Identifying Vulnerabilities

Posted by in Security+ | 0 comments

Security professionals are regularly identifying vulnerabilities. Vulnerabilities are weaknesses, and by reducing vulnerabilities, you can reduce risks. That sounds simple enough. However, how do you identify the vulnerabilities that represent the greatest risks? If you’re planning to take the Security+ exam, these are concepts you should understand.

Can you answer this sample question?

Q. You recently completed a vulnerability scan on your network. It reported that several servers are missing key operating system patches. However, after checking the servers, you’ve verified the servers have these patches installed. Which of the following BEST describes this?

A. False negative

B. Misconfiguration on servers

C. False positive

D.Servers not hardened

More, do you know why the correct answer is correct and the incorrect answers are incorrect? The answer and explanation is available at the end of this post.

Full Security+ Course

Full Security+ Course Now Available

Helping you Pass the First Time

Online access includes all of the content from the

CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide

  • Introduction
  • About the exam (including types of questions and strategies for performance-based questions)
  • 100 question pre-assessment exam
  • Mastering Security Basics (full content from Chapter 1 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Exploring Control Types and Methods (full content from Chapter 2 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Basic Network Security (full content from Chapter 3 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Securing Your Network (full content from Chapter 4 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Securing Hosts and Data (full content from Chapter 5 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Malware and Social Engineering (full content from Chapter 6 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Identifying Advanced Attacks (full content from Chapter 7 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Managing Risk (full content from Chapter 8 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Preparing for Business Continuity (full content from Chapter 9 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Cryptography (full content from Chapter 10 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Exploring Operational Security (full content from Chapter 11 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • 100 question post-assessment exam
  • Security+ Acronyms

Get the Full Security+ Course Here

 Full Security+ Course Now Available


Test your readiness with these quality materials

Random 100-question tests

Random practice tests from the all of the practice test questions in the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide. All questions include explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct, and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.

34 Simulated Performance-based Questions

Eight sets of performance-based questions with multiple questions in each set. These questions help you understand and prepare for performance based questions.

22 Realistic Performance-based Questions

Two new sets of performance-based questions with a total of 22 questions. These new questions use a new testing engine that includes realistic drag and drop, matching, sorting, and fill in the blank questions.

Flashcard Set

  • 273 Security+ Flashcards to reinforce key testable concepts
  • 280 Security+ acronyms flashcards to help you master the required acronyms
  • 204 Security+ Remember This slides

Audio - SY0-401 Security+ Remember This Audio Files

Learn by Listening. Over one hour and 15 minutes of audio (MP3 downloads.)

Audio - SY0-401 Security+ Question and Answer Audio Files

Learn by Listening. Over three hours hour and 15 minutes of audio (MP3 downloads.)

Bonus #1

Audio from the end of chapter reviews from each of the chapters in the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide. Over one hour and 15 minutes of additional audio.

Bonus #2

Subnetting mini-tutorial that will help you answer two key question types:
  • Identify how many hosts a subnet supports
  • Identify valid IP addresses within a subnet

Bonus #3 

Access the study materials for a total of 60 days because sometimes life happens.

Get the Full Security+ Course Here

Vulnerability Assessment

The overall goal of a vulnerability assessment is to assess the security posture of systems and networks. They identify vulnerabilities, or weaknesses, within systems, networks, and organizations, and are part of an overall risk management plan.

Vulnerability assessments can include information from a wide variety of sources. This includes reviewing security policies and logs, interviewing personnel, and testing systems. Assessments often use vulnerability scans and penetration tests. A vulnerability assessment often includes the following high-level steps:

  • Identify assets and capabilities.
  • Prioritize assets based on value.
  • Identify vulnerabilities and prioritize them.
  • Recommend controls to mitigate serious vulnerabilities.

Many organizations perform vulnerability assessments internally. Organizations also occasionally hire external security professionals to complete external assessments.

Remember this

A vulnerability assessment determines the security posture of a system or network by identifying vulnerabilities and weaknesses. Assessments include the results of various tools, such as vulnerability scanners, audits, and reviews.

Get Certified Get Ahead

Identifying Vulnerabilities

At this stage, attackers know the IP address of live systems, what operating systems they’re running, and what protocols they’re running. This information is passed to the appropriate experts. For example, some attackers may be experts at attacking IIS web servers and Windows systems, while others are experts at attacking Apache web servers and Linux or Unix systems.

If it’s a web server, attackers may check to see if input validation techniques are in place. If not, it may be susceptible to buffer overflow, command injection, SQL injection, or cross-site scripting attacks. If it’s an application server with known default accounts and passwords, the attacker checks to see if the defaults are still available.

Many vulnerability scanners can easily check for current patches. If systems aren’t kept up to date with current patches, they are susceptible to known vulnerabilities. Again, vulnerability scanners can identify vulnerabilities, and both security professionals and attackers can use them.

CompTIA Security+ Study Guide

The 401 Version of the Study Guide

SY0-401 Study GuideThe CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide is an update to the top-selling SY0-201 and SY0-301 study guides, which have helped thousands of readers pass the exam the first time they took it.

CompTIA Authorized Quality Content (CAQC)After a comprehensive review by ProCert Labs, the SY0-401 version has been certified as CompTIA Approved Quality Content (CAQC) and covers every aspect of the SY0-401 exam.

It includes the same elements readers raved about in the previous two versions.

Each of the eleven chapters presents topics in an easy to understand manner and includes real-world examples of security principles in action.

You’ll understand the important and relevant security topics for the Security+ exam, without being overloaded with unnecessary details. Additionally, each chapter includes a comprehensive review section to help you focus on what’s important.


Click for Free Preview


Over 400 realistic practice test questions with in-depth explanations will help you test your comprehension and readiness for the exam. The book includes:

  • A 100 question pre-test
  • A 100 question post-test
  • Practice test questions at the end of every chapter.

Each practice test question includes a detailed explanation to help you understand the content and the reasoning behind the question. You’ll be ready to take and pass the exam the first time you take it.

If you plan to pursue any of the advanced security certifications, this guide will also help you lay a solid foundation of security knowledge. Learn this material, and you’ll be a step ahead for other exams. This SY0-401 study guide is for any IT or security professional interested in advancing in their field, and a must read for anyone striving to master the basics of IT security.

Kindle edition also available.

Are you looking for SYO-501 Study Guide?

The 501 Version of the Study Guide is Now Available. Click Here.

Attack Tools

Attackers now have a list of systems and their vulnerabilities. They may have attack tools they can run immediately to exploit vulnerable systems. Other times, experts may write code to exploit a new vulnerability. However, you can bet that they will attack.

The reconnaissance and fingerprinting stages may take days, weeks, or months. Some attacks are quick after some detailed planning, whereas other attacks linger as long as the attacker is undetected or until the attacker has completed the mission.

Identifying Vulnerabilities

For example, when attackers extract or exfiltrate data, they often get in and get out as soon as possible. This often requires them to use privilege escalation tactics to gain elevated rights and permissions to access the data. Escalating their privileges is likely to sound an alarm. Once they’re detected, they can expect to be blocked, so they must get as much data as possible, as quickly as possible. However, sometimes the attacks are undetected, and they can continue the attacks for days.

It’s also worth pointing out that attackers often launch attacks through other systems. They take control of remote computers through different types of malware and launch the attacks through these systems. It is difficult, though not impossible, to track these attacks back to the actual source.

As the last step in the attack, many attackers attempt to erase or modify the logs. The goal is to remove traces of their attack.

Security+ Practice Test Questions

SYO-501 Practice Test Questions Now Available

SYO-401 Practice Test Questions

Over 440 realistic Security+ practice test questions

All questions include explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct,

and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.

Pass the Security+ Exam

the First Time You Take It

Multiple quiz formats to let you use these questions based on the way you learn.
  • Learn mode - randomized. View each of the questions in random order. Learn mode allows you to keep selecting answers until you select the correct answer. Once you select the correct answer, you'll see the explanation. Click here to see how learn mode works.
  • Learn mode - not randomized. View each of the questions in the same order. Use this if you want to make sure that you see all of the questions. Learn mode allows you to keep selecting answers until you select the correct answer. Once you select the correct answer, you'll see the explanation. Click here to see how learn mode works.
  • Test mode - randomized. View each of the questions in random order. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.
  • Test mode - not randomized. View each of the questions in the same order. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.
  • Test mode - 100 random questions. View 100 random questions from the full test bank similar to how the Security+ exam has a potential maximum of 100 multiple choice questions. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.

Get the full bank of Security+ (SYO-401) Practice Test Questions Here

 SYO-401 Practice Test Questions


INCLUDES QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU PREPARE

FOR THE NEW PERFORMANCE BASED QUESTIONS 

Bonus - Performance Based Questions

Additional Security+ questions to help you prepare for the new performance based questions. These are included with the full bank of Security+ practice test questions and are divided into different sections. For example, you'll have access to the following links:

- Performance Based Question - Set 1

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of security to mobile devices and servers in a data center. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 2

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of attacks with the name of the attack type. You'll then have five questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 3

You'll see a graphic showing a network with computers and servers separated by a firewall. The firewall is used to control traffic between the computers and users using rules within an access control list (ACL).  You'll have three questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly identify the relevant components of the rule. The incorrect answers and explanation provide you with insight into how to correctly answer this type of question on the actual exam.

- Performance Based Question - Set 4

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam related to what a forensic analyst would do during an investigation. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 5

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match protocols and ports. You'll then have seven questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 6

You'll see a list of security controls along with a graphic showing devices and locations within an organization, along with instructions on what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match the controls with the devices and locations. You'll then have four questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 7

You'll see a list of authentication methods and authentication factors along with instructions on what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match the authentication methods with the authentication factors. You'll then have six questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This set also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 8

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of attacks with the name of the attack type. You'll then have five questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This is similar to Set 2 but expands on the possibilities. The set also includes a link to a page showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

New - Performance Based Question - Set 9

New questions recently added using a different testing engine. See a demo here. This set includes drag and drop and matching questions on ports.

New - Performance Based Question - Set 10

A random set of 20 performance-based questions using drag and drop, matching, sorting, and fill in-the blank. This set includes performance-based questions on RAID.

Get the full bank of Security+ (SYO-401) Practice Test Questions Here

Get the full bank of Security+ Practice Test Questions

Click here if you're looking for SYO-501 Practice Test Questions

False Positive

Unfortunately, vulnerability scanners aren’t perfect. Occasionally, they report a vulnerability when it doesn’t actually exist. In other words, the scan reports a positive on a known vulnerability, but the report is false. As an example, a vulnerability scan on a server might report that the server is missing patches related to a database application, but the server doesn’t have a database application installed.

This is similar to false positives in an intrusion detection system (IDS) where the IDS alerts on an event, but the event isn’t an actual intrusion. Similarly, an antivirus scanner can identify a useful application as malware, even though the application does not have any malicious code. False positives can result in higher administrative overhead because administrators have to investigate them.

Remember this

A false positive from a vulnerability scan indicates the scan detected a vulnerability, but the vulnerability doesn’t actually exist.


 

Q. You recently completed a vulnerability scan on your network. It reported that several servers are missing key operating system patches. However, after checking the servers, you’ve verified the servers have these patches installed. Which of the following BEST describes this?

A. False negative

B. Misconfiguration on servers

C. False positive

D.Servers not hardened

Answer is C. In this scenario, the vulnerability scanner reported a false positive indicating that the servers had a vulnerability, but in reality, the servers did not have the vulnerability.

A false negative occurs if a vulnerability scanner does not report a known vulnerability.

There isn’t any indication that the servers are misconfigured and they are not hardened.

See Chapter 8 of the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide for more information on managing risks.

Leave a Comment

CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list and get a free excerpt of the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide.  This excerpt includes the introduction and Chapter 1. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Get Certified Get Ahead is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program,
an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Copyright © 2015 Get Certified Get Ahead. All Rights Reserved.