Protecting Rails From Attacks

Protecting Rails From Attacks

The first time I heard the term “rainbow table”, I admit I did a double take. What on Earth is a rainbow table? It sounds like something… Protecting Rails From Attacks ... A rainbow table attack, come to find out, is one of many ways hackers try to access sensitive personal ...

The first time I heard the term “_rainbow table_”, I admit I did a double take. What on Earth is a rainbow table? It sounds like something that belongs on a playground. A rainbow table attack, come to find out, is one of many ways hackers try to access sensitive personal information from you when you store your password on a site.

While there are many ways hackers can try to access your password to get your information, below are a few common techniques:

Brute force attacks

“Brute force attacks involves repeated login attempts using every possible letter, number, and character combination to guess a password.” (Tech Republic)

This would probably be most similar to someone who got a glimpse of you typing your password into your computer or browser, then trying every combination to unlock and access this information.

Dictionary attacks

Dictionary attacks involves using a variety of common passwords. (Check out a comprehensive list of the most common passwords in 2020 here). I’d liken this to someone trying to unlock a computer by guessing “password” with a variety of numbers after — password1, password2 , Password3— or your birthday.

Rainbow table attacks

Essentially, when a user creates an account or logs in, their information is saved as a hash, because of course, no sane company should be saving your password as plaintext. The password is then protected in such a way that it is individual to each User and unrecognizable to the original password, and saved to a database.

In a rainbow table attack,

“The danger emerges when a hacker discovers the rainbow table used to encrypt the passwords stored in a database. All the attacker needs to do is use the rainbow table to crack all the passwords in storage.” (Tech Slang)

SQL Injection

SQL is both a database and a language engineers can use to store information. In the 2011 Sony attack, hackers used SQL injection to get users’ personal information: passwords, email addresses, home addresses and birthdays. It was also used in the 2016 Presidential Election, which compromised 200,000 voters in Illinois. Whereas rainbow table attacks target the hashing algorithm that encrypts our passwords, a SQL Injection attacks the database itself. How does it do this? CloudSecureTech frames this perfectly.

Image for post

Credit: CloudSecureTech

Here, the hacker is trying to access what’s between the parentheses. In this case, what the hacker is trying to access are the emails through “email = #{payload}”).”

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