A brute-force attack may refer to any of the following:
1. A password and cryptography attack that does not attempt to decrypt any information, but continue to try a list of different passwords, words, or letters. For example, a simple brute-force attack may have a dictionary of all words or commonly used passwords and cycle through those words until it gains access to the account. A more complex brute-force attack involves trying every key combination until the correct password is found. Due to the number of possible combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols, a brute force attack can take a long time to complete. The higher the type of encryption used (64-bit, 128-bit or 256-bit encryption), the longer it can take.
Although a brute-force attack may be able to gain access to an account eventually, these attacks can take several hours, days, months, and even years to run. The time to complete an attack depend on the password, the strength of the encryption, how well the attacker knows the target, and the strength of the computer(s) used to conduct the attack.
To help prevent dictionary brute-force attacks many systems only allow a user to make a mistake by entering their username or password three or four times. If the user exceeds these attempts, the system will either lock them out of the system or prevent any future attempts for a set amount of time.
2. Brute Force was a game originally developed and released for the PC in 2000 and later released for the Xbox gaming console in 2003 by Microsoft Game Studios. Brute Force was a third-person shooter and consisted of multiple characters, each with their own strengths and capabilities. The game was set in the year 2340, and the object was to find other characters who were loyal to the confederation. These other characters became part of the Brute Force team, which fought against aliens, outcasts, and mercenaries. From day one, the game was very popular, breaking several Xbox sales records, as well as beating out sales of the game Halo.