Chapter 8

Passwords

IN THIS CHAPTER

check Identifying password vulnerabilities

check Examining password-hacking tools and techniques

check Hacking operating system passwords

check Hacking password-protected files

check Protecting your systems from password hacking

Password hacking is one of the easiest and most common ways that attackers obtain unauthorized network, computer, or application access. You often hear about it in the headlines, and study after study, such as the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, reaffirms that weak passwords are at the root of many security problems. I have trouble wrapping my head around the fact that I’m still talking about (and businesses are suffering from) weak passwords, but that fact is a reality. As an information security testing professional, you can certainly do your part to minimize the risks.

Although strong passwords — ideally, longer, stronger passphrases, which are difficult to crack (or guess) — are easy to create and maintain, network administrators ...

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