I'm trying to learn a bit more about the different types of attacks but as far as I understand it, a rainbow table is a large collection of prehashed data which is then compared to hashed data gathered from a target. A dictionary seems very similar but I'm struggling to find anything that can specify the differences between the two, if there are any.

1 Answer 1


In a rainbow table attack, the tables contain already pre-computed hashes of commonly used passwords. You compare the hash directly to the hash in rainbow table so it's faster than using a dictionary where you compute a hash of the word and then compare it to the password hash. If a salt is used in the hash, a dictionary attack would be better than computing a rainbow table before cracking.

I must add that what I wrote is for Hash tables and Rainbow tables are more complex than Hash tables, but the general idea is the same.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .