CompTIA+ Security+ is a vendor neutral IT industry certification for security. It is an entry level certificate for the subject of IT security and is recommended to be the first security focused certificate an IT professional should learn. Security+ will establish core knowledge that would be required for any cyber-security role by covering essential skills in the areas of Threats, Attacks & Vulnerabilities, Technologies & Tools, Architecture & Design, Identity & Access Management, Risk Management & Cryptography and PKI.
You are observing an outage of your employers website. While investigating the cause of the outage you learn that there is a large-scale DDOS attack that has caused network outages for large percentages of the internet. The attack is targeting key infrastructure of major web service providers. According to news sources the attackers are sending huge numbers of requests to open DNS servers with spoofed IP addresses. The responses from the DNS servers are sent to the spoofed IP addresses which have resulted in network outages due to overwhelmed infrastructure. What type of attack is being conducted?
The attack described in the question is an Amplification attack using the DNS protocol. Amplification attacks are done by sending small requests to servers that will receive large responses. Add a spoofed IP to the mix and an attacker can send huge numbers of the requests (because they are small) which will result in large responses being sent to the victim. This is a type of DDOS attack. DNS and NTP are common protocols used to conduct an amplification attack.
You have joined a new enterprise as a member of the IT Security team. During on boarding you receive two computers, one with access to highly confidential systems and one with access to less critical data and the internet. You cannot send data or documents from one network to the other and have to manage separate credentials for each. What concept best defines this approach?
This setup is best known as an air gap. In network an air gap means two or more networks are physically separated from each other to ensure no data can traverse from one to the other. Generally if a network is so critical it requires an air gap it will be a completely stand alone network with no access to other networks and especially the internet. A true air gap is not common in most businesses, but some known examples are government or military networks, highly critical infrastructure networks like nuclear power plant controls and financial systems like stock exchanges.
An air gap, air wall, air gapping or disconnected network is a network security measure employed on one or more computers to ensure that a secure computer network is physically isolated from unsecured networks, such as the public Internet or an unsecured local area network. It means a computer or network has no network interface controllers connected to other networks, with a physical or conceptual air gap, analogous to the air gap used in plumbing to maintain water quality.Air_gap_(networking) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A string of text is converted to a numeric value that uniquely identifies the original text. With only the numeric value it is impossible to reproduce the original text value. Which term correctly identifies this numeric value?
A hash value, hashed value or just a hash is the result of a one-way cryptographic function. Hashes are used to verify the integrity of data (e.g. a file download) as well as to store sensitive data such like passwords.
A cryptographic hash function (CHF) is a mathematical algorithm that maps data of an arbitrary size (often called the "message") to a bit array of a fixed size (the "hash value", "hash", or "message digest"). It is a one-way function, that is, a function for which it is practically infeasible to invert or reverse the computation. Ideally, the only way to find a message that produces a given hash is to attempt a brute-force search of possible inputs to see if they produce a match, or use a rainbow table of matched hashes. Cryptographic hash functions are a basic tool of modern cryptography. A cryptographic hash function must be deterministic, meaning that the same message always results in the same hash. Ideally it should also have the following properties: it is quick to compute the hash value for any given message it is infeasible to generate a message that yields a given hash value (i.e. to reverse the process that generated the given hash value) it is infeasible to find two different messages with the same hash value a small change to a message should change the hash value so extensively that a new hash value appears uncorrelated with the old hash value (avalanche effect) Cryptographic hash functions have many information-security applications, notably in digital signatures, message authentication codes (MACs), and other forms of authentication. They can also be used as ordinary hash functions, to index data in hash tables, for fingerprinting, to detect duplicate data or uniquely identify files, and as checksums to detect accidentalCryptographic_hash_function - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
You work as a freelance security consultant. You are now working for a large government and have been contracted to create a stand-alone system that should attract malicious activity. The system should mimic an existing productive system but with fake non-sensitive data. The activity in this new system should be recorded so security analysts can review and identify patterns in the malicious activity. What best defines this type of system?
This type of system is called a honeypot or honeynet. A honeypot is a system created specifically to attract hackers and act as a decoy system. Most likely it will have some obvious vulnerability like a misconfigured proxy or firewall to attract attackers. You can think of it as the digital equivalent of a string operation. By creating an easy target you can avoid attacks on the productive network and also learn what types of vulnerabilities and attack types exist in the honeypot/net to better protect the productive network.
In computer terminology, a honeypot is a computer security mechanism set to detect, deflect, or, in some manner, counteract attempts at unauthorized use of information systems. Generally, a honeypot consists of data (for example, in a network site) that appears to be a legitimate part of the site and contains information or resources of value to attackers. It is actually isolated, monitored, and capable of blocking or analyzing the attackers. This is similar to police sting operations, colloquially known as "baiting" a suspect.Honeypot_(computing) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A full-scale test is exactly what it sounds like, a full test of disaster recovery. This type of test simulates a real-life disaster scenario as closely as possible and will require extensive resources and manpower.
Disaster recovery involves a set of policies, tools, and procedures to enable the recovery or continuation of vital technology infrastructure and systems following a natural or human-induced disaster. Disaster recovery focuses on the information technology (IT) or technology systems supporting critical business functions, as opposed to business continuity, which involves keeping all essential aspects of a business functioning despite significant disruptive events; it can therefore be considered a subset of business continuity. Disaster recovery assumes that the primary site is not recoverable for some time and represents a process of restoring data and services to a secondary survived site, which is opposite to the process of restoring back to its original place.Disaster_recovery - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Which of the following options is a functionality or tool that disallows access to a wireless network based on the layer 2 address of the client device?
Layer 2 addresses (also called physical address) are MAC addresses. Using MAC filtering you can disallow any devices that are not explicitly granted access. While this can help increase security, it is not fool proof and advanced attackers can easily spoof the MAC address to gain access. MAC filtering alone is not sufficient to protect a network.
In computer networking, MAC Filtering refers to a security access control method whereby the MAC address assigned to each network card is used to determine access to the network. MAC addresses are uniquely assigned to each card, so using MAC filtering on a network permits and denies network access to specific devices through the use of blacklists and whitelists. While the restriction of network access through the use of lists is straightforward, an individual person is not identified by a MAC address, rather a device only, so an authorized person will need to have a whitelist entry for each device that they would like to access the network. While giving a network some additional protection, MAC filtering can be circumvented by using a packet analyzer to find a valid MAC and then using MAC spoofing to access the network using that address. MAC address filtering can be considered as security through obscurity because the effectiveness is based on "the secrecy of the implementation or its components".MAC_filtering - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A lazy programmer at a startup was recently fired for sleeping at their cubicle. Angry about being fired and wanting revenge, the programmer accessed the admin panel the startups website using a method they previously programmed into the application before being fired. With access to the admin panel the former employee was able to delete user account from the database which caused a lot of issues for the company. Which of the following options best describes the methodology of the attack?
The programmer created a backdoor into the application to grant themselves access later on. The backdoor allowed them a way to bypass the applications usual authentication measures. A backdoor could also be setup by a malicious application, but in this case was the work of a lazy programmer than new he would be fired soon.
A backdoor is a typically covert method of bypassing normal authentication or encryption in a computer, product, embedded device (e.g. a home router), or its embodiment (e.g. part of a cryptosystem, algorithm, chipset, or even a "homunculus computer" —a tiny computer-within-a-computer such as that found in Intel's AMT technology). Backdoors are most often used for securing remote access to a computer, or obtaining access to plaintext in cryptographic systems. From there it may be used to gain access to privileged information like passwords, corrupt or delete data on hard drives, or transfer information within autoschediastic networks. A backdoor may take the form of a hidden part of a program, a separate program (e.g. Back Orifice may subvert the system through a rootkit), code in the firmware of the hardware, or parts of an operating system such as Windows. Trojan horses can be used to create vulnerabilities in a device. A Trojan horse may appear to be an entirely legitimate program, but when executed, it triggers an activity that may install a backdoor. Although some are secretly installed, other backdoors are deliberate and widely known. These kinds of backdoors have "legitimate" uses such as providing the manufacturer with a way to restore user passwords. Many systems that store information within the cloud fail to create accurate security measures. If many systems are connected within the cloud, hackers can gain access to all other platforms through the most vulnerable system.Default passwords (or other default credentials) can function as backdoors if they are not changedBackdoor_(computing) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) is used for obtaining the status of X.509 digital certs.
The Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) is an Internet protocol used for obtaining the revocation status of an X.509 digital certificate. It is described in RFC 6960 and is on the Internet standards track. It was created as an alternative to certificate revocation lists (CRL), specifically addressing certain problems associated with using CRLs in a public key infrastructure (PKI). Messages communicated via OCSP are encoded in ASN.1 and are usually communicated over HTTP. The "request/response" nature of these messages leads to OCSP servers being termed OCSP responders. Some web browsers use OCSP to validate HTTPS certificates. Most OCSP revocation statuses on the Internet disappear soon after certificate expiration.Online_Certificate_Status_Protocol - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
You work for a large national realty company in the networking department. Recently your department received a help desk call from a smaller satellite office stating their WiFi is no longer working. The trouble ticket was escalated to you because company policy does not allow wireless networks. After further investigation you learn that an employee in the office setup a simple wireless router themselves. Which option best defines this situation?
The installation of an unauthorized wireless router or access point is known as a Rogue Access Point or Rogue AP. A Rogue AP could be an attack or simply an employee breaking policy and setting up a wireless AP without permission. This is dangerous as the wireless device (without proper configuration) would allow outside devices onto the network and would be the equivalent of gaining physical access to the network.
A rogue access point is a wireless access point that has been installed on a secure network without explicit authorization from a local network administrator, whether added by a well-meaning employee or by a malicious attacker.Rogue_access_point - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
'deny tcp any server tcp 80' will deny all tcp traffic to any server on port 80.
In computer security, an access-control list (ACL) is a list of permissions associated with a system resource (object) An ACL specifies which users or system processes are granted access to objects, as well as what operations are allowed on given objects Each entry in a typical ACL specifies a subject and an operation For instance, if a file object has an ACL that contains (Alice: read,write Bob: read), this would give Alice permission to read and write the file and only give Bob permission to read itAccess_control_list - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A large chemical company will soon be legally required to offer phone support for customers to contact in the event of a chemical spill or other similar issue. The new law requires the company be available 24/7, 365 days a year or large fines will be levied against the company. You have been contracted to ensure a power outage does not prevent the help desk from being available to callers. You have been given the requirement that all electronic equipment (desktops, servers, network equipment, phones, etc.) must operate for up to 24 hours without interruption during a power outage. Which of the following options would best meet requirement?
A generator is the best option here because it can operate for as long as there is fuel and can power entire buildings at once. It is also the most expensive solution. An Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) will provide temporary power (a few minutes to a few hours) to electronic devices in the event of a power outage, so while helpful it is not enough to meet the 24 hour requirement.
What type of certificate can be used for a list of explicitly given domains, IP addresses or sub domains?
Subject Alternative Name Certificates are public certificates with a list of alternative domains, sub domains and/or IP addresses that can also use the certificate. For example CrucialExams.com, www.CrucialExams.com, api.CrucialExams.com and the IP 184.108.40.206 all in a single cert. Wildcards are a close alternative that supports any sub domain (e.g. *.google.com) but a wildcard could not also be used for gmail.com. To use a single certificate for a sub-domain and entirely different domain a SAN must be used.
Subject Alternative Name (SAN) is an extension to X.509 that allows various values to be associated with a security certificate using a subjectAltName field. These values are called Subject Alternative Names (SANs). Names include:Email addresses IP addresses URIs DNS names: this is usually also provided as the Common Name RDN within the Subject field of the main certificate. Directory names: alternative Distinguished Names to that given in the Subject. Other names, given as a General Name or Universal Principal Name: a registered object identifier followed by a value. RFC 2818 (May 2000) specifies Subject Alternative Names as the preferred method of adding DNS names to certificates, deprecating the previous method of putting DNS names in the commonName field. Google Chrome version 58 (March 2017) removed support for checking the commonName field at all, instead only looking at the SANs.Subject_Alternative_Name - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
You have ordered a penetration test on the companies website from a 3rd party IT Security consultant. Your web administration team has created a stand-alone test network to ensure the penetration tests do not cause issues on the live website. Other than the IP address of the web server you have not provided the penetration testers with any information. What type of test best describes this scenario?
This type of penetration test is known as a black box test. In this scenario the tests have little to no information on how the website works. For example they are not given the type of web server or access to the source code. Instead the 'attackers' will have to gather information and test different attack methods to see what works and what doesn't.
Black-box testing is a method of software testing that examines the functionality of an application without peering into its internal structures or workings. This method of test can be applied virtually to every level of software testing: unit, integration, system and acceptance. It is sometimes referred to as specification-based testing.Black-box_testing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
You are responsible for network security within your employer's network architecture team. Your team is implementing a new network that can allow unauthenticated WiFi users access to the internet without allowing them access to any internal systems. What type of WiFi network is this?
This type of WiFi network is called Guest WiFi. Guest WiFi's are intended for external users like subcontractors or 3rd party partners. It could also be permitted for employees personnel devices. In some cases the Guest WiFi may also allow restricted access to internal resources, but this needs to be properly secured to ensure access is limited as much as possible.
You are responsible for application security for a small startup. You are responsible for conducting regular penetration tests. Recently the startup has faced some budget issues and lacks the funds to create a stand alone system to be used for vulnerability scanning applications. Due to this constraint you must conduct vulnerability scans on the live system (the same one being used by customers). What type of scan should be used to ensure vulnerabilities are found but not executed?
As you are scanning the live/production system a non-intrusive scan is best. Non-intrusive means security issues will be identified but not exploited as to not negatively impact the system. The issue with this is some vulnerabilities cannot be found without trying an exploit (e.g. a SQL injection to delete data can't be tested without actually deleting data). Due to this the scenario described in the question is not ideal and it's possible vulnerabilities that exist will not be found.
A Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN) provides a logical or virtual way to separate areas of a network. This means devices can physically share the same network infrastructure (e.g. using a common switch) but remain separated from each other on the network.
A virtual LAN (VLAN) is any broadcast domain that is partitioned and isolated in a computer network at the data link layer (OSI layer 2). LAN is the abbreviation for local area network and in this context virtual refers to a physical object recreated and altered by additional logic. VLANs work by applying tags to network frames and handling these tags in networking systems – creating the appearance and functionality of network traffic that is physically on a single network but acts as if it is split between separate networks. In this way, VLANs can keep network applications separate despite being connected to the same physical network, and without requiring multiple sets of cabling and networking devices to be deployed. VLANs allow network administrators to group hosts together even if the hosts are not directly connected to the same network switch. Because VLAN membership can be configured through software, this can greatly simplify network design and deployment. Without VLANs, grouping hosts according to their resource needs the labor of relocating nodes or rewiring data links. VLANs allow devices that must be kept separate to share the cabling of a physical network and yet be prevented from directly interacting with one another. This managed sharing yields gains in simplicity, security, traffic management, and economy. For example, a VLAN can be used to separate traffic within a business based on individual users or groups of users or their roles (e.g. network administrators), or based on traffic characteristics (e.g. low-priority traffic prevented from impingingVirtual_LAN - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A new company policy requires hardware encryption for certain highly confidential systems. These existing systems do not already have a hardware component that can provide this functionality. What is the easiest way to implement this new policy?
For existing systems the best option to add additional hardware based encryption functionalities is using a Hardware Security Module (HSM). HSM's are usually stand alone devices that can be used by other systems or expansion cards that can be added. Trusted Platform Module could provide similar functionalities but are permanently embedded into a system, so to use a TPM the systems falling under this new policy would need to be replaced with new hardware that has a TPM.
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
Your employer has several thousand internal users all who need to access the internet on a daily basis to complete their work. What technology should be used to mask the internal IP addresses of these users and allow access to the internet through shared public IP addresses?
Network Address Translation (NAT) allows many devices to share an IP when accessing another network. Most commonly it is used to allow internal devices to share public IP addresses when accessing the internet. Benefits of NAT include minimizing the number of public IP addresses required (they cost money and for IPv4 there is a limited number available) as well as masking the origin of the request which provides security benefits. Generally NAT is used on a router or firewall.
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
You are a member of the security team in the IT Infrastructure department at a manufacturer. You have received a ticket from the network architecture team who have requested your approval of a proposed network change. The change is to replace a network device that allows internal servers to make requests to the internet without external systems being able to determine what internal server made the original request. What type of system is being changed?
When a user or system wants to make a request to another system without revealing it's identity a proxy can be used. Proxies act as intermediaries to transmit data between systems. The most common use case is to route web requests from internal users and devices through a reverse proxy so that external web servers cannot tell which internal user or device made the original request.
In computer networking, a proxy server is a server application that acts as an intermediary between a client requesting a resource and the server providing that resource.Instead of connecting directly to a server that can fulfill a request for a resource, such as a file or web page, the client directs the request to the proxy server, which evaluates the request and performs the required network transactions. This serves as a method to simplify or control the complexity of the request, or provide additional benefits such as load balancing, privacy, or security. Proxies were devised to add structure and encapsulation to distributed systems. A proxy server thus functions on behalf of the client when requesting service, potentially masking the true origin of the request to the resource server.Proxy_server - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
During routine security checks you discover that a wireless access point is setup on the outside of your employer's office building. The access point has the same SSID as the internal WiFi network but is unsecured to allow anyone access. What type of attack have you discovered?
This type of attack is known as an Evil Twin. The attacker sets up a wireless access point in the hopes of tricking users to use it instead of the valid one (for example by giving it the same or similar SSID). Users that fall for the trick may expose sensitive information like passwords by using evil twin access point.
An evil twin is a fraudulent Wi-Fi access point that appears to be legitimate but is set up to eavesdrop on wireless communications. The evil twin is the wireless LAN equivalent of the phishing scam. This type of attack may be used to steal the passwords of unsuspecting users, either by monitoring their connections or by phishing, which involves setting up a fraudulent web site and luring people there.Evil_twin_(wireless_networks) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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