CompTIA CySA+ (CS0-001) Study Guide: Practice Questions, Answers, and Explanations

CompTIA CySA+ (CS0-001) Study Guide: Practice Questions, Answers, and Explanations

Dive into our comprehensive CompTIA CySA+ (CS0-001) study guide. Featuring practice questions, detailed answers, and explanations to boost your cybersecurity analysis skills and ace the exam.

Preparing for the CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+) Certification Exam (CSO-OOl) requires a solid understanding of cybersecurity concepts, threat detection, and response strategies. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you prepare effectively. Includes practice exam with answers and detailed explanations written by experts.

Section 1. Guide to Acing the CompTIA CySA+ (CS0-001) Exam: Essential Tips and Study Strategies

Embarking on the journey to become a certified cybersecurity analyst? The CompTIA CySA+ (CS0-001) exam stands as a significant milestone on this path. Here’s a strategic breakdown of how you can approach your preparation, ensuring that you’re well-equipped for exam day:

1. Exam Familiarization: Start by getting to know the CS0-001 exam inside out. Understand its structure, duration, and the passing score. CompTIA provides official objectives that give you insight into the topics you’ll encounter. Review them meticulously.

2. Assembling Your Study Resources:

  • Source the official study guide and other materials CompTIA offers specifically for CS0-001.
  • Dive deep into credible cybersecurity resources that encompass threat detection and incident response.
  • Take advantage of CompTIA’s diverse set of learning tools, from webinars to sample questions.
  • Engage with practice exams regularly to gauge your knowledge level and adapt to the exam’s format.

3. Crafting Your Study Blueprint:

  • Plot a timeline for your studies. How many hours can you commit each day or week?
  • Segment the vast syllabus based on CS0-001’s domains.
  • Design a study schedule that ensures you cover every domain and leaves ample time for revision.

4. Delving into Domain Studies: The exam covers a vast array of topics ranging from threat management, vulnerability assessment, and security architectures, to incident response, compliance, and governance. Dedicate time to each domain, ensuring you grasp both theoretical concepts and practical applications.

5. Practice, Revisit, Refine:

  • Subject yourself to multiple practice tests. They not only test your understanding but also expose areas needing attention.
  • Prioritize domains where you feel a lack of confidence.

6. Deepening Your Mastery:

  • Relate what you’ve learned to real-world scenarios. How would you apply these concepts in a practical setting?
  • Investigate actual incident response cases to discern best practices.

7. Sharpening Your Exam-taking Skills:

  • Develop an effective time management strategy.
  • When answering, prioritize questions you’re certain about. Return to the tougher ones later.
  • Use the mark and review feature to revisit unsure answers.

8. The Final Countdown:

  • Subject yourself to mock exams under realistic, timed conditions.
  • Go over your condensed notes, summarizations, and highlight key domain concepts.

9. The Big Day:

  • Aim to be punctual. Arrive at the exam center with ample time to spare and with all required identifications.
  • Stay calm and collected. Your preparation has equipped you for this.
  • Ensure you read and comprehend every question thoroughly.
  • If you can spare a few moments, review your answers one final time before submission.

To conclude, your dedication, a hands-on grasp of the subjects, and systematic preparation are crucial to conquering the CompTIA CySA+ (CS0-001) exam. Best of luck on your quest to certification and beyond!

! You may also like: - Free CASP+ Certification Practice Test with Answers and Explanations. CAS-004

Section 2. CompTIA CySA+ (CS0-001) Exam Practice Questions, Answers, Explanations

Practice test questions based on the real certification exam. Explanations written by experts. It’s a totally free book-worth resource.

Earn some karma points by sharing this resource. And come back for more free stuff.

How would you accurately characterize the primary offensive participants in a tabletop exercise?

  • A. Adversarial team (Red team)
  • B. Defensive team (Blue team)
  • C. IT personnel responsible for system management (System administrators)
  • D. Professionals specializing in security analysis (Security analysts)
  • E. Team responsible for operational functions (Operations team)

Correct Answer: A. Adversarial team (Red team)

Explanation: During a tabletop exercise, the main attackers are usually portrayed by the ““Red team.”” The purpose of the Red team is to mimic hostile entities or threat actors and carry out attacks or offensive actions in order to test the organization’s readiness and ability to respond. Conversely, the defenders or response team of the organization are represented by the Blue team. They aim to defend against the Red team’s attacks and handle the situation effectively.

In the field of cybersecurity, various roles or teams like option C, D, and E can be involved in different aspects but are not the central offensive participants specifically in a tabletop exercise.

A tabletop exercise is a valuable method used to evaluate and enhance an organization’s cybersecurity preparedness. It allows both the defenders and the attackers to practice and assess their skills, strategies, and response capabilities in a simulated environment. This type of exercise helps organizations identify vulnerabilities, strengthen their defenses, and improve their incident response procedures.

After a thorough evaluation and correlation of data sourced from multiple sensors, the security expert determines that an entity from a high-risk nation has executed an advanced breach into the organization’s system, continually executing specific attacks for the past quarter, none of which were identified. This situation is BEST described as:

  • A. Privilege escalation.
  • B. Advanced persistent threat (APT).
  • C. Malicious insider threat.
  • D. Spear phishing.

Correct Answer: B. Advanced persistent threat (APT).

Explanation: The situation described aligns with an “advanced persistent threat” (APT) due to the following key factors:

  • Sustained and Covert Activity: The attackers have maintained a prolonged presence within the network, indicating persistence.
  • Sophistication: The breach is characterized as “sophisticated,” suggesting a high level of expertise.
  • Targeted Attacks: The attacks are focused and tailored to the specific organization, indicating an advanced level of intent and preparation.
  • Undetected for an Extended Period: The fact that the attacks went unnoticed for three months highlights the stealthy nature of the threat, a hallmark of APTs. While the other options (A, C, and D) are all valid cybersecurity concepts, they do not comprehensively encompass the given scenario’s characteristics.

To prevent a repeat scenario where a system admin with high-level access removes vital log records produced by a virtual hypervisor, crucial for analyzing the security of virtual machines, which TWO mitigating measures should be considered from the options below?

  • A. Establishing a succession planning program.
  • B. Implementing separation of duties.
  • C. Enforcing mandatory vacation policies.
  • D. Providing personnel training.
  • E. Enforcing job rotation policies.

Correct Answers: B. Implementing separation of duties and D. Providing personnel training.

Explanation: 1. Separation of Duties (SoD) (Option B): This control involves dividing tasks and responsibilities among different individuals or roles to prevent any single individual from having unchecked control over sensitive functions. In this scenario, implementing separation of duties means ensuring that the system administrator responsible for maintaining system health and the security of log files is not the same person who has the authority to delete these files. This separation helps prevent accidental or intentional deletion of critical logs. 2.Personnel Training (Option D): Properly trained personnel are less likely to make mistakes or take actions that can harm the system’s integrity. Training can educate system administrators about the importance of log files, the consequences of their deletion, and the best practices for managing disk space without compromising security. This reduces the likelihood of similar incidents in the future. While the other options (A, C, and E) have their merits in organizational management and security, they are not directly related to preventing the specific issue described in the scenario. Succession planning (Option A) is about identifying and preparing individuals for leadership roles and is important for continuity but doesn’t address the immediate issue. Mandatory vacation (Option C) and job rotation (Option E) can have security benefits by detecting irregularities but may not directly prevent log file deletion by an authorized administrator.

Which of the following methods is commonly implemented to identify vulnerable network areas that could be targeted by external sources during penetration testing?

  • A. Blue team training exercises
  • B. Technical control reviews
  • C. White team training exercises
  • D. Operational control reviews

Correct Answer: B. Technical control reviews

Explanation: Technical control reviews (Option B) involve the evaluation and assessment of the technical security controls in an organization’s network. These reviews aim to identify potential weaknesses or vulnerabilities that could be exploited by external sources during penetration testing. By scrutinizing technical controls such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, access controls, and encryption mechanisms, organizations can gain insights into their network’s security posture and areas that may be vulnerable to external attacks. While options A, C, and D may have their own significance in cybersecurity and network defense, they do not directly focus on the assessment of network vulnerabilities from known external sources. Blue team training exercises (Option A) typically involve testing an organization’s incident response capabilities. White team training exercises (Option C) are generally related to simulating neutral or unbiased assessments rather than external penetration testing. Operational control reviews (Option D) are more concerned with the overall effectiveness of operational procedures and processes but may not directly address external penetration testing vulnerabilities.

Which of the following suggestions would strike the most suitable balance between granting user flexibility, safeguarding mobile data, and fulfilling business requirements while evaluating the existing security posture concerning the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy in a cybersecurity assessment?

  • A. Establish a minimum security baseline while selectively limiting the types of data accessible.
  • B. Set up a single computer with USB access, monitored by sensors.
  • C. Deploy a synchronization kiosk while maintaining an access list of authorized users.
  • D. Implement a wireless network tailored for mobile device access, monitored by sensors.

Correct Answer: A

Explanation: The recommendation that would best align with both mobile data protection efforts and business requirements, while also providing flexibility to users, is option A: “Establish a minimum security baseline while selectively limiting the types of data accessible.” Here’s the rationale behind this choice:

  • Option A strikes a balance between security and user flexibility by creating a minimum security baseline. This means implementing essential security measures without excessively restricting user access and functionality.
  • Selectively limiting the types of data that can be accessed aligns with the principle of data classification and protection. It ensures that sensitive or critical data is safeguarded while allowing users to synchronize calendars, email, and contacts, which are typically less sensitive.
  • Option B, C, and D, while they may offer security benefits in specific scenarios, are not as well-suited to this scenario:
  • Option B involves a single computer with USB access, which is not practical for widespread BYOD usage and may limit user flexibility.
  • Option C introduces a synchronization kiosk tvith an access list, which could hinder user convenience and is typically not scalable for BYOD policies.
  • Option D suggests a wireless network for mobile device access, which, while beneficial, doesn’t directly address the need to balance security and flexibility in BYOD scenarios. In conclusion, option A offers the best compromise between security and user flexibility, making it the most suitable recommendation for this scenario.

When analyzing a compromised workstation suspected of containing evidence of criminal activities on its hard drive, what is the FIRST step a security analyst should take to ensure the hard drive’s integrity remains intact throughout the investigation?

  • A. Create a duplicate of the hard drive.
  • B. Utilize write blockers.
  • C. Execute the “rm -R” command for hash generation.
  • D. Transfer it to an alternative machine for content exploration.

Correct Answer: B. Utilize write blockers.

Explanation: The first step a security analyst should take when dealing with a compromised workstation and its hard drive is to use write blockers (Option B). Write blockers are hardware or software tools that prevent any write or modification operations on the original hard drive while allowing the analyst to access and analyze its contents. This ensures that the original data remains unaltered, preserving the integrity of potential evidence. Creating a duplicate (Option A) is a critical step but should only be done after applying write blockers to the original drive to ensure preservation. Running the ”rm -R" command for hash generation (Option C) is not relevant in this context as it pertains to data deletion and hash calculation. Installing the hard drive on a different machine (Option D) should not be done initially because it risks altering the original data and compromising the integrity of potential evidence.

File integrity monitoring has identified unauthorized modifications in the system, particularly the adjustment of “chmod 777 -Rv /usr.” What potential consequences could arise from this alteration?

  • A. The ownership of /usr has been modified to match the current user.
  • B. Administrative privileges have been restricted for regular users.
  • C. Administrative commands within /usr have been set to be accessible by everyone.
  • D. The ownership of /usr has been altered to belong to the root user.

Correct Answer: C. Administrative commands within /usr have been set to be accessible by everyone.

Explanation: The provided command “chmod 777 -Rv /usr” grants read, write, and execute permissions to everyone recursively (-R) in the /usr directory. This effectively makes administrative commands and files within /usr accessible to all users, which poses a significant security risk. Option C correctly identifies this potential outcome, indicating that administrative commands have been made world-readable/writable. Options A, B, and D do not accurately reflect the consequences of the given command.

After successfully generating an image of a drive from an incident, what is the NEXT action that a security analyst should take?

  • A. The analyst should create a hash of the image and compare it to the original drive’s hash.
  • B. The analyst should commence the analysis of the image and initiate the reporting of findings.
  • C. The analyst should create a backup of the drive and subsequently hash the drive.
  • D. The analyst should draft a chain of custody document and promptly notify stakeholders.

Correct Answer: A. The analyst should create a hash of the image and compare it to the original drive’s hash.

Explanation: After creating an image of a drive in an incident response scenario, the immediate next step is to create a hash of the image and then compare it to the hash of the original drive. This process ensures the integrity of the image and helps verify that the copy accurately represents the original data. Option A correctly identifies this critical step. Analyzing the image and reporting findings (Option B) should follow after ensuring the integrity of the image. Creating a backup of the drive and hashing it (Option C) is important but is typically done before creating the image. Drafting a chain of custody document and notifying stakeholders (Option D) is a necessary step in the incident response process but is not the immediate action to take after creating the image and verifying its integrity.

While investigating a server outage, a cybersecurity analyst discovers that the username was set as: OxbffffiO 1. What kind of malicious activity could be underway?

  • A. Buffer overflow attack
  • B. Man-in-the-middle attack
  • C. Smurf attack
  • D. Format string attack
  • E. Denial of service attack

Correct Answer: Option A

The Explanation: The presence of a value like “Oxbfff 601 a” for a username suggests a potential buffer overflow attack (Option A). In buffer overflow attacks, an attacker exploits a vulnerability in a program by overflowing a buffer with data, typically in hexadecimal format, which can lead to the execution of malicious code or unauthorized access. None of the other attack types listed here directly relate to this specific username value. Man-in-the-middle attacks (Option B), Smurf attacks (Option C), Format string attacks (Option D), and Denial of Service attacks (Option E) involve different techniques and indicators, making them less relevant in this context.

Which of the following software development strategies could have potentially helped prevent the reported issues of slowness and frequent timeouts experienced by users outside of the organization when submitting information through a web application?

  • A. Stress testing
  • B. Regression testing
  • C. Input validation
  • D. Fuzzing

Correct Answer: A. Stress testing

Explanation: The reported issues of slowness and frequent timeouts in a web application point to potential performance and scalability problems. Stress testing (Option A) is a software development best practice that assesses how a system or application performs under extreme conditions, including high user loads and increased data input. By conducting stress tests during development, teams can identify and address performance bottlenecks, ensuring that the application can handle the expected user load without slowdowns or timeouts. While regression testing (Option B), input validation (Option C), and fuzzing (Option D) are important testing and security practices, they are not primarily focused on addressing the specific issue of performance problems and timeouts in a web application. Regression testing verifies that code changes do not introduce new bugs, input validation prevents malicious data input, and fuzzing tests for vulnerabilities by injecting unexpected data, but they may not directly address performance issues.

In order to evaluate an organization’s security posture, an analyst intends to measure the level of externally disclosed information. Which TWO methods would be the MOST efficient in assisting the analyst in accomplishing this goal?

  • A. Fingerprinting
  • B. DNS query log reviews
  • C. Banner grabbing
  • D. Internet searches
  • E. Intranet portal reviews
  • F. Sourcing social network sites
  • G. Technical control audits

Correct Answers: D. Internet searches and F. Sourcing social network sites

Explanation: 1. Internet searches (Option D): Conducting internet searches, especially using advanced search operators, can reveal a wealth of information about an organization that may be publicly accessible. This includes information such as company websites, press releases, news articles, and other publicly available data. 2. Sourcing social network sites (Option F): Social media platforms and forums often contain information posted by employees, vendors, or customers that may provide insights into the organization’s activities, infrastructure, or potential security weaknesses. Monitoring social network sites can help identify information that has been inadvertently disclosed. While the other options (A, B, C, E, and G) may be relevant in various security assessment contexts, they do not directly address the goal of determining externally exposed information about the organization as effectively as internet searches and sourcing social network sites do.

Which THREE of the following technologies should an analyst recommend to ensure alignment with PKI X.5O9 compliance for various secure functions?

  • A. 3DES
  • B. AES
  • C. IDEA
  • D. PKCS
  • E. PGP
  • F. SSL/TLS

Correct Answers: B. AES, D. PKCS, F. SSL/TLS

Explanation: 1. AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) (Option B) is a symmetric encryption algorithm that can be used in conjunction with X.509 certificates within a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) for secure data encryption and decryption. 2. PKCS (Public Key Cryptography Standards) (Option D) refers to a set of standards for cryptography that includes PKCS #7 (Cryptographic Message Syntax) and PKCS #12 (Personal Information Exchange Syntax). These standards often involve X.509 certificates for secure operations. 3. SSL/TLS (Secure Sockets Laycr/Transport Layer Security) (Option F) protocols utilize X.509 certificates for secure communication over the internet. X.509 certificates are commonly used to establish secure connections in SSL/ TLS. Options A (3DES), C (IDEA), and G (TEMPEST) are not directly associated with X.509 compliance for secure functions. X.509 is a standard for defining the format of public key certificates and the rules for their use, primarily within public key infrastructures. Therefore, the mentioned technologies do not inherently meet the X.509 compatibility requirements.

How should the security analyst respond to the company officer’s suggestion that only affected parties should be notified in the case of a data breach, with the aim of preventing media attention on the incident?

  • A. The first responder should contact law enforcement as soon as a security incident is confirmed to ensure the preservation of the chain of custody by a forensics team.
  • B. It is essential to consider guidance from relevant laws and regulations when determining who needs to be notified to avoid potential fines and legal consequences for non-compliance.
  • C. Advance preparation should include an externally hosted website to guarantee timely access to notifications from an uncompromised source for victims when an incident occurs.
  • D. Information security personnel involved in the incident investigation within the HR department should sign non-disclosure agreements to protect the company from liability related to customer data exposure during the investigation.

Correct Answer: B. It is essential to consider guidance from relevant laws and regulations when determining who needs to be notified to avoid potential fines and legal consequences for non-compliance.

Explanation: Option B is the most appropriate recommendation because it emphasizes the importance of adhering to legal and regulatory requirements when deciding who should be notified in the event of a data breach. Compliance with laws and regulations is critical in handling data breaches, as failure to notify the appropriate parties can lead to fines and legal judgments. While the other options address various aspects of incident response, they do not directly address the legal and regulatory implications of notifying affected parties. Option A discusses the involvement of law enforcement for preserving evidence, Option C focuses on communication channels, and Option D addresses non-disclosure agreements for personnel but does not consider the legal aspects of notification in the context of data breaches.

In order to ensure the availability of a newly introduced billing invoice website for select vendors, what actions can be taken by the cybersecurity analyst to address the complaints regarding sluggish performance and occasional timeouts?

  • A. VPN
  • B. Honeypot
  • C. Whitelisting
  • D. DMZ
  • E. MAC filtering

Correct Answer: C. Whitelisting

Explanation: In this scenario, the most suitable solution to maintain the availability of the website is implementing whitelisting (Option C). Whitelisting allows the organization to specify which IP addresses or entities are permitted to access the website, thereby filtering out unwanted traffic. By only allowing access to known and authorized vendors, the website can effectively mitigate the impact of excessive, unwanted requests, ensuring it remains available for legitimate users. The other options are not directly applicable to solving the problem of overwhelming requests to the website:

  • VPN (Option A) provides secure access but does not address the volume of requests.
  • Honeypots (Option B) are designed to attract and detect malicious activity, not to maintain website availability.
  • DMZ (Option D) is a network architectlure that segregates internal and external networks but does not directly address the issue of handling excessive requests.
  • MAC filtering (Option E) operates at the data link layer and is not suitable for controlling web traffic based on IP addresses or managing high request volumes.

Which of the following documents should include explicit instructions against authorizing social engineering as a permitted activity when hiring a penetration tester for a company?

  • A. Acceptable use policy
  • B. Service level agreement
  • C. Rules of engagement
  • D. Memorandum of understanding
  • E. Master service agreement

Correct Answer: C. Rules of engagement

Explanation: In the context of a penetration testing engagement, the document that typically outlines the scope, boundaries, and specific rules for the test is the “Rules of engagement” (Option C). These rules of engagement provide specific guidance to the penetration tester, including what is allowed and what is not allowed during the test. Prohibiting social engineering activities can be explicitly mentioned in this document to ensure clarity and compliance. The other documents listed may contain various terms and conditions, but they are less likely to contain the specific details related to the scope and rules of a penetration testing engagement. Therefore, the “Rules of engagement” is the most appropriate document for including instructions related to the exclusion of social engineering activities.

Which of the following threats would a reverse engineer most likely uncover during a malware analysis of a retailer’s network when they find code extracting track data from memory?

  • A. POS malware
  • B. Rootkit
  • C. Keylogger
  • D. Ransomware

Correct Answer: A. POS malware

Explanation: The reverse engineer most likely uncovered Point-of-Sale (POS) malware (Option A). POS malware is specifically designed to target point-of-sale systems used in retail environments. It aims to steal sensitive customer payment information, such as credit card track data, from the memory of these systems during transactions. Options B, C, and D refer to different types of malware and threats, but they are not directly associated with the extraction of track data from point-of-sale systems’ memory. Rootkits (Option B) typically provide stealth and unauthorized access to a compromised system, keyloggers (Option C) record keystrokes, and ransomware (Option D) encrypts data for extortion purposes. These are distinct threat categories, and their behaviors differ from that of POS malware in this context.

A company decided to address new regulations by implementing an organizational vulnerability management program and assigning the responsibility to the security team. Which TWO of the frameworks listed below would offer the greatest support to this program?

  • A. COBIT
  • B. NIST
  • C. ISO 27000 series
  • D. ITIL
  • E. OWASP

Correct Answers: B. NIST and C. ISO 27000 series

Explanation: 1. NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) (Option B) provides comprehensive guidance on cybersecurity and risk management, including vulnerability management. NIST’s Special Publication 800-53 and 800-137 are examples of documents that offer guidance on vulnerability management practices. 2. ISO 27000 series (Option C) includes ISO/IEC 27001, which is an international standard for information security management systems (ISMS). It covers various aspects of information security, including vulnerability management as part of risk management processes. While the other options (A, D, and E) are valuable frameworks in their respective domains, they do not specifically focus on vulnerability management to the same extent as NIST and the ISO 27000 series. Therefore, these two frameworks are the most suitable choices for supporting an organizational vulnerability management program, especially in the context of regulatory compliance.

A report on incident response indicates that a virus gained unauthorized access to the company’s network through a connection from an external host. The cybersecurity analyst has been assigned the responsibility of suggesting a course of action to resolve this problem. What measures should be put in place to tackle this issue?

  • A. MAC
  • B. TAP
  • C. NAC
  • D. ACL

Correct Answer: C. NAC (Network Access Control)

Explanation: In this scenario, the most appropriate solution to mitigate the risk of viruses introduced through remote host connections is to implement Network Access Control (NAC) (Option C). NAC enables organizations to enforce security policies and perform health checks on devices attempting to access the corporate network, ensuring that only compliant and trusted devices are allowed access. Options A, B, and D do not directly address the issue of preventing virus infiltration through remote host connections:

  • MAC (Option A) typically refers to Media Access Control, which is a hardware address, and it does not address the problem described.
  • TAP (Option B) is a technology used for monitoring network traffic, not for preventing virus introduction.
  • ACL (Option D) stands for Access Control List, which is used to control network traffic but may not directly address the problem of virus infiltration through remote hosts. NAC is a more suitable choice for addressing this specific issue.

Which of the following vulnerability options would be MOST APPROPRIATE for fulfilling the process requirements of a security analyst creating baseline system images to address vulnerabilities found in different operating systems? Each image needs to undergo scanning for alignment with industry-standard benchmarks and the process should be replicable.

  • A. Utilizing an operating system SCAP plugin
  • B. The use of a credential scan duly authorized
  • C. Utilizing a non-credential scan
  • D. Utilizing a known malware plugin

Correct Answer: A. Utilizing an operating system SCAP plugin

Explanation: To meet the specified requirements of creating baseline system images, ensuring alignment with industry-standard benchmarks, and enabling repeatability, using an operating system SCAP (Security Content Automation Protocol) plugin (Option A) is the most appropriate choice. SCAP plugins provide a standardized and automated way to assess and remediate the security configurations of various operating systems. They are designed for compliance checking and vulnerability scanning based on predefined benchmarks, making them suitable for creating consistent and secure system images. Options B and C (authorized credential scan and non-credential scan) are relevant to vulnerability scanning but do not inherently address the requirement for creating baseline system images or ensuring configuration alignment with industry benchmarks. Option D (known malware plugin) is not directly related to the specified requirements and focuses on malware detection rather than system configuration.

A cybersecurity analyst is looking to use a command line tool for identifying open ports, running services on a particular host, and figuring out the associated applications connected to those ports and services. Which of the subsequent choices should the analyst choose?

  • A. Wireshark
  • B. Qualys
  • C. netstat
  • D. nmap
  • E. ping

Correct Answer and Explanation: The correct choice for the analyst in this scenario is: D. nmap

Explanation: The analyst should utilize “nmap” (Network Mapper) for this task. Nmap is a versatile open-source network scanning tool that can be operated from the command line. It is particularly adept at identifying open ports, enumerating running services, and, in many cases, deducing the associated application based on well-known port assignments. This capability makes it an invaluable tool for network reconnaissance and security assessments. Now, let’s briefly discuss the other options to provide context: A. Wireshark: Wireshark is a network protocol analyzer used for packet capturing and detailed analysis. While it can capture network traffic and inspect packets, it doesn’t directly provide information about open ports, running services, or associated applications on a host. B. Qualys: Qualys is a cloud-based vulnerability management and assessment platform. It is primarily used for scanning and identifying vulnerabilities in systems and applications but doesn’t focus on identifying open ports and associated sendees on a host. C. netstat: Netstat is a command-line utility that provides information about active network connections, routing tables, interface statistics, masquerade connections, and multicast memberships. While it can reveal some information about network activity on the local machine, it may not provide a comprehensive view of open ports and services on a remote host. E. ping: The “ping” command is used to test network connectivity by sending ICMP echo requests to a host and waiting for responses. It doesn’t provide information about open ports, running services, or associated applications on a host. In summary, for the specific task of identifying open ports, running services, and their associated applications on a host, “nmap” is the most suitable tool among the options provided.

Which of the following approaches is the MOST EFFECTIVE in developing a remediation plan to address a recent network scan that identified a total of 5,682 possible vulnerabilities, in order to ensure compliance with regulations regarding the storage of Protected Health Information (PHI)?

  • A. Endeavor to identify all false positives and exceptions initially, and subsequently address the remaining issues.
  • B. Delay any further scanning until all the current vulnerabilities have been resolved.
  • C. Isolate assets responsible for handling PHI in a sandbox environment, and then proceed to address all identified vulnerabilities.
  • D. Reduce the scope of the scan to focus on items categorized as critical in the asset inventory, and prioritize resolving these issues first.

Correct Answer and Explanation: The BEST way to proceed in this scenario is option D: Reduce the scan to items identified as critical in the asset inventory, and resolve these issues first.

Explanation: Option A is not the best choice because attempting to identify all false positives and exceptions before addressing the remaining issues may result in a time-consuming and inefficient process. It’s better to prioritize critical vulnerabilities first. Option B is not recommended because delaying further scanning until all current vulnerabilities are resolved may leave the network exposed to critical vulnerabilities for an extended period. Option C involves isolating assets in a sandbox environment, which is a good practice for testing, but it may not be the most efficient initial step when dealing with a large number of vulnerabilities. Option D is the most effective approach because it focuses on addressing critical vulnerabilities first. By reducing the scan scope to these critical items, the organization can quickly address the most significant security risks. After addressing critical issues, the organization can then move on to less critical vulnerabilities. This approach allows for a more targeted and risk-based remediation plan.

After a thorough forensic investigation, an administrator has determined that an individual successfully transferred confidential information from a web server to an external host using a compromised server BIOS, which had been altered as a result of a rootkit installation. Once the rootkit has been successfully eliminated and the BIOS restored to a confirmed clean state, what would be the MOST efficient step to ensure protection against potential unauthorized entry to the BIOS in case of any future rootkit installation?

  • A. Utilizing an anti-malware application
  • B. Implementing a host-based Intrusion Detection System (IDS)
  • C. Employing TPM (Trusted Platform Module) data sealing
  • D. The use of file integrity monitoring

The Correct Answer: The BEST option to protect against future adversary access to the BIOS, especially after a rootkit compromise, is: C. Employing TPM (Trusted Platform Module) data sealing.

Explanation: 1. Anti-malware application: While anti-malware software is essential for detecting and removing malicious software, including rootkits, it primarily focuses on the operating system and files rather than the BIOS. It may not provide adequate protection against BIOS-level threats. 2. Host-based Intrusion Detection System (IDS): A host-based IDS is designed to monitor and analyze system activity within the host’s operating system. While it can detect certain types of intrusions, it may not be as effective in safeguarding the BIOS, which operates at a lower level and is not directly monitored by traditional IDS. 3. File integrity monitoring: This security measure focuses on monitoring and alerting changes to files and their attributes. While it can be valuable for detecting changes to files on the server, it may not be sufficient for BIOS protection, as it doesn’t directly address the BIOS’s security. 4. TPM (Trusted Platform Module) data sealing: TPM is a hardware-based security feature that provides a secure environment for storing and protecting cryptographic keys and sensitive data. TPM data sealing allows data to be encrypted in a way that only becomes accessible when certain conditions are met, such as a verified BIOS state. This makes it a robust choice for protecting against unauthorized access to the BIOS, even in the presence of rootkits or other malware. In conclusion, TPM data sealing is the most suitable option for protecting the BIOS from future adversary access, as it offers a hardware-based, tamper-resistant solution that ensures the integrity of the BIOS, even if another rootkit is installed.

In response to a situation where multiple systems are experiencing performance issues caused by a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, what would be the MOST SUITABLE course of action for the cybersecurity analyst?

  • A. Continuing to monitor critical systems (Option A) is important, but in the case of a DDoS attack causing system slowness, immediate action is needed to mitigate the attack and address the issue.
  • B. Shutting down all server interfaces
  • C. Inform management of the incident.
  • D. Informing users regarding the affected systems

Correct Answer: C. Inform management of the incident.

Explanation: The BEST course of action for the cybersecurity analyst in response to a DDoS attack causing slowness on multiple systems is option C: Inform management of the incident. Here’s why: A. Continuing to monitor critical systems (Option A) is important, but in the case of a DDoS attack causing system slowness, immediate action is needed to mitigate the attack and address the issue. B. Shutting down all server interfaces (Option B) is a drastic step that may disrupt legitimate user access and should be considered as a last resort after other mitigation measures have been attempted and failed. C. Informing management of the incident (Option C) is crucial because it ensures that the appropriate stakeholders are aware of the situation. Management can then make informed decisions about how to respond, allocate resources, and communicate with other relevant parties, including legal authorities if necessary. D. Informing users regarding the affected systems (Option D) is important, but it should come after informing management and implementing necessary mitigation measures. Users should be informed transparently, but without causing panic, to maintain trust and provide them with any relevant updates on the situation. In summary, while monitoring critical systems (Option A) and informing users (Option D) are important steps, the initial and most critical action in response to a DDoS attack causing slowness is to inform management (Option C) so that they can take appropriate steps to address the incident effectively.

Following the identification of a server vulnerability, a security analyst must establish the suitable course of action. Once a patch for the detected vulnerability is found, what would be the subsequent action to take?

  • A. Initiate the change control process.
  • B. Conduct a follow-up scan to verify the vulnerability’s status.
  • C. Establish continuous monitoring procedures.
  • D. Commence the incident response process.

Correct Answer and Explanation: B. Conduct a follow-up scan to verify the vulnerability’s status.

Explanation: Once a patch for a server vulnerability has been located, the next crucial step is to conduct a follow-up scan to ensure that the vulnerability has indeed been remediated. This step is essential to confirm that the patch was applied correctly and effectively, as there may be instances where patches do not fully resolve the vulnerability or cause unexpected issues. By conducting a post-patch scan, the analyst can validate that the server is no longer exposed to the identified vulnerability. This approach aligns with best practices for vulnerability management and helps maintain the security posture of the system. Options A, C, and D are relevant but should occur at different stages of the remediation process, with Option B being the immediate next step after locating the patch.

In a software assurance lab, what activities are conducted during a dynamic assessment of an application? Which two software assessment capabilities are utilized during this activity, and at which phase of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) should it take place?

  • A. Fuzzing
  • B. Behavior modeling
  • C. Static code analysis
  • D. Prototyping phase
  • E. Requirements phase
  • F. Planning phase

Correct Answers and Explanation: A. Fuzzing and E. Requirements phase

Explanation: A. Fuzzing: The activity described in the question aligns with the concept of “fuzzing.” Fuzzing is a software testing technique that involves sending random or unexpected data inputs to an application to identify vulnerabilities, crashes, or unexpected behavior. Fuzzing is particularly effective in uncovering security vulnerabilities and should be part of the security assessment process. E. Requirements phase: Performing dynamic assessments like fuzzing is most effective when carried out during the “Requirements phase” of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). During this early phase, the focus is on understanding and defining the system’s functional and non-fimctional requirements. By conducting dynamic assessments in this phase, potential issues and vulnerabilities can be identified and addressed early in the development process, reducing the cost and effort required for later remediation. Option B (Behavior modeling) typically involves creating models to simulate the expected behavior of a system, and it is not directly related to fuzzing. Option C (Static code analysis) involves reviewing the source code for vulnerabilities but is not related to the described activity. Option D (Prototyping phase) and Option F (Planning phase) are not the most appropriate phases for dynamic assessments like fuzzing, as they occur earlier in the SDLC.

  • A. Conduct security awareness training on incident communication.
  • B. Request that all employees verbally commit to a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) concerning the breach.
  • C. Temporarily restrict employee access to social media.
  • D. Organize a meeting between law enforcement and employees.

Correct Answer and Explanation: A. Conduct security awareness training on incident communication.

Explanation: In this situation, conducting security awareness training on incident communication is the most suitable step to prevent further disclosure of information about the breach. Here’s why: A. Conduct security awareness training on incident communication: This option addresses the root cause of the issue by providing employees with the necessary knowledge and guidelines on how to handle sensitive incident-related information. Through such training, employees can learn the importance of maintaining confidentiality, the potential legal implications of disclosure, and the appropriate channels for reporting incidents or questions from the media. It promotes a culture of security and awareness among employees, reducing the likelihood of inadvertent disclosures. Option B (Requesting all employees to verbally commit to an NDA) might be logistically challenging, and it may not effectively address the issue of employees already having disclosed information. Option C (Temporarily disabling employee access to social media) can be seen as a heavy-handed approach that may hinder normal business operations. Option D (Having law enforcement meet with employees) could be counterproductive and may not be within law enforcement’s scope or best practices for handling such situations. Therefore, option A is the most appropriate and proactive step in managing this breach situation.

After conducting a recent vulnerability scan, an organization has discovered four vulnerabilities on its public-facing IP addresses. In order to effectively minimize the risk of a security breach, which of the following vulnerabilities must be prioritized for addressing?

  • A. A cipher known to be cryptographically weak.
  • B. A website utilizing a self-signed SSL certificate.
  • C. A buffer overflow vulnerability permitting remote code execution.
  • D. An HTTP response that discloses an internal IP address.

Correct Answer and Explanation: C. A buffer overflow vulnerability permitting remote code execution.

Explanation: In this scenario, the highest priority should be given to remediating the vulnerability that poses the most significant risk to the organization. Here’s why option C is the correct choice: C. A buffer overflow vulnerability permitting remote code execution: Buffer overflow vulnerabilities are a serious security concern because they can allow attackers to execute arbitrary code on the vulnerable system remotely. This type of vulnerability can potentially lead to a complete compromise of the system, providing attackers with unauthorized access and control over the organization’s resources. Given the severity and potential impact of remote code execution, addressing this vulnerability FIRST is crucial to prevent a breach. Option A (A cipher known to be cryptographically weak) may pose a security risk, but it typically does not provide attackers with direct access to the system or data. Option B (A website utilizing a self-signed SSL certificate) is a configuration issue rather than a direct vulnerability that allows unauthorized access. Option D (An HTTP response that discloses an internal IP address) may be a concern for network security, but it does not directly allow remote code execution. Therefore, option C should take precedence due to the severe consequences associated with remote code execution vulnerabilities.

What is the MOST efficient strategy for a cybersecurity analyst when reviewing SIEM event logs to identify potential Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) activity, given a set of indicators such as IP addresses and domains?

  • A. Search through the event logs using the provided IP addresses.
  • B. Manually review the event trends while looking for indicators that match.
  • C. Generate an advanced query encompassing all provided indicators and review the matches.
  • D. Conduct a vulnerability scan to identify exploits associated with APT activity.

Correct Answer and Explanation: C. Generate an advanced query encompassing all provided indicators and review the matches.

Explanation: In the context of analyzing SIEM event logs for APT activity, option C is the best approach for several reasons: C. Generate an advanced query encompassing all provided indicators and review the matches: Creating an advanced query that includes all the provided indicators (IP addresses and domains) allows the analyst to efficiently search for any related events or patterns in the event logs. This method ensures that no potentially relevant information is missed. By reviewing the matches, the analyst can identify if any of the indicators appear in the event logs, indicating potential APT activity. Option A (Searching through the event logs using the provided IP addresses) could be time-consuming and may miss other relevant indicators. Option B (Manually reviewing event trends) can be inefficient, error-prone, and time-intensive, especially when dealing with large volumes of event logs. Option D (Conducting a vulnerability scan) focuses on a different aspect of security (vulnerabilities) and may not directly help in identifying APT activity within event logs. Therefore, option C is the most effective approach to efficiently and comprehensively review SIEM event logs for possible APT activity by leveraging the provided indicators.

An analyst has detected uncommon alerts on the SIEM dashboard and desires to gather the transmitted payloads from malicious actors targeting the systems without causing any disruption to business operations. What should the analyst implement to achieve this objective?

  • A. Honeypot
  • B. Jump box
  • C. Sandboxing
  • D. Virtualization

Correct Answer and Explanation: A. Honeypot

Explanation: A honeypot is a cybersecurity mechanism designed to attract and trap malicious actors, such as hackers or malware, while monitoring their activities without affecting the actual production systems or business operations. In this context, deploying a honeypot would allow the analyst to capture and analyze the payloads sent by hackers without putting the legitimate systems at risk. Option B (Jump box) is typically used as a secure access point to manage and control access to network resources but does not directly facilitate the capture of hacker payloads. Option C (Sandboxing) is a technique used to execute and analyze potentially malicious code in a controlled environment but may not necessarily capture payloads in a network context. Option D (Virtualization) is a technology that allows multiple virtual instances to run on a single physical host, but it does not inherently capture hacker payloads. Therefore, the most appropriate choice in this scenario is option A (Honeypot), as it serves the specific purpose of capturing and analyzing potentially malicious activities without impacting business operations.

An analyst has identified that unpatched servers are harboring undetected vulnerabilities because the vulnerability scanner does not possess the most recent signatures. To tackle this problem, management has instructed the security team to update the scanning tools with the latest signatures at least 24 hours before conducting any scans. Despite adherence to this directive, there has been no progress in resolving the situation. Which of the following options would serve as the BEST logical control to deal with this failure?

  • A. Configure a script to automatically update the scanning tool.
  • B. Manually validate the execution of the existing update process.
  • C. Test vulnerability remediation in a sandbox environment before deployment.
  • D. Configure vulnerability scans to run in credentialed mode.

Correct Answer and Explanation: A. Configure a script to automatically update the scanning tool.

Explanation: The most effective solution to address the issue of undetected vulnerabilities due to outdated signatures is to automate the process of updating the scanning tooL Here’s why option A is the best choice: A. Configure a script to automatically update the scanning tool: Automating the update process with a script ensures that the vulnerability scanner is consistently equipped with the latest signatures without relying on manual intervention. This approach reduces the risk of human error and ensures that the scanning tool is always up-to-date, thus increasing its effectiveness in identifying vulnerabilities. Option B (Manually validating the execution of the existing update process) still relies on manual intervention, which may not guarantee timely updates and can be error-prone. Option C (Testing vulnerability remediation in a sandbox environment) is important but addresses the remediation process rather than the issue of outdated scanning tool signatures. Option D (Configuring vulnerability scans to run in credentialed mode) is relevant for scanning configurations but does not address the core issue of keeping the scanning tool itself up-to-date. Therefore, option A, which focuses on automating the update process, is the most effective logical control to ensure that the scanning tool remains current and capable of detecting vulnerabilities.

What is the most likely reason behind a cybersecurity analyst receiving a steady stream of alerts regarding the identification of commonly known “call home” messages by network sensors at the edge of the network, which were effectively blocked by the proxy firewall after confirming their legitimacy as true positives?

  • A. Attackers conducting reconnaissance on company resources.
  • B. An external command and control system attempting to contact an infected system.
  • C. An insider attempting to exfiltrate information to a remote network.
  • D. The presence of malware on a company system.

Correct Answer and Explanation: B. An external command and control system attempting to contact an infected system.

Explanation: Option B is the most likely cause for several reasons: B. An external command and control system attempting to contact an infected system: The detection of “call home” messages often indicates that a compromised or infected system is attempting to communicate with an external command and control (C 2) server. These messages are a common indicator of malware infections, as they are used by malware to establish contact with remote servers controlled by attackers. The fact that the proxy firewall successfully blocks these messages suggests that it is preventing the infected system from communicating with its C2 server, which is a crucial security measure. Option A (Attackers conducting reconnaissance) typically involves different types of activities and reconnaissance messages, not “call home” messages. Option C (An insider attempting to exfiltrate information) would involve different types of alerts related to data exfiltration, not “call home” messages. Option D (The presence of malware on a company system) is indeed related to the root cause but does not specifically address the network traffic that triggered the alert. Therefore, option B is the most probable cause when continuously detecting “call home” messages after confirming them as true positives, as it indicates that an external C2 system is attempting to contact an infected internal system.

Which one of the following options contains a document that presents a thorough account of the incident’s detection time, its consequences, the steps taken to resolve it, the effectiveness of the response, and any areas for enhancement that were discovered?

  • A. Forensic analysis report
  • B. Chain of custody report
  • C. Trends analysis report
  • D. Lessons learned report

Correct Answer and Explanation: D. Lessons learned report

Explanation: A “Lessons learned report” is a document that contains detailed information about an incident, including the time of detection, the impact of the incident, the steps taken to remediate it, the effectiveness of the incident response, and any identified gaps or areas for improvement. This report is crucial for post-incident analysis and helps organizations understand what went well, what didn’t, and what can be done differently in the future to enhance their incident response capabilities. Option A (Forensic analysis report) typically focuses on the technical aspects of an incident, such as the methods used by attackers and the analysis of digital evidence. Option B (Chain of custody report) documents the handling and preservation of evidence but does not provide the comprehensive incident details requested in the question. Option C (Trends analysis report) typically involves analyzing data over time to identify patterns and trends but may not necessarily include incident-specific details and response effectiveness. Therefore, option D (Lessons learned report) is the most appropriate document for capturing the required incident-related information and post-incident analysis.

Which action below would SOLELY pinpoint the widely communicated critical vulnerability in Apache?

  • A. Conduct an unauthenticated vulnerability scan on all servers in the environment.
  • B. Conduct a scan specifically for the known vulnerability on all web servers.
  • C. Conduct a web vulnerability scan on all servers in the environment.
  • D. Conduct an authenticated scan on all web servers in the environment.

Correct Answer and Explanation: B. Conduct a scan specifically for the known vulnerability on all web servers.

Explanation: Option B, “Conduct a scan specifically for the known vulnerability on all web servers,” is the action that would exclusively identify the known vulnerability. Here’s why: B. Conduct a scan specifically for the known vulnerability on all web servers: This action involves a targeted scan aimed at identifying the specific vulnerability in question (the critical Apache vulnerability) on all web servers in the environment. By focusing solely on this known vulnerability, it allows for efficient and precise detection of the issue without generating excessive noise from unrelated vulnerabilities or issues. Option A (Conduct an unauthenticated vulnerability scan on all servers in the environment) may uncover a range of vulnerabilities but may not exclusively identify the critical Apache vulnerability. Option C (Conduct a web vulnerability scan on all servers in the environment) is a broader scan that may identify various web-related vulnerabilities but may not focus exclusively on the known Apache vulnerability. Option D (Conduct an authenticated scan on all web servers in the environment) may help identify vulnerabilities in the web servers but may not exclusively target the known Apache vulnerability. Therefore, option B is the most specific and targeted approach to identify the known Apache vulnerability following the distributed alert within the information security community.

Which command should a security analyst utilize to produce a duplicate of an image for forensic intentions?

  • A. dd
  • B. wget
  • C. touch
  • D. rm

Correct Answer and Explanation: A. dd

Explanation: The correct command to make a copy of an image for forensic use is “dd.” Here’s why: A. dd: The “dd” command is a versatile utility used for various data operations, including copying data. In the context of forensics, it is commonly used to create a bit-by-bit copy or “image” of a storage device (such as a hard drive or a partition) for analysis. This ensures that the forensic copy is an exact duplicate of the original, preserving all data, including hidden or deleted content. These forensic images are crucial for investigations and analysis while maintaining the integrity of the original evidence. Options B (wget), C (touch), and D (rm) are not commands used for creating forensic copies or duplicating storage devices, “wget” is typically used for downloading files from the internet, “touch” is used to update the access and modification timestamps of files, and “rm” is used to remove (delete) files and directories. Therefore, option A (dd) is the correct command for making a copy of an image for forensic purposes.

How can the situation described in which a device becomes unresponsive upon opening an email attachment be best characterized in terms of a potential threat?

  • A. Packet of death
  • B. Zero-day malware
  • C. PII exfiltration
  • D. Known virus

Correct Option: B

The Explanation: In this scenario, the most fitting description of the threat is “Zero-day malware” (Option B). Zero-day malware refers to malicious software or code that exploits a vulnerability or security flaw in a system or software application before the vulnerability is known to the vendor or the security community. In this case, the feet that the device became unresponsive upon opening an email attachment without any alerts from antivirus software or unusual behavior on the Intrusion Detection System (IDS) suggests the possibility of a previously unknown and unpatched vulnerability being exploited by malware. This aligns with the characteristics of zero-day malware, making Option B the correct answer. The other options are less relevant to the situation: A. Packet of death typically relates to network-based attacks and is not directly related to the unresponsiveness of a device when opening an email attachment. C. PII exfiltration pertains to the unauthorized transfer of personally identifiable information, which does not directly address the device’s unresponsiveness. D. Known virus suggests a known and previously identified malware, which does not explain the unusual behavior in this case, as no alerts from antivirus software were triggered.

Which of the following would indicate a potential false positive when addressing vulnerabilities associated with a company’s web servers after conducting an initial vulnerability assessment?

  • A. Reports indicate that the scanner’s compliance plug-in is not up-to-date.
  • B. Items labeled as ’low” are regarded as informational in nature.
  • C. The scan result version differs from the automated asset inventory.
  • D. “HTTPS” entries signify that the web page is securely encrypted.

Correct Answer and Explanation: B. Items labeled as “low” are regarded as informational in nature.

Explanation: In vulnerability assessments, findings are often categorized by severity levels such as “high,” “medium,” “low,” or “informational.” “Low” severity findings typically pertain to issues that may not pose a significant risk to the security of the system or network. These findings are generally considered informational and may include details like software versions, banners, or configurations. Therefore, when reviewing the results of a vulnerability scan, items labeled as “low” are more likely to be informational and less likely to represent actual vulnerabilities. As a result, they are potential false positives, and analysts should prioritize addressing higher-severity issues first to maximize the impact of remediation efforts.

The newly hired Chief Technology Officer (CTO) is in search of recommendations for network monitoring services for the internal intranet. The CTO wants to be able to oversee all incoming and outgoing traffic through the gateway while also having the capability to restrict access to certain content. Which of the following options would be most suitable for fulfilling the organization’s needs?

  • A. Suggest configuring IP filtering on both the internal and external interfaces of the gateway router.
  • B. Recommend implementing an Intrusion Detection System (IDS) on the internal interface and a firewall on the external interface of the gateway router.
  • C. Advocate for the deployment of a firewall on the internal interface and a Network Intrusion Detection System (NIDS) on the external interface of the gateway router.
  • D. Propose installing an Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) on both the internal and external interfaces of the gateway router.

Correct Answer: C. Advocate for the deployment of a firewall on the internal interface and a Network Intrusion Detection System (NIDS) on the external interface of the gateway router.

Explanation: Option C is the most suitable recommendation for the organization’s needs. By implementing a firewall on the internal interface, the organization can control and restrict access to specific content. Simultaneously, deploying a Network Intrusion Detection System (NIDS) on the external interface enables comprehensive monitoring of all traffic to and from the gateway, enhancing security by detecting and alerting to potential intrusions or suspicious activities without blocking traffic outright. This combination provides the desired capabilities of traffic monitoring and content control while maintaining network security.

  • A. The analyst is not using the standard approved browser.
  • B. The analyst accidentally clicked a link related to the indicator.
  • C. The analyst has prefetch enabled on the browser in use.
  • D. The alert is unrelated to the analyst’s search.

Correct Answer: C. The analyst has prefetch enabled on the browser in use.

Explanation: Option C is the most likely explanation for this situation. Browser prefetching is a feature that anticipates user actions by loading web pages and content in the background based on the user’s search queries or behavior. In this case, the analyst searched for related sites using a search engine, and because prefetch was enabled, the web proxy generated an alert as it preloaded or retrieved content related to the searched indicators. This alert was triggered by the browser’s prefetching behavior, even though the analyst did not intentionally visit the related sites. Options A, B, and D are less likely explanations and do not align with the behavior described in the scenario.

What are the two MOST effective strategies for addressing the risk of a network-based compromise in embedded Industrial Control Systems (ICS) and minimizing its impact?

  • A. Patching
  • B. Network Intrusion Detection Systems (NIDS)
  • C. Segmentation
  • D. Disabling unused services
  • E. Firewalling

Correct Answers: A. Patching and C. Segmentation

Explanation: Patching (Option A) is crucial for addressing vulnerabilities in embedded ICS. Regularly updating and patching these systems can help eliminate known vulnerabilities, reducing the risk of exploitation. Segmentation (Option C) involves isolating the ICS from other parts of the network, creating separate network zones. This approach limits the potential attack surface and the lateral movement of threats, making it an effective strategy to protect embedded ICS. While NIDS (Option B), disabling unused services (Option D), and firewalling (Option E) can enhance security, they are not as directly focused on reducing the risk of a network-based compromise of embedded ICS systems as patching and segmentation are.

What is the MOST probable event that has occurred on the workstation, as observed when monitoring network traffic, where abnormal activity is originating from the workstation, and it is establishing encrypted communication with a known malicious site, despite a thorough antivirus scan with an updated antivirus signature file showing no signs of infection?

  • A. Zero-day attack
  • B. Known malware attack
  • C. Session hijack
  • D. Cookie stealing

Correct Answer: A.

The Explanation: The situation described suggests a “zero-day attack” (Option A). In a zero-day attack, a threat actor exploits a vulnerability or security flaw that is unknown to the software vendor or the security community. Because it’s a previously unknown vulnerability, antivirus signatures and security tools may not detect the attack, explaining the absence of infection indicators in the antivirus scan. This type of attack can be particularly challenging to defend against, as there are no established remedies or signatures available at the time of the attack. Options B, C, and D are not suitable explanations for the scenario outlined.

In this scenario, which scanning topology is the MOST APPROPRIATE for a university seeking to enhance network security by conducting vulnerability scans on both centrally managed and student/employee laptops while ensuring scalability, minimal false positives, highly accurate results, and centralized management through an enterprise console?

  • A. A passive scanning engine located at the core of the network infrastructure
  • B. A combination of cloud-based and server-based scanning engines
  • C. A combination of server-based and agent-based scanning engines
  • D. An active scanning engine installed on the enterprise console

Correct Answer: B. A combination of cloud-based and server-based scanning engines

Explanation: Option B, a combination of cloud-based and server-based scanning engines, is the most suitable choice for this environment. This approach provides the required scalability and centralized management through an enterprise console. Cloud-based scanning engines can handle scanning for remote or off-campus laptops, offering flexibility and scalability to accommodate a diverse user base, including students and employees. Server-based scanning engines can efficiently scan centrally managed devices within the university’s network infrastructure, ensuring high accuracy of results and minimizing false positives. This combination allows the university to address both on- campus and remote devices effectively, making it the best choice in this scenario. Options A, C, and D do not align as well with the requirements specified for this particular university network.

When preparing a vulnerability report for a company, a cybersecurity analyst intends to present comprehensive information about assets. Which of the following items should be INCLUDED in the report?

  • A. Processor utilization
  • B. Virtual hosts
  • C. Organizational governance
  • D. Log disposition
  • E. Asset isolation

Correct Answer: B. Virtual hosts

Explanation: In the context of a vulnerability report, “virtual hosts” (Option B) should be included in the report. Virtual hosts represent a critical aspect of an organization’s IT infrastructure, and vulnerabilities in these virtual environments can impact security. By including information about virtual hosts in the report, the organization can address vulnerabilities in these areas to enhance overall security posture. While items like processor utilization (Option A), organizational governance (Option C), log disposition (Option D), and asset isolation (Option E) may be relevant in a broader security context, they are not typically included as assets in a vulnerability report. Instead, these items might be covered in other reports or assessments focused on performance, governance, or compliance.

In this scenario, what approach should a cybersecurity analyst adopt to identify all affected servers within the organization, considering that the organization’s asset inventory is outdated and a threat intelligence feed has reported a critical vulnerability in the kernel?

  • A. A manual log review of data sent to syslog
  • B. An OS fingerprinting scan across all hosts
  • C. Network packet captures of data traversing the server
  • D. A service discovery scan on the network

Correct Answer: D. A service discovery scan on the network

Explanation: In this scenario, performing a “service discovery scan on the network” (Option D) is the most appropriate technique for identifying all affected servers within the organization. Service discovery scans help locate and identify services and applications running on networked devices. By conducting such a scan, the cybersecurity analyst can uncover servers that may be running the vulnerable kernel version, even if the asset inventory is outdated. This method is efficient for quickly identifying impacted systems, which is crucial when dealing with a critical vulnerability. Options A, B, and C may have their uses in different contexts but are less suited for rapidly identifying all affected servers in response to a critical vulnerability alert. Manual log reviews (Option A) can be time-consuming, OS fingerprinting scans (Option B) may not identify the specific kernel version, and packet captures (Option C) are more focused on traffic analysis than asset discovery.

During an extensive vulnerability scan focused on identifying open ports for potential exploitation, a technician mistakenly interrupts various network services, leading to an impact on production. Which of the following sources should be referred to in order to evaluate the exact network service that experienced disruption?

  • A. Syslog
  • B. Network mapping
  • C. Firewall logs
  • D. NIDS

Correct Answer: A. Syslog

Explanation: To determine which network service was interrupted during the vulnerability scan, the technician should review “Syslog” (Option A) records. Syslog is a standard protocol for logging system and network events, including service disruptions and errors. By examining the syslog logs, the technician can identify the specific network service or services that were impacted and gain insights into the cause of the disruption. This information is crucial for troubleshooting and ensuring the network services are restored to their normal operation. While network mapping (Option B), firewall logs (Option C), and Network Intrusion Detection Systems (NIDS) (Option D) provide valuable information, they may not offer as direct insights into the specific network service interruption as syslog logs would in this context.

During the examination of a machine that had been previously subjected to historical SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) alerts, a security analyst noticed several signs of a potential breach. These signs involve the utilization of SSL for network connections on non-standard ports, presence of svchost.exe and cmd.exe replicas in the %TEMP% directory, as well as RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) files that exhibited connections with external IP addresses. What sort of security concern is most probable based on these findings?

  • A. DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service)
  • B. APT (Advanced Persistent Threat)
  • C. Ransomware
  • D. Software vulnerability

Correct Answer: B. APT (Advanced Persistent Threat)

Explanation: The presence of SSL-encrypted network connections on non-common ports, suspicious executable files in the %TEMP% folder (such as svchost.exe and cmd.exe), and RDP files connected to external IP addresses are indicative of an “Advanced Persistent Threat’’ (Option B). APTs are stealthy, targeted attacks that often involve advanced techniques to infiltrate and persist within a network over an extended period. The described indicators suggest that the attacker has been operating with sophistication, attempting to maintain a persistent presence on the compromised machine and potentially exfiltrating sensitive data. While the other options (DDoS, Ransomware, and Software Vulnerability) represent different types of threats, they do not align with the set of indicators and characteristics described in the scenario, making APT the most appropriate choice.

A network technician suspects an attacker is attempting to breach the network and wants to implement a firewall rule to hinder the attacker’s capability to identify legitimate IP addresses within the network. Which of the subsequent protocols must be denied?

  • A. TCP
  • B. SMTP
  • C. ICMP
  • D. ARP

Correct Answer: C. ICMP

Explanation: To prevent an attacker from learning valid IP addresses on the network, the network technician should block the “ICMP” (Internet Control Message Protocol) (Option C). ICMP is often used for network diagnostics, including tools like ICMP Echo Request (ping). Attackers can leverage ICMP to discover live hosts by sending ICMP Echo Requests and analyzing responses. By blocking ICMP traffic at the firewall, the technician can inhibit this reconnaissance technique, making it harder for potential attackers to gather information about the network’s IP addresses. Options A (TCP), B (SMTP), and D (ARP) are not typically used for IP address discovery and, therefore, are not the primary protocols to block to prevent this specific type of reconnaissance.

A cybersecurity analyst comes across the laptop of a user who has left the company. While inspecting the laptop, the analyst utilizes the “history” command in the prompt and finds the subsequent line of code in the recent bash history. The analyst becomes worried as this subnet should not be familiar to users within the organization. What does this code specifically do on the network?

  • A. Conducted a ping sweep of the Class C network.
  • B. Executed a half-open SYB scan on the network.
  • C. Sent 255 ping packets to each host on the network.
  • D. Sequentially sent an ICMP echo reply to the Class C network.

Correct Answer: A. Conducted a ping sweep of the Class C network.

Explanation: The provided line of code “ping -c 255” suggests that the code executed a “ping sweep” of the Class C network with the subnet mask ( In a ping sweep, the code sends ICMP echo requests (ping packets) to each host within the specified network range ( to in this case) to identify live hosts. This action allows the user to discover active devices within the network, potentially identifying devices that should not be known to users within the company. Options B, C, and D do not accurately describe the action performed by the code, as they involve different scan types and behaviors not reflected in the provided command.