A successful website is always vulnerable to hacks. These occur in varying forms among which the brute force hack is the most common and the most damaging. Security weaknesses and loopholes are bound to be present in a website. It is impossible for a web developer to create a 100% secure website. Even though a developer guarantees a full security of a website initially, brute force hack is something a developer cannot prepare a website from.
Brute force hacks mostly target the login pages of the website that they intend to hack. This form of hack uses the format of permutation-combination to gain passage to a website’s admin panel. Once the security code is cracked, the hacker can make any kind of changes he wishes to, in the website.
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Brute force hacks are, however, mostly automated and are carried on from different PCs or directly from servers. The number of systems or a powerful server forms an essential factor affecting the severity of the hack.These hacks generally use different IP addresses and hence blocking all of them becomes tough.
There are, however, some simple ways which you can use to protect your website from brute force hack.
Many developers program their website security in such a way, that the site admin panel gets locked after multiple attempts to open with incorrect password. The duration of the website remaining locked vary according to the duration set by the administrator. Some websites require manual unlocking for developers to continue further work. Some sites, on the other hand, can clock the lock for a definite period like an hour or a day etc.
For websites that have a high visitor traffic, account lock application can be annoying, as the administrator will have to keep unlocking accounts frequently. Account lock is a moderately effective measure to control brute force hack. It works best when used as a security measure in controlled environments. Still it does not provide total security for your website.
There are also few drawbacks of this security measure that can cause mayhem for the administrator. An attacker can lock down a number of accounts or keep locking the same account multiple times. Account lock is also a failure in case a hacker is able to open an account within the first few attempts.
Time plays a vital role in brute force attack. The longer a hacker gets time with a website admin panel access, the higher the chances to hack it. Hence, frequent pauses in a website admin while checking on with the password help in bringing down the chances of hacking through brute force. These few seconds of pause is great in slowing down the hacking process.
This process however requires that the administrator use the HTTP module for the pause to take place.
Using predictable behaviour
The predictable behaviour is a rarely used but effective procedure to protect your website from brute force hack. When someone tries to login the admin panel with an invalid user id and password, it normally redirects the user to an HTTP 401 error page. Some websites however, instead of displaying a failed attempt, redirects the user to HTTP 200 SUCCESS page. This page is nothing but a hoax page that explains the user the reason for the login attempt to fail. This is great to bypass automated systems. If constant changes in the password attempt leads the user to different pages, it would confuse the user ultimately leaving your site’s admin panel. Using different and varying error messages each time a user tries to log into a page can be effective in reducing the attempt to hack through brute force.
If your website has been targeted by hackers, you would surely try every means possible to protect your site. Using a combination of multiple security techniques, you can delay your hacker by hacking with brute force. It requires heavy and significant effort on the part of hackers to break out the different securities to enter our site. The longer an attacker takes to break in, the higer are your chances to identify the hack and the hacker.
Not only is brute force hack simple to carry out, the detection of the hacks too is quite easy. As brute force requires the hacker to input multiple combinations of user name and password, each failed attempt to login send you a 401 error message indicating that something or somone has been trying to break your site.
Brute force hack is something that users cannot completely protect from. However, proper protection on the part of the administrator can contribute in lowering down the chances of hack. Using a strong, unpredictable passwords and regularly changing passwords are some measures that can help in reducing the risk of hack.