use a VPN

– Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) on all accounts

– Only download apps from official app stores.

– Invest in secure software from a trusted vendor for all devices.


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