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This free CompTIA Security+ practice exam covers basic knowledge in the field of Information Systems Security. To pass the CompTIA Security+ exam, a candidate will need knowledge in Network Security, Compliance and operational security, threats and vulnerabilities, access control and identity management, cryptography, and application, data, and host security. This free practice test will test your knowledge and readiness for the CompTIA Security+ Examination.
USB mass storage devices are commonly used in Data Loss Prevention (DLP) as a backup medium.
Sara, a security manager, has decided to force expiration of all company passwords by the close of business day. Which of the following BEST supports this reasoning?
Forcing all users to renew their login credentials is commonly done if there was a recent breach in security.
The IT department has setup a website with a series of questions to allow end users to reset their own accounts. Which of the following account management practices does this help?
Self-service password reset (SSPR) is defined as any process or technology that allows users who have either forgotten their password or triggered an intruder lockout to authenticate with an alternate factor, and repair their own problem, without calling the help desk. It is a common feature in identity management software and often bundled in the same software package as a password synchronization capability. Typically users who have forgotten their password launch a self-service application from an extension to their workstation login prompt, using their own or another user's web browser, or through a telephone call. Users establish their identity, without using their forgotten or disabled password, by answering a series of personal questions, using a hardware authentication token, responding to a notification e-mail or, less often, by providing a biometric sample such as voice recognition. Users can then either specify a new, unlocked password, or ask that a randomly generated one be provided. Self-service password reset expedites problem resolution for users "after the fact", and thus reduces help desk call volume. It can also be used to ensure that password problems are only resolved after adequate user authentication, eliminating an important weakness of many help desks: social engineering attacks, where an intruder calls the help desk, pretends to be the intended victim user, claims to have forgotten the account password, and asks for a new password.Self-service_password_reset - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
An administrator is receiving an error in browser stating a website's certificate is invalid. Which of the following is the browser referring to?
Browser load web certificates when a web server uses the HTTPS protocol. The certificate given to the browser will always be the public certificate, which will contain the public key. The private key is kept by the administrator who created the certificate and should never be shared.
Public-key cryptography, or asymmetric cryptography, is a cryptographic system that uses pairs of keys. Each pair consists of a public key (which may be known to others) and a private key (which may not be known by anyone except the owner). The generation of such key pairs depends on cryptographic algorithms which are based on mathematical problems termed one-way functions. Effective security requires keeping the private key private; the public key can be openly distributed without compromising security.In such a system, any person can encrypt a message using the intended receiver's public key, but that encrypted message can only be decrypted with the receiver's private key. This allows, for instance, a server program to generate a cryptographic key intended for a suitable symmetric-key cryptography, then to use a client's openly-shared public key to encrypt that newly generated symmetric key. The server can then send this encrypted symmetric key over an insecure channel to the client; only the client can decrypt it using the client's private key (which pairs with the public key used by the server to encrypt the message). With the client and server both having the same symmetric key, they can safely use symmetric key encryption (likely much faster) to communicate over otherwise-insecure channels. This scheme has the advantage of not having to manually pre-share symmetric keys (a fundamentally difficult problem) while gaining the higher data throughput advantage of symmetric-key cryptography. With public-key cryptography, robust authentication is also possible. A sender can combine a message with a privatePublic-key cryptography - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A network administrator has recently updated their network devices to ensure redundancy is in place so that:
Redundancy is used to ensure if one device fails, a backup can take its place. Without redundancy, single points of failure can cause system wide outages.
A single point of failure (SPOF) is a part of a system that, if it fails, will stop the entire system from working. SPOFs are undesirable in any system with a goal of high availability or reliability, be it a business practice, software application, or other industrial system.Single point of failure - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The combination of User ID and password allows an application or system to authenticate the user.
Authentication (from Greek: αὐθεντικός authentikos, "real, genuine", from αὐθέντης authentes, "author") is the act of proving an assertion, such as the identity of a computer system user. In contrast with identification, the act of indicating a person or thing's identity, authentication is the process of verifying that identity. It might involve validating personal identity documents, verifying the authenticity of a website with a digital certificate, determining the age of an artifact by carbon dating, or ensuring that a product or document is not counterfeit.Authentication - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Which of the following application security testing techniques is implemented when an automated system generates random input data?
Fuzzing, or Fuzz testing is a software testing technique where random input is generate and given to an application so the results can be studied. It is done to test security, and reliablity of an application.
Fuzzing or fuzz testing is an automated software testing technique that involves providing invalid, unexpected, or random data as inputs to a computer program The program is then monitored for exceptions such as crashes, failing built-in code assertions, or potential memory leaks Typically, fuzzers are used to test programs that take structured inputs This structure is specified, eg, in a file format or protocol and distinguishes valid from invalid input An effective fuzzer generates semi-valid inputs that are "valid enough" in that they are not directly rejected by the parser, but do create unexpected behaviors deeper in the program and are "invalid enough" to expose corner cases that have not been properly dealt withFuzz testing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rachael, the security administrator, must configure the corporate firewall to allow all public IP addresses on the internal interface of the firewall to be translated to one public IP address on the external interface of the same firewall. Which of the following should Rachael configure?
Network Address Translation allows a network device (typically a router) to translate IP Addresses. It it most commonly used to hide internal private addresses and instead translates them to a public address. The translation can be one external IP for many internal IPs or a one to one configuration.
Network address translation (NAT) is a method of mapping an IP address space into another by modifying network address information in the IP header of packets while they are in transit across a traffic routing device. The technique was originally used to avoid the need to assign a new address to every host when a network was moved, or when the upstream Internet service provider was replaced, but could not route the network's address space. It has become a popular and essential tool in conserving global address space in the face of IPv4 address exhaustion. One Internet-routable IP address of a NAT gateway can be used for an entire private network.As network address translation modifies the IP address information in packets, NAT implementations may vary in their specific behavior in various addressing cases and their effect on network traffic. The specifics of NAT behavior are not commonly documented by vendors of equipment containing NAT implementations.Network_address_translation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Shoulder surfing is when an attacker watches a user enter a password or pin number. As a key punch door only requires a pin number which means anyone with the pin number has access and is susceptible to shoulder surfing. By replacing the key punch with a proximity reader shoulder surfing is not an issue as the proximity reader will require the attacker to also have a physical token to gain access. Tailgating is when an attacker enters an open door before it closes (after an authorized user opens). This can only be mitigated by user training and man traps.
In computer security, shoulder surfing is a type of social engineering technique used to obtain information such as personal identification numbers (PINs), passwords and other confidential data by looking over the victim's shoulder. Unauthorized users watch the keystrokes inputted on a device or listen to sensitive information being spoken, which is also known as eavesdropping.Shoulder surfing (computer security) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
An administrator in the Network Security Department notices that an employee in the Networking Department made unauthorized changes to a firewall over the weekend. Which of the following would be used to mitigate this issue so that only security administrators can make changes to the firewall?
The key phrases here are networking department and network security department. Although firewalls are network devices, they would fall under network security department. Members of the networking department will need some access to the firewall, but changes should be made by the Network Security Department. Giving the network department only needed privileges would solve this.
In information security, computer science, and other fields, the principle of least privilege (PoLP), also known as the principle of minimal privilege or the principle of least authority, requires that in a particular abstraction layer of a computing environment, every module (such as a process, a user, or a program, depending on the subject) must be able to access only the information and resources that are necessary for its legitimate purpose.Principle of least privilege - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A company storing data on a secure server wants to ensure it is legally able to dismiss and prosecute staff who intentionally access the server via Telnet and illegally tamper with customer data. Which of the following administrative controls should be implemented to BEST achieve this?
Much like a no trespassing sign, warning banners can be used to warn intruders against unauthorized access.
Sara, an application developer, has just implemented error and exception handling in an application. Which of the following does this help prevent?
The use of error and exception handling will allow the application to properly handle errors, reducing the chance of buffer overflows from occurring.
In information security and programming, a buffer overflow, or buffer overrun, is an anomaly where a program, while writing data to a buffer, overruns the buffer's boundary and overwrites adjacent memory locations. Buffers are areas of memory set aside to hold data, often while moving it from one section of a program to another, or between programs. Buffer overflows can often be triggered by malformed inputs; if one assumes all inputs will be smaller than a certain size and the buffer is created to be that size, then an anomalous transaction that produces more data could cause it to write past the end of the buffer. If this overwrites adjacent data or executable code, this may result in erratic program behavior, including memory access errors, incorrect results, and crashes. Exploiting the behavior of a buffer overflow is a well-known security exploit. On many systems, the memory layout of a program, or the system as a whole, is well defined. By sending in data designed to cause a buffer overflow, it is possible to write into areas known to hold executable code and replace it with malicious code, or to selectively overwrite data pertaining to the program's state, therefore causing behavior that was not intended by the original programmer. Buffers are widespread in operating system (OS) code, so it is possible to make attacks that perform privilege escalation and gain unlimited access to the computer's resources. The famed Morris worm in 1988 used this as one of its attack techniques. Programming languages commonly associatedBuffer overflow - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Geneson, an administrator, needs to make sure the wireless network is not accessible from the parking area of their office. Which of the following would BEST help Geneson when deploying a new access point?
Antenna placement and signal strength would most affect the range of the wireless signal.
An IT director is looking to reduce the footprint of their company's server environment. They have decided to move several internally developed software applications to an alternate environment, supported by an external company. They will still maintain the software, operating systems and configurations, but will not manage the physical hardware. Which of the following BEST describes this arrangement?
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a model where a company outsources the equipment used to support operations to another company. In this case they will be using another company's infrastructure to operate their software applications.
Software as a service (SaaS ) is a software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted. SaaS is also known as "on-demand software" and Web-based/Web-hosted software.SaaS is considered to be part of cloud computing, along with infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), desktop as a service (DaaS), managed software as a service (MSaaS), mobile backend as a service (MBaaS), data center as a service (DCaaS), integration platform as a service (iPaaS), and information technology management as a service (ITMaaS).SaaS apps are typically accessed by users using a thin client, e.g. via a web browser. SaaS became a common delivery model for many business applications, including office software, messaging software, payroll processing software, DBMS software, management software, CAD software, development software, gamification, virtualization, accounting, collaboration, customer relationship management (CRM), management information systems (MIS), enterprise resource planning (ERP), invoicing, field service management, human resource management (HRM), talent acquisition, learning management systems, content management (CM), geographic information systems (GIS), and service desk management.SaaS has been incorporated into the strategy of nearly all enterprise software companies.Software as a service - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
When a NIC is placed in promiscuous mode, it will pass all data it receives onto the CPU. Normally, a NIC will ignore data not intended for it's IP or MAC Addresses.
In computer networking, promiscuous mode is a mode for a wired network interface controller (NIC) or wireless network interface controller (WNIC) that causes the controller to pass all traffic it receives to the central processing unit (CPU) rather than passing only the frames that the controller is specifically programmed to receive. This mode is normally used for packet sniffing that takes place on a router or on a computer connected to a wired network or one being part of a wireless LAN. Interfaces are placed into promiscuous mode by software bridges often used with hardware virtualization. In IEEE 802 networks such as Ethernet or IEEE 802.11, each frame includes a destination MAC address. In non-promiscuous mode, when a NIC receives a frame, it drops it unless the frame is addressed to that NIC's MAC address or is a broadcast or multicast addressed frame. In promiscuous mode, however, the NIC allows all frames through, thus allowing the computer to read frames intended for other machines or network devices. Many operating systems require superuser privileges to enable promiscuous mode. A non-routing node in promiscuous mode can generally only monitor traffic to and from other nodes within the same broadcast domain (for Ethernet and IEEE 802.11) or ring (for Token Ring). Computers attached to the same Ethernet hub satisfy this requirement, which is why network switches are used to combat malicious use of promiscuous mode. A router may monitor all traffic that it routes. Promiscuous mode is often used to diagnose networkPromiscuous_mode - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Which of the following network architecture concepts is used to securely isolate network devices at the boundary between networks?
Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) is an area between two networks, that is accessible from both networks. This is generally where public servers are located. VLANs and Subnets can provide a similar function within a network, but not between two separate networks.
In computer security, a DMZ or demilitarized zone (sometimes referred to as a perimeter network or screened subnet) is a physical or logical subnetwork that contains and exposes an organization's external-facing services to an untrusted, usually larger, network such as the Internet. The purpose of a DMZ is to add an additional layer of security to an organization's local area network (LAN): an external network node can access only what is exposed in the DMZ, while the rest of the organization's network is firewalled. The DMZ functions as a small, isolated network positioned between the Internet and the private network.This is not to be confused with a DMZ host, a feature present in some home routers which frequently differs greatly from an ordinary DMZ. The name is from the term demilitarized zone, an area between states in which military operations are not permitted.DMZ (computing) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
After a user performed a war driving attack, the network administrator noticed several similar markings where WiFi was available throughout the enterprise. Which of the following is the term used to describe these markings?
War chalking is the drawing of sybmols to advertise an open WiFi network.
Warchalking is the drawing of symbols in public places to advertise an open Wi-Fi network. Inspired by hobo symbols, the warchalking marks were conceived by a group of friends in June 2002 and publicised by Matt Jones who designed the set of icons and produced a downloadable document containing them. Within days of Jones publishing a blog entry about warchalking, articles appeared in dozens of publications and stories appeared on several major television news programs around the world.The word is formed by analogy to wardriving, the practice of driving around an area in a car to detect open Wi-Fi nodes. That term in turn is based on wardialing, the practice of dialing many phone numbers hoping to find a modem.Having found a Wi-Fi node, the warchalker draws a special symbol on a nearby object, such as a wall, the pavement, or a lamp post. Those offering Wi-Fi service might also draw such a symbol to advertise the availability of their Wi-Fi location, whether commercial or personal.Warchalking - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A software development company wants to implement a digital rights management solution to protect its intellectual property. Which of the following should the company implement to enforce software digital rights?
Public Key infrastructure (PKI) can be used to give mutual authentication and encryption, ensuring the companies software is only accessible to authorized users.
A public key infrastructure (PKI) is a set of roles, policies, hardware, software and procedures needed to create, manage, distribute, use, store and revoke digital certificates and manage public-key encryption. The purpose of a PKI is to facilitate the secure electronic transfer of information for a range of network activities such as e-commerce, internet banking and confidential email. It is required for activities where simple passwords are an inadequate authentication method and more rigorous proof is required to confirm the identity of the parties involved in the communication and to validate the information being transferred. In cryptography, a PKI is an arrangement that binds public keys with respective identities of entities (like people and organizations). The binding is established through a process of registration and issuance of certificates at and by a certificate authority (CA). Depending on the assurance level of the binding, this may be carried out by an automated process or under human supervision. When done over a network, this requires using a secure certificate enrollment or certificate management protocol such as CMP. The PKI role that may be delegated by a CA to assure valid and correct registration is called a registration authority (RA). Basically, an RA is responsible for accepting requests for digital certificates and authenticating the entity making the request. The Internet Engineering Task Force's RFC 3647 defines an RA as "An entity that is responsible for one or more of the following functions: the identification and authentication of certificate applicants, the approval or rejection of certificatePublic key infrastructure - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Trusted Platform Module (TPM) is a secure cryptoprocessor that can store cryptographic keys to protect information.
Trusted Platform Module (TPM, also known as ISO/IEC 11889) is an international standard for a secure cryptoprocessor, a dedicated microcontroller designed to secure hardware through integrated cryptographic keys. The term can also refer to a chip conforming to the standard. TPM is used for digital rights management (DRM), Windows Defender, Windows Domain logon, protection and enforcement of software licenses, and prevention of cheating in online games. One of Windows 11's system requirements is TPM 2.0. Microsoft has stated that this is to help increase security against firmware and ransomware attacks.Trusted Platform Module - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Secure Shell (SSH) is a cryptographic network protocol used to secure a data stream. It is commonly used as a secure replacement for the Telnet protocol.
Secure Shell (SSH) is a cryptographic network protocol for operating network services securely over an unsecured network Typical applications include remote command-line, login, and remote command execution, but any network service can be secured with SSH SSH provides a secure channel over an unsecured network by using a client–server architecture, connecting an SSH client application with an SSH server The protocol specification distinguishes between two major versions, referred to as SSH-1 and SSH-2 The standard TCP port for SSH is 22 SSH is generally used to access Unix-like operating systems, but it can also be used on Microsoft Windows Windows 10 uses OpenSSH as its default SSH client and SSH serverSSH - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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