What Is Credential Dumping? Protect Yourself With These 4 Tips

MakeUseOf | 7/31/2019 | Georgina Torbet
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It’s bad enough when hackers get their hands on one of your accounts or logins. But sometimes they can use one stolen password to steal many of your other passwords as well. If your computer is on a network, they may be able to steal other users’ passwords too.

This is achieved using a technique called credential dumping. We’ll explain how it works and how to protect yourself from it.

Dumping

What Is Credential Dumping?

Recently security researchers have been talking about the dangers of credential dumping. This is a technique used by hackers to access multiple accounts from one person.

Hackers - Access - Victim - Computer - Computer

It begins when hackers get access to a victim’s computer. From this one computer, they are able to extract usernames and passwords for multiple accounts. These could include logins for bank accounts, email accounts, and login information for other machines or networks.

This can make it easier for hackers to steal someone’s identity and take over all of their accounts. They can also use this technique to grab login details for other users on the network, spreading a vulnerability from a single machine to an entire system.

Are - Risk - Credential - Dumping

How Are You at Risk of Credential Dumping?

It is possible for hackers to access many passwords when they access a computer due to the way operating systems handle passwords. Your operating system doesn’t want to annoy you by asking for passwords all the time, so once you have entered a password it is stored in the computer’s memory for later use.

Hacker - Access - File - Security - Account

If the hacker is able to access a file called the Security Account Manager, they can see a list of the passwords stored on that computer. The passwords are hashed, meaning each character is transformed into something else to hide it. This is the same process used for passwords on secure websites. But if the hashing is not strong...
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