Getting Passwords

The classic way to gain access to a computer system is to find out the password and log in. An intruder who gains interactive entry to a system can employ other techniques to build system privileges. Therefore, finding a password—any password—is often the first step in cracking a network. Methods for getting passwords range from very high-tech (password-cracking dictionary scripts and de-encryption programs) to extremely low-tech (digging around in trash cans and peeking in users' desk drawers). Some common password attack methods include

  • Looking outside the box

  • Trojan horses

  • Guessing

  • Intercepting

The following sections discuss these methods for clandestinely obtaining users' passwords.

Looking Outside the Box

No matter how secure ...

Get Sams Teach Yourself TCP/IP in 24 Hours, Third Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.