Preventing Bruteforce Attacks

Amarnath Chatterjee
By Amarnath Chatterjee

October 14, 2016

 

Bruteforce Attacks use repeated attempts to guess a user’s password by trying numerous combinations of passwords, in order to break into and gain control of a user’s details. Weak passwords leave people vulnerable to Bruteforce attacks. Three main methods are used to attempt to prevent these attacks:-

  • Temporary or permanent lockout of the system
  • Requiring complex passwords in the first place
  • Periodic password changes

Despite these measures, attackers still try to break into accounts using Bruteforce. There are weaknesses inherent in each approach. Permanent lockout from the system allows for a successful DOS attack, which means a temporary lockout is required, such as allowing two password tries an hour, which would not affect even the most aggressive lockout policies. Although requiring complex passwords does make it far more difficult for Bruteforce attacks to succeed, they are not particularly “user friendly” as people often forget complex passwords and either need to write them down or have to request new passwords regularly.

Vulnerability Scanning – the way forward?

Vulnerability Scanners check how strong passwords are and protect users from attack... There are many types of vulnerability scanners on the market, both free and paid; but these are limited in their capabilities. Most scanners can only check a couple of passwords for each person and the scans take an unnecessarily long time to complete. In addition, many of the free scanners use the default port to scan, however most systems rarely use the ports. The more complex systems will not be visible to the scanners due to the sophistication of the software.

Risqvu IST is designed to overcome many of the flaws of other vulnerability scanners. With a custom password list and configurable port options, Risqvu IST also has advanced penetration capabilities which include:-

  1. Credential Feeding. Using specific password feeds, the software can scan for most likely combinations. Current vulnerability scanners have a single list for bruteforcing all ports which is very ineffective. RisqVU IST has customised feeds which can be used on different ports such as SQL/FTP/Telnet. This increases the likelihood of successful discovery.
  2. Preventing Lockouts. Generally, multiple incorrect password entries will lead to lockouts, however the Risqvu IST software gets around this by use of a scrambler which prevents multiple username hits in a short space of time, ensuring that username lockout does not happen. A delay feature also prevents repeated attempts to log in, which does increase the scan time, but adds safety value.

Conclusion

RisqVU IST provides effective preventative measures for bruteforce attacks. It helps you assess risk, reduce attack surface, and provide counter measures to respond to attacks. With scans to assess vulnerability across a multitude of platforms, RisqVU is a comprehensive package for those looking to protect their IT systems from cyber threats. You can register for a free trail here: https://paladion.net/risq-vu-ist/

 


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