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How Efficiency of Password Attack Based on a Keyboard

Authors: Hsien-cheng Chou, Fei-pei Lai, Hung-chang Lee


At present, dictionary attack has been the basic tool for recovering key passwords. In order to avoid dictionary attack, users purposely choose another character strings as passwords. According to statistics, about 14% of users choose keys on a keyboard (Kkey, for short) as passwords. This paper develops a framework system to attack the password chosen from Kkeys and analyzes its efficiency. Within this system, we build up keyboard rules using the adjacent and parallel relationship among Kkeys and then use these Kkey rules to generate password databases by depth-first search method. According to the experiment results, we find the key space of databases derived from these Kkey rules that could be far smaller than the password databases generated within brute-force attack, thus effectively narrowing down the scope of attack research. Taking one general Kkey rule, the combinations in all printable characters (94 types) with Kkey adjacent and parallel relationship, as an example, the derived key space is about 240 smaller than those in brute-force attack. In addition, we demonstrate the method's practicality and value by successfully cracking the access password to UNIX and PC using the password databases created

Keywords: Dictionary attack, Brute-force attack, depth-firstsearch, password attack

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

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