A brute force attack is the simplest method to gain access to a website, server, or anything password protected. This is a method where hackers make repetitive successive attempts of trying various password combinations to try and break into a website. It is a trial and error hacking approach.
According to Techopedia, the reason behind the term brute force attack is the amount of effort and resources that go into this method. It takes time, force, and tools to properly launch a brute force attack.
Trying to hack into a friend’s Facebook account by guessing his password, for example, can be considered a brute force attack.
1. Lengthen Your Password
There’s a reason why most websites require you to come up with a password that is at least 8 characters long. Compared to a password that is just 5 or 6 characters long, the number of possible combinations with an 8-character long password is naturally greater.
This makes the process of brute force attacks harder and more time consuming, making it more difficult for hackers to become successful in their attempt to break into your website.
The longer the password, the better.
2. Increase Password Complexity
Having a lengthy password, however, isn’t an end-all solution. A password might be long, but if it is as simple as ‘password1234,’ then it is more likely for hackers to be able to break into a website. Of course, this is a terrible example, but the fact is that there are still people out there who use passwords as predictable and lazy as that.
To create a more complex password, be sure to make use of both lower and upper case letters, numbers and special characters. This delays the hacking process and makes it more difficult because the characters you use are not typical and obvious.
3. Limit Login Attempts
This is one of the most effective ways to prevent brute force attacks from happening to your website. It prohibits hackers from being able to make an infinite amount of attempts, disabling them from even having the chance to hack into your website.
After a certain amount of failed login attempts, your website should block the IP address that made those attempts. This puts hackers in cuffs because although they might have the tools to break into your website, they will no longer have the opportunity to use those tools.
4. Limit Access
Even more effective is giving website access to only those who you trust or work with. By not allowing hackers to make a single attempt at logging into your website, it cuts them off at the start.
This can be done by modifying the .htacess file in your WordPress site. The purpose is to allow only certain IP addresses to have access to wp-admin, meaning only those you choose to allow to log in to the website can do so.
5. Make Use of Captcha
We have all experienced Captcha while trying to access a website. It might be a little troublesome for those who are trying to log in or gain access, but that’s exactly what website owners installed it for.
The reason that we have to prove through Captcha that we really are human and not robots is that the purpose of Captcha is to prevent bots from executing automated scripts mainly used in brute force attacks.
6. Two Factor Authentication
Two Factor Authentication provides an additional layer of defence behind passwords. These are the personal questions that come up after entering the correct username and password like, ‘What was the name of your first pet?’
This is a great weapon to arm your website with to fight against brute force attacks because although hackers might have the tools to crack your password, it is almost impossible for them to correctly guess something that is personal to you.