A recent poll by Ducara on LinkedIn delved into the intriguing realm of cryptographic attacks, raising a pertinent question: “Which cryptographic attack tries to recover plaintext from given ciphertext, using a large precomputed table of ciphertext-plaintext pairs?” This article aims to demystify this query and shed light on various cryptographic attacks that organizations need to be aware of.

Cryptographic Attacks Unveiled:

  1. Brute Force Attack: Among the most straightforward yet resource-intensive methods, a brute force attack systematically tries all possible combinations until the correct one is found. This method doesn’t rely on precomputed data and can be time-consuming for complex encryption algorithms.
  2. Dictionary Attack: Similar to brute force, a dictionary attack uses a predefined list of likely passwords or phrases. It’s effective against weak or commonly used passwords, highlighting the importance of robust password policies.
  3. Rainbow Table Attack: This attack uses a precomputed table of ciphertext-plaintext pairs to quickly find matches and decrypt encrypted data. Rainbow tables significantly speed up the decryption process and are particularly effective against unsalted hashes.
  4. Birthday Attack: A birthday attack exploits the probability of two different inputs producing the same hash value. It’s a type of collision attack and can have implications for hash functions’ security.

Defending Against Cryptographic Attacks:

  1. Strong Encryption Algorithms: Employ robust encryption algorithms with long key lengths to make brute force attacks computationally infeasible.
  2. Salting: Use salted hashes to thwart rainbow table attacks. Salting involves adding unique random data to each hashed password, preventing attackers from using precomputed tables.
  3. Password Policies and Education: Enforce strong password policies and educate users about the risks of weak passwords and dictionary attacks.
  4. Hash Function Selection: Choose hash functions with collision resistance to mitigate birthday attacks.
  5. Regular Updates and Patching: Keep software and systems updated to address vulnerabilities that attackers might exploit.


The poll conducted by Ducara underscores the importance of understanding cryptographic attacks in today’s digital landscape. By comprehending the nuances of attacks like brute force, dictionary, rainbow table, and birthday attacks, organizations can better fortify their cybersecurity measures. Employing a combination of strong encryption, proper hash function selection, and user education will help create a robust defense against these threats. As cyber attackers continue to evolve, organizations that stay informed and proactive will be better equipped to safeguard their sensitive information.

Remember, the best defense is knowledge, vigilance, and a commitment to continuously improving cybersecurity practices.