A password cracker is a computer software program used to recover user names and passwords stored on computers. As more computing functions have a need for enhanced security, passwords have become more standard. As a result, password crackers have also gained in popularity.
For those in need of a password cracker, there are plenty of options from which to choose. Some may work when the computer boots up. This may be helpful if one needs to recover a login password. Others work once the computer is running to recover other types of passwords.
The type of password cracker you may need is dependent upon a number of other variables as well. First, if a user is able to get on the computer in question, it is likely he or she does not need a password cracker that works at startup. Second, some password crackers work with certain operating systems, so looking at the software requirements before installing a password cracker is important.
The most common legitimate use for a password cracker is when there is a forgotten password. With more applications, both on and off the Internet, requiring passwords, this can be a common problem. When a user must keep track of many passwords, there is a greater likelihood of forgetting one or more.
Though most people try to use the same passwords over multiple applications, there are cases where that is not possible. Some passwords require certain features or characters to ensure greater security. Those may not be in a user's normal password so a different, but perhaps similar, password is required. Other systems may require users to change their passwords periodically. These situations are what make password crackers so convenient.
However, some have been critical of password crackers and security experts need to be aware of them for a number of reasons. Though a computer user could use a password cracker for legitimate purposes, a user can also use one for nefarious purposes. Computer hackers know the benefits of a good password cracker and can uncover valuable information with its use.
This is why system administrators have to be constantly vigilant in matters of security. Some techniques, like the requirement of changing passwords frequently, are specifically designed to help mitigate the harmful uses of password crackers. There are other software applications specifically designed to block password crackers. However, with new password crackers coming onto the market all the time, it may be hard for some security applications to keep up.