Rainbow Table

KZero Staff
Oct 17, 2023

A rainbow table is a computational tool used by hackers to crack passwords using brute force. To understand how it works, first consider the process of hashing passwords. Hashing is a one-way function that converts plaintext passwords into fixed-length strings of characters, rendering the original password irretrievable from the hash. Hackers exploit the predictable nature of the hashing process and the reuse of weak passwords across different systems.

It’s like a library of pre-computed tables that map possible plaintext passwords to their corresponding hash values. The rainbow table can efficiently handle the tedious and unfruitful task of encrypting countless possible passwords. This provides a shortcut for hackers to match encrypted hashes back to their original passwords. Rather than engaging in the time-consuming and resource-intensive task of trying each possible password individually, they can rapidly scan the table for a hash match.

This method underscores the importance of using strong and unique passwords. By adding more complexity to passwords, the effectiveness of rainbow table attacks is reduced.

KZero Staff

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