Protocol IDs for Security+ and SSCP Exams

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Protocol IDs

If you’re preparing for the Security+ or SSCP exams, you’ll need to know a few of the protocol IDs used by TCP/IP. The protocol ID is a number embedded in the header of the packet to identify the protocol. It is used for many protocols that are not identified with a port number.

I recently wrote a blog titled Ports for Network+, Security+, and SSCP Exams which covered the relevant port numbers for these exams. Both port numbers and protocol IDs are used to identify protocols by devices such as routers and firewalls. However, they are different numbers. For example, Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) uses port number 80, but it is not accurate to say that it uses protocol ID 80. In fact, there isn’t a protocol ID that identifies HTTP.

Practice Test Question

Test your knowledge of protocol IDs with this question. This is an example that you may see on the SSCP exam.

Q. You want to block DoS attacks using ping at a firewall. What would you do?

A. Block port 1 at the firewall

B. Block protocol ID 1 at the firewall

C. Block port 6 at the firewall

D. Block protocol ID 6 at the firewall

Answer at end of blog

Protocol IDs

The following table identifies some of the commonly used protocol IDs that you may be tested on.

ProtocolProtocol ID
ICMP – Internet Control Message Protocol1
IGMP – Internet Group Management Protocol2
TCP – Transmission Control Protocol6
UDP – User Datagram Protocol17
IPsec ESP – Internet Protocol security Encapsulating Security Payload50
IPsec AH – Internet Protocol security Authentication Header51

You are more likely to be tested on the protocol IDs in the SSCP exam. If you do see this content on the Security+ exam, it will probably only focus on IPsec ESP or IPsec AH. If you want to see a full listing of protocol ID numbers, check out this list on Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).

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Routers and firewalls use access control lists (ACLs) to filter traffic. They can filter traffic based on IP addresses, network IDs, ports, and protocol IDs. The ports are used to filter traffic using well-known ports mapped to specific protocols. For example, you can block or allow outgoing email by closing or opening port 25, the well-known port for Simple Mail Transport Protocol (SMTP). Similarly, you can block ICMP traffic (used by ping) by blocking any traffic using protocol ID 1.

Q. You want to block DoS attacks using ping at a firewall. What would you do?

A. Block port 1 at the firewall

B. Block protocol ID 1 at the firewall

C. Block port 6 at the firewall

D. Block protocol ID 6 at the firewall

Answer: B

Ping uses Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) and ICMP is identified with protocol ID 1. Blocking protocol ID 1 blocks all pings including a denial-of-service (DoS) attack using ping.

Ports 1 and 6 are unrelated to ping or ICMP so would not have any effect on blocking pings.

Protocol ID 6 identifies Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) so by blocking protocol ID 6, you would block all TCP traffic.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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- 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.

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Bonus - Performance Based Questions

Simulated performance-based questions included with all

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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+ Practice Test Questions Here

Simulated performance-based questions included with

all packages that include practice test questions.

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