A Brute Force attack is one of the hacker’s methods to find passwords. Usually, this work is done by special software. In this attack, the hackers do not take any steps to decrypt the password. Rather, using software, it tries to guess the password and check all possible situations to find the correct password. After reading this comprehensive article, you will learn how to Protect Against Brute Force Attacks on Dedicated Server.
What is a Brute Force attack?
Brute Force attack is a trial-and-error method to decode important and sensitive data. The most common applications of brute force attacks include cracking passwords and encryption keys.
This type of attack requires two factors, a lot of time and high processing power, which have reduced the efficiency of hackers to some extent. The decoding process is a complex computational operation. To do it, a high-power of a computer software system is needing. Since computers with better hardware and thus higher processing speed have been launched, finally these operations and attacks have become faster and more effective.
How does Brute Force work?
You might imagine that the brute force attack creates a lot of load on the CPU. But it is not bad to know that the most effective hardware for brute force attacks is the graphics card (GPU).
In this type of attack, all possible modes of the password are checked as a combination of characters, including different permutations of numbers, lowercase and uppercase letters, and special characters. This check usually starts with one character, and after checking all cases of one character, check all cases of two characters, three characters, etc., and this process will continue until the relevant password is discovered. Theoretically, this method will eventually reach the answer, for example, if the corresponding 6-digit password is 123456, it can be easily guessed by this method in a relatively short time.
But imagine that the corresponding password is very long and complicated; In this case, this process will take a long time. According to the complexity of the password and algorithms used, it may take a few hours, a few days, a few months, or even several years.
Protection against Brute Force attacks on a Dedicated Server
In the rest of this article, we will explain 6 ways to prevent brute force attacks on a dedicated server. To get started, you can buy a cheap dedicated server from NeuronVM and run the steps mentioned in this post on it.
1. Microsoft Windows Firewall
Microsoft Windows Firewall is a powerful security tool that can help protect your dedicated server from malware. Activating a firewall, prevents unauthorized access to the server and the installation of spyware and protects data from theft.
2. CSF Firewall
Config Server Firewall, also known as CSF, is a firewall configuration script that is installing on servers to maintain security. CSF provides an advanced user interface for complete firewall management in cPanel, DirectAdmin, Webmin, etc. Also, among the features of CSF, we can mention preventing public access to services and allowing connection only through FTP and LFD systems. If you want to increase the security of your server, you need to enable CSF.
3. Use Strong Passwords
One of the basic steps to prevent brute force attacks is choosing a strong password. A strong password is one that is difficult for others to guess and that you can easily remember. One thing you should pay attention to is that your password should be long. A strong password should have at least 20 characters. If your password is 8 characters or less, it will crack in 58 seconds.
A strong password should contain symbols, numbers, lowercase, and uppercase letters. Including symbols and numbers makes your password more difficult to guess because you create more possible combinations using these symbols.
4. Strengthen Your Login Process
Another effective way to deal with brute force attacks is to strengthen the login processes. For this purpose, you can use two-step authentication. Another way is to ask users for a confirmation code when they log in. Another way to protect the login page is to restrict the login page to certain IPs. It means that only the IPs you specify can access this page.
5. Monitor User Activity
User activity should always be monitored to identify suspicious behavior. If the system administrator notices an increase in the number of logins or login attempts from unknown users, he can take action to protect his system.
6. Use Captcha
Normally, a login form contains two fields: username and password. By adding a captcha box with a specific phrase written inside it, the user must enter it in the lower box, which is called the security phrase. You can also use the security question instead of the security phrase, which the user must answer in the box below.
Until the phrase or security question is answering, even if the username or password is correct, it is not possible to log in, which is an important security barrier against brute force attacks. Considering that Brute Force attacks are carried out by robots and software, therefore, by creating a captcha code, the robot or software does not have the necessary intelligence to respond to the captcha code; Because human questions are raised.
In this article, you learned How to Protect Against Brute Force Attacks on Dedicated Server. What distinguishes Brute Force attacks from other cracking methods is that it does not use any intellectual strategy, but try to combine different characters to achieve the correct combination. Just like a thief trying different combinations of numbers to open a safe.