Get Certified Get Ahead

Search Site

Our goal is to help you Get Certified and Get Ahead in your career and your life. If you want to get certified, you’ll find that many of the free blog posts on this site can help you.

 

List of recent posts.

Security+ SY0-501 Study Guide Now Available


Key Security+ blog posts

A listing of over 100 blog posts on the Security+exam. Posts are organized into categories such as:

 




Security+ Full Access Package

Get Certified Get Ahead Security+

Pass the First Time!

Up-to-date Content

New multiple-choice and performance-based questions added regularly

Pass the first time with quality practice test questions, performance-based questions, flashcards, and audio.

Buy The Full Access Study Package Today

60 Days Access For Only $65.97

Need more time? You can easily renew for another 60 days at a significantly reduced price.

All materials are available online shortly after making your payment.

Get the Security+ Full Access Study Package Here

Our online Security+ study materials are the perfect complement to the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide. They can also be used to help ensure you're ready no matter what study guide you're using.

This exam is expensive.

Make sure you're ready before exam day. 

Here's what you'll get:
  • All of the multiple-choice questions from the best-selling CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide. See a demo here. All questions have full explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.
  • Over 40 new multiple-choice questions we've added after publishing the study guide.
  • Over 30 performance-based questions. See a demo here.
  • All of the flashcards from the study guide. View them in any Web browser.
  • All of the audio from the study guide. Listen to a sample here.
  • Access to a free discount code for 10% off your Security+ voucher.

Buy The Full Access Study Package Today

60 Days Access For Only $65.97

All materials are available online shortly after making your payment.

Get the Security+ Full Access Study Package Here

Recent Posts

  • Capturing Network Traffic

    Capturing Network Traffic

    Several tools are available for use by security professionals and attackers alike. If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 exam, you should have a basic understanding of specific tools used to assess networks and manage risks. This includes using tools …
  • Comparing Backup Types

    Comparing Backup Types

    Backups are copies of data created to ensure that when the original data is lost or corrupted, it can be restored.  If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 exam, you should have a good understanding of backup utilities that support several …
  • Something You Have Authentication Factor

    Something You Have Authentication Factor

    Authentication is often simplified as types, or factors, of authentication. If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 exam, you should have a basic understanding of authentication factors. This includes the something you have authentication factor. For example, can you answer …
  • Failed Again – How Can I Pass

    Failed Again – How Can I Pass

    I recently received an email from Moe* complaining about the CompTIA Security+ exam. He closed with “I am honestly heartbroken… what do I do?” Six Steps To Pass Security+ Jaena, one of my assistants, answered. She gave some advice that …
  • Data Acquisition for Evidence

    Data Acquisition for Evidence

    Forensic experts use a variety of forensic procedures to collect and protect data after an attack. If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 exam, you should have a basic understanding of forensics concepts. This includes the process in data acquisition …
  • Filtering Traffic Using Firewall

    Filtering Traffic Using Firewall

    If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 exam, you should understand firewalls and how to filter traffic using a firewall. A firewall filters incoming and outgoing traffic for a single host or between networks. In other words, a firewall can …
  • Business Continuity Strategies

    Business Continuity Strategies

    If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 exam, you should understand business continuity strategies. This includes disaster recovery and continuity of operation concepts. Combined, these help ensure mission-critical functions continue to operate even if a disaster destroys a primary business location. …
  • Implementing File System Security

    Implementing File System Security

    If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 exam, you should have a good understanding of file system security as a method of protecting data. This includes understanding Linux systems that support GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG or GPG), which is a …
  • Implementing Secure Network Using Devices

    Implementing Secure Network Using Devices

    If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 exam, you should have a basic understanding of implementing a secure network. This includes using various network devices to support organizational security. For example, can you answer this practice test question? Q. Your email …
  • Sample Performance-Based Question

    Sample Performance-Based Question

    A reader recently queried about a sample performance-based question he saw on CompTIA’s website. He was confused by it and wanted to know how he could answer it. Normally, it’s easy to answer these types of queries. I encourage the …
  • Identifying Application Attacks

    Identifying Application Attacks

    If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 exam, you should have a good understanding of the common attacks related to different types of servers. This includes a wide assortment of attacks such as application attacks and gaining some insight into preventing …
  • Near-Future Businesses That Will Require Digital Security Professionals

    Near-Future Businesses That Will Require Digital Security Professionals

    There is typically no shortage of need for digital security professionals. Our world is increasingly digital, and it seems that people are becoming more aware of the threats they face in this world by the day, meaning security is always …
  • Viewing Logs

    Viewing Logs

    While taking the SY0-501 exam, you may come across some questions that require you to read logs. This confuses some people because logs aren’t written in plain English. However, if you understand the objectives of the exam, you should be able …
  • Detecting Attacks and Protecting Systems

    Detecting Attacks and Protecting Systems

    Organizations need to understand and protect themselves from many different types of threat actors. If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 exam, you should have a good understanding of detecting attacks and protecting systems from these attacks. This includes how organizations and …
  • Using Role-based Access Control

    Using Role-based Access Control

    Role-based access control (role-BAC) uses roles to manage rights and permissions for users. This is useful for users within a specific department who perform the same job functions. If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 exam, you should have a …

Now Available
CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide

 

Capturing Network Traffic

Posted by on August 9 in Security+ | 0 comments

Several tools are available for use by security professionals and attackers alike. If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 exam, you should have a basic understanding of specific tools used to assess networks and manage risks. This includes using tools to capture and analyze network traffic.

For example, can you answer this practice test question?

Q. You are troubleshooting issues between two servers on your network and need to analyze the network traffic. Of the following choices, what is the BEST tool to capture and analyze this traffic?

A. Network mapper

B. Protocol analyzer

C. Network scanner

D. SIEM

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

Sniffing with a Protocol Analyzer

A protocol analyzer can capture and analyze packets on a network. The process of using a protocol analyzer is sometimes referred to as sniffing or using a sniffer. Both administrators and attackers can use a protocol analyzer to view IP headers and examine packets. For example, administrators can use a protocol analyzer to troubleshoot communication issues between network systems, or identify potential attacks using manipulated or fragmented packets.

Attackers can use a protocol analyzer to capture data sent across a network in cleartext. For example, unencrypted credentials are usernames and passwords sent across a network in cleartext. One of the ways attackers can view this data is by connecting an unauthorized switch within a network to capture traffic and forward it to a system running a protocol analyzer. If cabling isn’t protected, they might be able to simply connect a switch above a drop-down ceiling. Wireshark is a free protocol analyzer that you can download from the Wireshark site: http://www.wireshark.org/.

The figure shows Wireshark after it captured packets transmitted over the network. It includes about 150 packets and has packet 121 selected in the top pane. The top pane shows the source and destination IP addresses and the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol. Many networks use SMB to send files over the network, and this packet includes the contents of that file. The middle pane shows details from this packet with the Internet Protocol version 4 header information partially expanded. The bottom pane shows the entire contents of the packet (including the unencrypted credentials) displayed in hexadecimal and ASCII characters.

Capturing Network Traffic

Wireshark capture

Although it can be tedious to analyze a packet capture, there is a lot of information in it for anyone willing to take the time to do so. Occasionally, attackers manipulate flags (arrow 1) within the headers for different types of attacks, and the protocol analyzer allows you to verify header manipulation attacks. You can also see the source and destination IP addresses (arrow 2) within the IP header field. You can expand the Ethernet II section to show the media access control (MAC) addresses of the source and destination computers.

Notice that you can view the unencrypted credentials—username (Darril) and password (P@ssw0rd)—in the bottom pane (arrow 3) because SMB sends it in cleartext. However, if an application encrypted the data before sending it across the network, it would not be readable.

Although this packet capture only includes about 150 packets, a packet capture can easily include thousands of packets. Wireshark includes filters that administrators use to focus on specific types of traffic. These filters also allow them to quantify the traffic. For example, they can determine the percentage of SMTP traffic or HTTP traffic on the network.

CompTIA Security+ Study Guide

The 501 Version of the Study Guide

The CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide is an update to the top-selling SY0-201, SY0-301, and SY0-401 study guides, which have helped thousands of readers pass the exam the first time they took it.  It includes the same elements readers raved about in the previous three 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.



Over 300 realistic practice test questions with in-depth explanations will help you test your comprehension and readiness for the exam. The book includes:

  • A 75 question pre-test
  • A 75 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 SY0-501 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.

In addition to seeing a capture using the Wireshark graphical interface, you can also view them as text files. The information in the text file is usually limited using filters, but normally includes the time, source information labeled as src, destination information labeled as dst, and sometimes protocol information. Here’s an example:

22:33:44, src 192.168.5.55:3389, dst 192.168.7.17:8080, syn/ack

The time is shown in a 24-hour clock as 10:33 p.m. and 44 seconds. Notice the source and destination includes an IP address and a port number. This reiterates the importance of knowing commonly used ports. It also shows you how you can identify the source of traffic. For example, if an attacker is manipulating or fragmenting packets as part of an attack, you can use the src IP address to identify the potential source of the attack.

Full Security+ Course

SY0-501 Full Security+ Course

Helping you Pass the First Time

Online access includes all of the content from the

CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide

  • Introduction
  • About the exam (including information on the number of questions, test duration, passing score, types of questions and more. Also includes a listing of the exam objectives)
  • 75 question pre-assessment exam
  • Mastering Security Basics (full content from Chapter 1 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Identity and Access Management (full content from Chapter 2 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Exploring Network Technologies and Tools (full content from Chapter 3 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Securing Your Network (full content from Chapter 4 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Securing Hosts and Data (full content from Chapter 5 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Comparing Threats, Vulnerabilities, and Common Attacks (full content from Chapter 6 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Protecting Against Advanced Attacks (full content from Chapter 7 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Using Risk Management Tools (full content from Chapter 8 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Implementing Controls to Protect Assets (full content from Chapter 9 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Cryptography and PKI (full content from Chapter 10 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Implementing Policies to Mitigate Risks (full content from Chapter 11 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • 75 question post-assessment exam
  • Glossary

Get the SY0-501 Full Security+ Course Here


Test your readiness with these quality materials

Random 75-question tests

Random practice tests from the all of the practice test questions in the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide. All questions include explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct, and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.

3 sets Performance-based Questions

Three new sets of performance-based questions with a total of 30 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

  • 494 Online Security+ Glossary Flashcards
  • 222 Online Security+ Acronyms Flashcards
  • 223 Online Security+ Remember This Slide from the popular CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide

Audio - SY0-501 Security+ Remember This Audio Files

Learn by Listening. Over one hour and 20 minutes of audio (MP3 downloads.)

Audio - SY0-501 Security+ Question and Answer Audio Files

Learn by Listening. Over two hours hour and 53 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: SY0-501 Study Guide. Over one hour and 40 minutes of additional audio.

Bonus #2

Access to all of the online content that is available for free to anyone that purchases the CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide. This includes labs, extra practice test questions, and supplementary materials

Bonus #3 

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

Get the SY0-501 Full Security+ Course Here

It’s worth noting that the source IP address doesn’t always identify the actual attacker. For example, attackers often take control of other computers and launch attacks from them without the knowledge of the owner. Similarly, Port Address Translation (PAT) translates public and private IP addresses. If the traffic goes through a device using PAT, the protocol analyzer only captures the translated IP address, not the original IP address.

When using a protocol analyzer, you need to configure the network interface card (NIC) on the system to use promiscuous mode. Normally, a NIC uses non-promiscuous mode and only processes packets addressed directly to its IP address. However, when you put it in promiscuous mode, it processes all packets regardless of the IP address. This allows the protocol analyzer to capture all packets that reach the NIC.


Q. You are troubleshooting issues between two servers on your network and need to analyze the network traffic. Of the following choices, what is the BEST tool to capture and analyze this traffic?

A. Network mapper

B. Protocol analyzer

C. Network scanner

D. SIEM

Answer is B. A protocol analyzer (also called a sniffer) is the best choice to capture and analyze network traffic.

A network mapper can detect all the devices on a network, and a network scanner can detect more information about these devices, but neither of these tools is the best choice to capture and analyze traffic for troubleshooting purposes.

A security information and event management (SIEM) system aggregates and correlates logs from multiple sources, but does not capture network traffic.

See Chapter 8 of the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide for more information on using security tools.

CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list and get a free excerpt of the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 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.