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9 Methods Hackers Get Passwords


If all you knew about hacking got here from TV and flicks, you can be forgiven for pondering hackers steal passwords by typing furiously on loud keyboards in darkish rooms, racing in opposition to a countdown clock and fast-paced techno music.

The reality, whereas a lot much less dramatic, is definitely extra attention-grabbing.

Listed here are the most typical methods real-life hackers truly get passwords:

Information breaches

The best and most typical approach that hackers get passwords is from information breaches, by which big quantities of person information has already been leaked or stolen from firms. This information, which frequently consists of usernames and passwords, is compiled into databases and could also be offered on the darkish net or downloaded freely on boards.

Due to the truth that many individuals reuse their passwords, attackers can use stolen passwords from one firm’s information breach to steal accounts at different firms, even when they’ve stronger safety.

Credential stuffing

After acquiring an inventory of usernames and passwords from one firm’s information breach, attackers can strive credential stuffing, which is the usage of automated bots to strive each username/password mixture on one other web site, like a social media web site, till one among them works.

Password spraying

If an attacker has a username (or checklist of usernames) however no passwords, he can nonetheless guess from an inventory of probably the most generally used passwords (e.g. 12345, abc123, qwerty) in a method referred to as password spraying.

As a result of many websites restrict the variety of guesses per person, password spraying is only when distributed throughout a variety of usernames.


An identical however tougher methodology is a brute-force assault, by which an attacker makes an attempt to guess all attainable passwords till the proper one is discovered.

Brute-forcing is computationally costly, however could be profitable rapidly if the password is brief sufficient, or if the attacker already has some details about the password.


One very efficient technique to steal somebody’s password is to trick them into getting into it on a phony login display screen, which is a type of phishing.

Phishing works so properly as a result of the weakest hyperlink in any safety system will at all times be the human issue. It doesn’t matter how refined your safety software program is; for those who can idiot a human with the appropriate credentials, you’re in.

Social engineering

Phishing is only one type of social engineering, a broader class of assaults that preys on human gullibility.

Staff at some firms have been conned into giving up passwords by scammers impersonating high-ranking managers over electronic mail, textual content, and even on the telephone. It’s a surprisingly efficient method—staff at medium to giant firms might have by no means met their CEO and wouldn’t acknowledge their voice.


Keylogging is the computing equal of a wiretap. However as a substitute of recording audio from a telephone, it data all keystrokes made on a pc.

Typically put in by malware, software program keyloggers can “hear” to your keyboard and ship the recorded keystrokes again to their creator, who can then use context to find out which keystrokes make up your passwords.

Shoulder browsing

The bottom-tech possibility is usually the best. If somebody desires your password and is bodily near you, all they should do is look over your shoulder.

Default passwords

Some passwords don’t must be stolen, as a result of they’re already identified.

That’s usually the case with many {hardware} gadgets that include default login credentials. In case you’ve by no means modified the default password on your Wi-Fi router, for instance, somebody might acquire entry just by getting into username: admin, password: admin.

Find out how to forestall hackers from getting your passwords

So how are you going to cease hackers from getting your passwords? Make your self a tougher goal by taking a couple of easy steps towards higher password safety:

  • Be careful for phishing assaults. Don’t click on any hyperlinks with suspicious URLs, even when they seem to come back from a trusted supply.
  • Change the default password in your router.
  • Use 2-factor authentication wherever attainable.
  • Don’t reuse passwords. Each account you personal ought to have its personal distinctive password.
  • Strengthen your passwords. Use our random password generator to create robust passwords of any size.
  • Use a password supervisor. A superb password supervisor can generate and retailer robust, distinctive passwords for all of your on-line accounts with out straining your reminiscence.




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