Chapter 9. Cracking Passwords

The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.

DOROTHY PARKER

Finding a computer to attack is the first step. Breaking into that computer is the second step. Most hackers succeed not as a result of any innate brilliance on their part, but because of ignorance on the victim’s part.

The first line of defense protecting most computers is usually nothing more than a unique combination of letters and numbers known as a password. Passwords are meant to block access to anyone but legitimate users, but they’re actually the weakest link in any security system. The most secure passwords are lengthy, consisting of random combinations of numbers, symbols, and both uppercase and lowercase letters. However, ...

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