dictionary attack(n.) (1) A method used to break security systems, specifically password-based security systems, in which the attacker systematically tests all possible passwords beginning with words that have a higher possibility of being used, such as names and places. The word "dictionary" refers to the attacker exhausting all of the words in a dictionary in an attempt to discover the password. Dictionary attacks are typically done with software instead of an individual manually trying each password.
(2) An e-mail spamming technique in which the spammer sends out thousands or millions of e-mails with randomly generated addresses using combinations of letters added to known domain names in the hopes of reaching a percentage of actual e-mail addresses. For example, a dictionary attack list might begin with email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and so on until all possible combinations of letters and numbers has been exhausted.
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free weekly newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
From wacky alarm clocks to lecture hall tools and after class entertainment, these Android apps are a good fit for a student's life and budget. Read More »Sharing Threat Intelligence
A growing number of startups make the sharing of threat intelligence a key part of their solutions. Read More »Smiley Faces and Symbols
A text smiley face is used to convey a facial expression or emotion in texting and online chat conversations. This Webopedia guide shows you how... Read More »
The Open System Interconnection (OSI) model defines a networking framework to implement protocols in seven layers. Use this handy guide to compare... Read More »Network Fundamentals Study Guide
Networking fundamentals teaches the building blocks of modern network design. Learn different types of networks, concepts, architecture and... Read More »Computer Architecture Study Guide
This Webopedia study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »