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What is a Rainbow Table?

 , updated on August 07, 2023
A rainbow table is a precomputed table for reversing hash functions, usually for passwords that are stored hashed.

Threat

It is common for databases of passwords to be leaked in an attack. As passwords are commonly stored as hash values, these passwords can't typically be used to gain access to a system. Rainbow tables are one method of attempting to convert such data into usable passwords. Rainbow tables are typically computed for commonly used hashing algorithms and contain the hashes of commonly used passwords. As the rainbow table is precomputed, matching is a fast processes that can occur before anyone realizes the password data has leaked.

Defense

Cryptographic salt renders rainbow tables useless as it pads each password with random data resulting in longer hash data that can't be predicted from common passwords.
Overview: Rainbow Table
Type
Definition
Precomputed tables of hashed data.
Related Concepts
Next: Hashcode
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