Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » D »

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 john@webopedia.com, john1@webopedia.com, john2@webopedia.com, and so on until all possible combinations of letters and numbers has been exhausted.

8 Agenda Apps to Help Students Stay Organized

Webopedia's student apps roundup will help you to better organize your class schedule and stay on top of assignments and homework. Read More »

List of Free Shorten URL Services

A URL shortener is a way to make a long Web address shorter. Try this list of free services. Read More »

Top 10 Tech Terms of 2015

The most popular Webopedia definitions of 2015. Read More »

Java Basics, Part 1

Java is a high-level programming language. This guide describes the basics of Java, providing an overview of syntax, variables, data types and... Read More »

Java Basics, Part 2

This second Study Guide describes the basics of Java, providing an overview of operators, modifiers and control Structures. Read More »

The 7 Layers of the OSI Model

The Open System Interconnection (OSI) model defines a networking framework to implement protocols in seven layers. Use this handy guide to compare... Read More »