< Cryptography

See also: Security | Cracker | Hard Disk Encryption

Attacks used against encryption. Part of the science of Cryptography. Like any security system, it is important to know what tools a thief has in order to make a stronger lock.

  • Brute Force Trying all possible keys; a systematic search to find the decryption key. This can take a prohibitively long time.
  • Dictionary Attack – Trying all the words in the dictionary to guess a password. This is an effective attack as most people use simple words their password. Often, even if a dictionary attack doesn’t work on one user, if an attacker has access to many 100+ users, he can likely get access to at least one using this technique.
  • Math Attack – Trying to solve the math problem itself something historically, done during War time but no longer feasible due to advances in encryption complexity. Except, however, given a theoretical leap in computing power such as with Quantum Computing or an advance in the ability to factor several multiplied prime numbers. A major eventual weakness in mathematical (whether public-key or symmetric) cryptography that could someday be solved perhaps years or hundreds of years from now.
  • Key-Logging Attack – any item or software that captures user-input such as typed-in passwords, e-mail messages, or otherwise. This often makes cryptography useless by either gaining the encrypted document as it is typed or the password used to encrypt it.
  • Rubber Hose Attack – referring to the human vulnerability via social, litigation, or physical, stress, that people will reveal the method to access hidden information.
  • Traffic Analysis Attack – in the absence of a way to decipher a given method of encryption, a method to see what type of information is being transferred therefore infer what is being communicated (chat, e-mail, data).
  • Undelete Attack – finding deleted but still-present files on a computer.

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