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A rainbow table attack is a type of hacking wherein the perpetrator tries to use a rainbow hash table to crack the passwords stored in a database system. A rainbow table is a hash function used in cryptography for storing important data such as passwords in a database. Sensitive data are hashed twice (or more times) with the same or with different keys in order to avoid rainbow table attacks.
A password database usually generates a key for a rainbow table and encrypts a password before storing it. When a user enters a password for the nth time, the password is again encrypted with the same key string and then matched with the stored value. A rainbow table is a precomputed lookup table used in cryptography for storing password hashes. It is used for recovering a password based on its hash value.