Table of Contents
One of the main objectives of hackers when they carry out some kind of attack is to steal users’ credentials and passwords. For this they can use very different methods and strategies. Some may require the installation of some type of malicious software, such as a keylogger. However, in this article we will explain what methods they use without the need for any malware to steal passwords .
Hackers use malware-free methods to steal keys
A common way to steal passwords is based on the installation of some Trojan or malware that collects the keystrokes. Basically what they do is record all the keys that the victim puts on their mobile device or computer and is automatically sent to a server controlled by the attackers.
It is a traditional method for these types of attacks. We can suffer a computer infection when downloading a program that contains malware, a false update, a malicious file that we have downloaded through an email that has reached us …
We can say that to avoid this we always have the option of the antivirus. Ultimately, its mission is to analyze all types of malicious software and eliminate it. It can even automatically block dangerous programs from downloading. However, cybercriminals also use methods to steal passwords without the need for malware, and this can be a greater danger.
Without a doubt, social engineering is a very important weapon for hackers today. Without the need to create sophisticated malware, they simply rely on trying to gain the victim’s trust through baits. They can make a user believe that he is putting the password on a legitimate site, when in fact he is handing over his password on a tray.
Here we can include Phishing as one of the most used techniques. It can arrive by SMS or email, which are the most common means. The victim receives a message indicating that they must take some action. For example, update your account details, log in to solve a problem, change your password …
The problem is that, as we can imagine, it is a false message, with the sole objective of stealing the access keys. The victim in this case accesses through a link and by entering the password they would be sending it directly to the attacker.
Another method of password stealing that hackers use without actually having to install any malicious software is through keys that have been leaked . Let’s take as an example that we are registered in a web page, a forum, and that site has suffered some attack and all the passwords of the users have been leaked.
An attacker could use that password to test on other platforms. This is what is known as a domino effect and it can happen when we have the same key in different places. Hence the importance of always creating passwords that are unique.
Guess the key
A third strategy with which they could steal our passwords and gain access illegitimately is through “guessing.” It basically consists of finding out what our password is . Now how do they do this? They can analyze the victim’s social media profiles to determine their date of birth, name or surname. Through that data they can test different typical combinations of common keys that users use. Therefore, we must always avoid adding bots to our accounts, as well as using passwords that can be easy to find out.
Ultimately, these are some methods that cybercriminals could use to steal passwords without the need to install any malware. We leave you some tips to create strong passwords.