Step 3: What good are your findings?

Weak passwords can be a huge security vulnerability. You can mitigate this risk by attempting to find your weaknesses before a malicious hacker does. Contributor Kevin Beaver provides a step-by-step guide on how to crack your own network passwords.

You can use your test results in a couple of different ways. For starters, they'll serve as a litmus test to determine whether or not you have password security risks. Odds are you do somehow somewhere. They'll also provide hard evidence to upper management that something needs to be done about the problem. This may include formal security awareness, new authentication technologies, or "tweaking" of existing policies -- especially on the enforcement side. All in all, password cracking tests are an excellent way to not only root out weaknesses on your Windows network but also to see if people and processes are adhering to policies. Perform these tests on your network now and ongoing in the future and I guarantee you'll be amazed at what you uncover.

Cracking network passwords

 Home: Introduction
 Step 1: Ethical hacking methodology
 Step 2: Tools you should use
 Step 3: What good are your findings?

Kevin Beaver is an independent information security consultant, author and speaker with Atlanta-based Principle Logic LLC. He has more than 17 years of experience in IT and specializes in performing information security assessments. Beaver has written five books, including Hacking For Dummies (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.), the brand new Hacking Wireless Networks For Dummies and The Practical Guide to HIPAA Privacy and Security Compliance (Auerbach Publications). He can be reached at [email protected].
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