Security+…its similar to the last one, pt. 5

Back again with more…questions. Shocking. I know. Anyway, progress is going good. I’m finding that the portion of material I don’t know is about a quarter of it so honestly, that’s really good news as far as lead time to testing. How will the test go? Who knows. I seem to be hitting right on the money lately and eventually if I keep doing that I’m going to fail. I hope I don’t because these test are expensive and I’m going to end up paying a gym a whole bunch of money to get out of a contract on something that they can provide yet offer as a service and refuse to let me out of the contract. Kind of bull shit but you know, I’m just going to keep showing up and making fun of them and explain the situation to the outlandishly cocky people that work there as if I were completely in the wrong and state the facts haha. Which makes it overwhelmingly obvious that they run a bad business or have no idea what they are doing. Regardless they are stealing money from me.

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This is tough, I have no idea what someone of this coding stuff is and take my best guess. Lets get some definitions going.

  • Cross-site request forgery – an attack that forces an end user to execute unwanted actions on a web application in which they’re currently authenticated
  • Buffer overflow – Attackers generally use buffer overflows to corrupt the execution stack of a web application. By sending carefully crafted input to a web application, an attacker can cause the web application to execute arbitrary code, possibly taking over the machine. Attackers have managed to identify buffer overflows in a staggering array of products and components.
  • SQL injection – attack consists of insertion or “injection” of a SQL query via the input data from the client to the application. A successful SQL injection exploit can read sensitive data from the database, modify database data (Insert/Update/Delete), execute administration operations on the database (such as shutdown the DBMS), recover the content of a given file present on the DBMS file system and in some cases issue commands to the operating system
  • JavaScript data insertion – Cross-site scripting (XSS) is a code injection attack that allows an attacker to execute malicious JavaScript in another user’s browser.
  • Firewall evasion script – This is possible through NMAP

The thing is some of this stuff I still dont know what the code looks like but I have a basic idea. I think I should be able to recognize SQL but I’m unclear on the JAVA for sure, which happens to be the answer in this case. Am I going to have to completely learn JAVA or is there some basic stuff I can do to get a quick idea about what XSS looks like? I’ll have to do some digging but the info on the OWSAP site for now, ill stick with that and see where it gets me.

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The thing I don’t understand about this is, why would I dig the workstation I’m on? Why is the workstation a .com I have so many questions. The workstation isn’t a domain.

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Honestly, I’m unclear on why a web application firewall would do this. There isnt any thing in this that clearly indicates what layer its functioning at and the OWASP site isn’t clear either but I guess I can remember that one. Honestly, with the Network+ there where not many questions from the pretest on the actual test so when you see questions like this and the previous one, your kind of just screwed.

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Ok, so here’s the thing. Clearly SHA is the right answer as seen here here but how do I learn about all the other types of certificates and what hashing algorithms they use? No clear answer to that but I can promise you this exact question will not be on the test. Maybe the pretest will go over the rest of them.

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I’m not sure what open relay is on an email server, An open relay is a Simple Transfer Mail Protocol (SMTP) server that is improperly configured to allow the unauthenticated relay of email. oh so that shits misconfigured and it just sends mail. Got it.

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Why TLS is more important than a CRL is unclear to me. I’m going to look into that. lol I guess I should realize that one as TLS is SSLs replacement. Still, seems like a good idea to use a CRL as well. Just saying.

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I don’t know what 3 of these things are so I’m going to look them up.

  • MTBF – (mean time between failures) is a measure of how reliable a hardware product or component is.
  • ALE – Annualized loss expectancy. Used to measure risk with annualized rate of occurrence (ARO) and single loss expectancy (SLE). The ALE identifies the total amount of loss expected for a given risk. The calculation is SLE x ARO = ALE
  • ARO – annualized rate of occurrence

Lol so ARO is factored into ALE but its not a complete answer.

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I’m very used to AD terms and this is new terminology to get used to these concepts as they seem to come up again and again so I may have covered this before but I’m going to go through it again.

  • Time based – this one seems obvious in that its a time of day restriction to resources
  • Manditory – mandatory access control refers to a type of access control by which the operating system constrains the ability of a subject or initiator to access or generally perform some sort of operation on an object or target
  • Rule-based – Rules Based Access Control (RBAC), access is allowed or denied to resource objects based on a set of rules defined by a system administrator, I think this is what im used to. How could an OS with no administration perform this task?
  • Discretionary – In computer security, discretionary access control is a type of access control defined by the Trusted Computer System Evaluation Criteria “as a means of restricting access to objects based on the identity of subjects and/or groups to which they belong, isn’t this the same as role-based? They are technically both user based
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To be honest I think that I picked those since they are directly mentioned in the question. I do struggle with these questions however I’m kind of surprised by the MSCHAP answer. ok, lol, according this the answer is the obvious one answer which seems correct.

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This is one is pretty straight forward and the answer could go either way because trojans do by pass authentication to install root kits essentially and then spread themselves. However, to be clear I’m 100% certain on what a RAT is: Remote Access Trojan (RAT) is a type of malware that allows hackers to monitor and control your computer or network lol so…a backdor.

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A Faraday cage or Faraday shield is an enclosure used to block electromagnetic fields. A Faraday shield may be formed by a continuous covering of conductive material, or in the case of a Faraday cage, by a mesh of such materials

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I dont really know what these terms are

  • MTBF – (mean time between failures) is a measure of how reliable a hardware product or component is. For most components, the measure is typically in thousands or even tens of thousands of hours between failures (we just did this one)
  • MTTR – Mean time to repair
  • RTO – recovery time objective
  • RPO – recovery point objective

I feel like the wording in the question is a little confusing but I understand what they are getting at and agree with it.

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I had gone through about 100 questions this night and I have no idea why I picked that. Client side has nothing to do with executing a sql injection. input validation is what comes into play.

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The thing is, I don’t have any clue how data deduplication could have any thing to do with this and to be honest I doubt ill find a solid answer. Data deduplication should, in theory be run, and then done with the number of files reduced.

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lol SMPT is clearly wrong, FTPS I would have picked, SCP is what I’m confused on secure copy is a command-line utility that allows you to securely copy files and directories between two locations. and ive seen that before lol

All right, well that’s all for now and now to keep going with these pretest questions. 29% of the way through round 1 haha

Security+ pt 4

All right, first post of the year. Here’s to having goals, making them realistic and following up with them. You know, thinking about naming conventions, is this really the best idea? I mean its the first thing people see. Anyway, I had hoped to finish this cert last year. I started on it but clearly did not get anywhere close to finishing it but I did get the Network+ so I mean its close. I also underestimated this one. Just to be honest I didn’t think it would be the tremendous amount of work that it absolutely is. And should be. However I was not expecting to see 700 questions haha. Initially I was supplied with a fairly small book and a slide deck. I was pretty sure that wasn’t going to cut it. Glad I didn’t try but to be honest I studded that stuff and learned from it so it was not a waste of time.

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I know we covered this at least once before and I mentioned ‘did we talk about this already’ but here we are. Is this James Bond lol? Honestly, I’m not sure what they are talking about, for the reason, of transferring hidden data. Anyway, Steganography.

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This is the stuff that will kill me on the test. I don’t think there is any way around getting a string of these looped together wrong given the margin for definitional argument. Given that, ill try.

  • EAP-TLS – EAP is an authentication framework, not a specific authentication mechanism.[1] It provides some common functions and negotiation of authentication methods called EAP methods. There are currently about 40 different methods defined. Methods defined in IETF RFCs include EAP-MD5, EAP-POTP, EAP-GTC, EAP-TLS, EAP-IKEv2, EAP-SIM, EAP-AKA, and EAP-AKA’. Additionally, a number of vendor-specific methods and new proposals exist. Commonly used modern methods capable of operating in wireless networks include EAP-TLS, EAP-SIM, EAP-AKA, LEAP and EAP-TTLS. Requirements for EAP methods used in wireless LAN authentication are described in RFC 4017. The list of type and packets codes used in EAP is available from the IANA EAP Registry. It also uses certificates.
  • WPS – WPS stands for Wi-Fi Protected Setup. It is a wireless network security standard that tries to make connections between a router and wireless devices faster and easier. WPS works only for wireless networks that use a password that is encrypted with the WPA Personal or WPA2 Personal security protocols
  • PSK – In cryptography, a pre-shared key (PSK) is a shared secret which was previously shared between the two parties using some secure channel before it needs to be used.
  • PEAP – PEAP is similar in design to EAP-TTLS, requiring only a server-side PKI certificate to create a secure TLS tunnel to protect user authentication, and uses server-side public key certificates to authenticate the server. It then creates an encrypted TLS tunnel between the client and the authentication server. In most configurations, the keys for this encryption are transported using the server’s public key. The ensuing exchange of authentication information inside the tunnel to authenticate the client is then encrypted and user credentials are safe from eavesdropping.

Yeah, i was close but PEAP doesn’t use a certificate.

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Im going to be real honest, I got this right but I’m not really sure why haha

  • RIPEMD – RIPEMD (RIPE Message Digest) is a family of cryptographic hash functions developed in 1992 (the original RIPEMD) and 1996 (other variants). There are five functions in the family: RIPEMD, RIPEMD-128, RIPEMD-160, RIPEMD-256, and RIPEMD-320, of which RIPEMD-160 is the most common.
  • ECDHE – ECDHE stands for Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman Ephemeral. We recall that the purpose of Diffie-Hellman is to exchange a secret over an insecure channel; both sides build their own secret key from a value they received from the other participant: this is key exchange
  • Diffie-Hellman – method of securely exchanging cryptographic keys over a public channel and was one of the first public-key protocols as originally conceptualized by Ralph Merkle and named after Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman.[1][2] DH is one of the earliest practical examples of public key exchange implemented within the field of cryptography.
  • HTTPS – HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is an extension of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). It is used for secure communication over a computer network, and is widely used on the Internet.

I guess we should look up that IKE phase thing too, In computing, Internet Key Exchange (IKE, sometimes IKEv1 or IKEv2, depending on version) is the protocol used to set up a security association (SA) in the IPsec protocol suite. IKE builds upon the Oakley protocol and ISAKMP.[1] IKE uses X.509 certificates for authentication ? either pre-shared or distributed using DNS (preferably with DNSSEC) ? and a Diffie–Hellman key exchange to set up a shared session secret from which cryptographic keys are derived.[2][3] In addition, a security policy for every peer which will connect must be manually maintained.[2]. lol, well there we have it in plain text that it clearly uses that and only that.

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Honestly, this is a good one as I don’t know what these are. The answer is correct but I’m not a coder by any stretch and at some point feel like I should learn a little bit. Is now the right time to learn this? Unclear


  • Page exception – The exception is normally an object that is thrown at runtime. Exception Handling is the process to handle the runtime errors. There may occur exception any time in your web application. So handling exceptions is a safer side for the web developer.
  • Pointer dereference – The dereference operator or indirection operator, sometimes denoted by “*”, is a unary operator found in C-like languages that include pointer variables. It operates on a pointer variable, and returns an l-value equivalent to the value at the pointer address. This is called “dereferencing” the pointer
  • NullPointerException – In Java, a special null value can be assigned to an object reference. NullPointerException is thrown when an application attempts to use an object reference that has the null value
  • Missing null check – The program can dereference a null-pointer because it does not check the return value of a function that might return null.


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The real kicker here is what I think they are calling ‘mutual authentication’ which in the case of kerberos would occur with ticket creation process. I dont think you can use a smart card with CHAP or LDAP as they are both a little older and basic.

All right, I think that’s all for tonight folks. Tomorrow I’m off but being that ill be up all night I’m sure I’ll be going through test prep questions. Hopefully I can get 150 done over ‘the weekend’ which would put me at 250/700 for the first go around. wow, this thing is an absolute bugger.

Security+ part 3…

Trying to get 15 questions into this post. Hopefully I can get that done. Will have to possibly take a few breaks in between doing that much work. Anyway, lets get into this. Trying to get this certification done quick lol. Oh I called CompTIA today and got alot of clarification on their recert process. Its not as bad as it seems. You just have to basically either do research or get a new, usually harder cert. I can handle that. I mean, my next 3-4 are booked up which should take about a year half to two years. Through that process at the end of two years I will have basically a break for about 2 years before I have to start stressing again to get my stuff renewed. I was really hoping the whole thing that was explained of get one, 3 years, the next one add 3 years and so on but but it only extends it from the date you get the cert so like if you get something in december then get a harder one in april then it only extends it to three years from april instead of being close to like a 6 year cert. However a server MCSA will renew a Network+ so thats cool. I like getting those. Man, what a lifestyle. Anyway, lets get into some questions.

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I think im confused by what they mean when they say ‘web domain’ I mean honestly that could be any database. Are they saying it has to be housed on the webserver? Regardless lets look up what these things are. I mean, I mostly know but to be honest it seems good to be very clear on exact definitions.

  • TACACS+ – (Terminal Access Controller Access Control System) is an older authentication protocol common to UNIX networks that allows a remote access server to forward a user’s logon password to an authentication server to determine whether access can be allowed to a given system.
  • RADIUS – a networking protocol, operating on port 1812[1] that provides centralized Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting (AAA or Triple A) management for users who connect and use a network service. RADIUS is a client/server protocol that runs in the application layer, and can use either TCP or UDP as transport. Network access servers, the gateways that control access to a network, usually contain a RADIUS client component that communicates with the RADIUS server.[4] RADIUS is often the back-end of choice for 802.1X authentication as well.[5]
  • Kerberos – Kerberos is a computer-network authentication protocol that works on the basis of tickets to allow nodes communicating over a non-secure network to prove their identity to one another in a secure manner
  • SAML – Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML, pronounced SAM-el) is an open standard for exchanging authentication and authorization data between parties, in particular, between an identity provider and a service provider.

Yep, its honestly pretty cut and dry. It uses XML and is for web SSO and I honestly was unaware of what it was. Kerberos confuses me slightly but the tickets are based on a time stamp so it is extremely secure. However with SAML I’m wondering where they store logins and passwords.

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I got this question right but I did want to go over the definitions for the various ‘box colors’ just to be clear.

  • Black box – refers to a method where an ethical hacker has no knowledge of the system being attacked
  • Gray box – technique where the hacker has to use limited information to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a target’s security network.
  • White box – a method of testing the application at the level of the source code. These test cases are derived through the use of the design techniques mentioned above: control flow testing, data flow testing, branch testing, path testing, statement coverage and decision coverage as well as modified condition/decision coverage. White-box testing is the use of these techniques as guidelines to create an error-free environment by examining any fragile code.
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Again, not clear on the definitions of these technologies for use as file transfer.

  • HTTPS – uses an easy and secure connection to their managed file transfer (MFT) platform to support browser-based transfers without having to install a web server. MFT is primarily a file transfer server, not a web server.
  • LDAPS – open, vendor-neutral, industry standard application protocol for accessing and maintaining distributed directory information services over an Internet Protocol (IP) network.[1] Directory services play an important role in developing intranet and Internet applications by allowing the sharing of information about users, systems, networks, services, and applications throughout the network
  • SCP – (linux but can install on windows) (secure copy) is a command-line utility that allows you to securely copy files and directories between two locations. With scp , you can copy a file or directory: From your local system to a remote system using SSH.
  • SNMPv3 – Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is an Internet Standard protocol for collecting and organizing information about managed devices on IP networks and for modifying that information to change device behavior. Devices that typically support SNMP include cable modems, routers, switches, servers, workstations, printers, and more. Used for network monitoring.

I still think HTTPS fits the bill however I may be missing something here.

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I got this right but I wanted to go over SAM name as it pertains to a certificate. Subject Alternative Name field lets you specify additional host names (sites, IP addresses, common names, etc.) to be protected by a single SSL Certificate, such as a Multi-Domain (SAN) or Extend Validation Multi-Domain Certificate. So generally it extends to sub domains is how I’m understanding it.

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Yep, going to need to hit those definitions.

  • NIPS – network-based intrusion prevention system (NIPS) is a system used to monitor a network as well as protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of a network. Its main functions include protecting the network from threats, such as denial of service (DoS) and unauthorized usage.
  • HIDS – A host-based intrusion detection system (HIDS) is an intrusion detection system that is capable of monitoring and analyzing the internals of a computing system as well as the network packets on its network interfaces, similar to the way a network-based intrusion detection system (NIDS) operates.
  • Web proxy – a proxy server is a server application or appliance that acts as an intermediary for requests from clients seeking resources from servers that provide those resources./li>
  • Elastic load balancer – I think we covered this one
  • NAC – Network access control, or NAC, solutions support network visibility and access management through policy enforcement on devices and users of corporate networks.

Kind of a toss up on the NIPS or HIDS based on what I’m understanding. NIPS it is!

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The weighting process on this is a bit confusing for me on this one. There is the definition below and to be honest i’m well aware of what’s involved in forensics but rabbit holes aside, it does seem like there should be some basic ideas on this.

It does match with this perfectly though so I’m good with it.

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This seems like a question of definition too.

  • Virtual desktop infrastructure – defined as the hosting of desktop environments on a central server
  • WS-security and geo-fencing – Geofencing is a service that triggers an action when a device enters a set location, message-level standard that is based on securing SOAP messages through XML digital signature, confidentiality through XML encryption, and credential propagation through security tokens
  • A hardware security module (HSM) – a physical computing device that safeguards and manages digital keys for strong authentication and provides cryptoprocessing
  • RFID tagging system – type of tracking system that uses smart barcodes in order to identify items. RFID is short for “radio frequency identification,” and as such, RFID tags utilize radio frequency technology. … An RFID tag may also be called an RFID chip< /li>
  • MDM software – Mobile device management (MDM) is a type of security software used by an IT department to monitor, manage and secure employees’ mobile devices that are deployed across multiple mobile service providers and across multiple mobile operating systems being used in the organization.
  • Security Requirements Traceabiity Matric (SRTM) – s a document that maps and traces user requirement with test cases. It captures all requirements proposed by the client and requirement traceability in a single document, delivered at the conclusion of the Software devlopement life cycle

I guess MDM is the only thing that makes sense. I was thinking HSM also offered identification but that appears to be untrue.

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This is the stuff that really gets me as it gets super confusing. At least for me. DNS uses TCP Port 53 for zone transfers, for maintaining coherence between the DNS database and the server. The UDP protocol is used when a client sends a query to the DNS server. The TCP protocol should not be used for queries as it gives a lot of information, which is useful to attackers. Honestly, not super clear on why a zone transfer port would be helpful in this case but ok.

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No idea what type of encryption you would use on a cell phone so lets define these things.

  • Elliptic curve – a plane algebraic curve defined by an equation of the form. which is non-singular; that is, the curve has no cusps or self-intersections
  • one-time pad – an encryption technique that cannot be cracked, but requires the use of a one-time pre-shared key the same size as, or longer than, the message being sent.
  • 3des – a cryptographic cipher. It is a symmetric key block cipher, meaning that the same key is used to encrypt and decrypt data in fixed-length groups of bits called blocks
  • AES-256 – The Advanced Encryption Standard, also known by its original name Rijndael, is a specification for the encryption of electronic data established by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology in 2001

You know, out of the choices AES for sure makes the most sense.

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I’m not sure which of these uses data classification labels and to be honest, it must be that mandatory is the only one. I highly doubt that its worth learning more than that.

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This is another type of question that worries me as you need to know every single thing about every type of encryption. Clearly the answer is PEAP for the authentication of the device to the auth server and then passing the user name and password. Thats a very specific scenario based on how it works which leads me to believe that I basically need to know every thing about every auth type. I’m not going to stress too much about encryption because to be honest there are so many ways to encrypt things and to be honest they all seem kind of the same.

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Honestly, I have no idea what active/passive configuration is referring to so I guess we should start there. Appears to have something to do with fail over clustering which makes sense with availability per this

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What the fuck is war chalking? Honestly, I didn’t even think that was real. Warchalking is the drawing of symbols in public places to advertise an open Wi-Fi network. Inspired by hobo symbols, the warchalking marks were conceived by a group of friends in June 2002 and publicised by Matt Jones who designed the set of icons and produced a downloadable document containing them. lol, ok well now I know.

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Yeah, ok. I totally fucked this one up. Lots to learn here, apparently. Why I picked steganography, I have no clue. ok so lets do a little reading. Ok, reading done and I appear to have added in ’email’ however so far I’ve learned nothing. However, this page is helpful but it doesn’t say any thing about message integrity. I guess that’s what we are going with.

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Well, in the previous question I learned that it means that it absolutely came from the source that it says it came from due to the use of encryption keys so thats really all I need to know about this one.

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Some times, in my opinion, the ideas surrounding cloud services get a little confusing. This seems like platform as a service to me but maybe that doesnt offer ‘back end environmental controls’. Seriously fucking, docker, azure. Done. cloud access security broker (CASB) is an on-premises or cloud-based security policy enforcement point that is placed between cloud service consumers and cloud service providers to combine and interject enterprise security policies as cloud-based resources are accessed. THIS QUESTION SAYS NOTHING ABOUT SECURITY BUT OK.

Ok, I have 5 more questions to do out of the first lot of 100 to get through every thing I had questions about and I may get to that tonight or I may not. Either way, obviously just starting on this but making really good progress. I think I kind of took it slow with Network+ but I did pass on the first try, luckily. Anyway, reached my initial goal of 15 questions on this post

Security+ part 2

I guess I could do 10 sides in this one. Was trying to get 30 done tonight but not sure if I will get that far. I guess we will see haha. There is a ton of information to get through so this may take a while. 700 pretest questions, wow

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Honestly, encryption types are what will get me on this exam if I dont really nail them down. There are so many its a little overwhelming but lets start with defining these and maybe the reason why the answer is what it is will be clear.

  • DES – The Data Encryption Standard is a symmetric-key algorithm for the encryption of electronic data. Although its short key length is of 56 bits, criticized from the beginning, makes it too insecure for most current applications
  • AES – AES has been adopted by the U.S. government and is now used worldwide. It supersedes the Data Encryption Standard (DES),[7] which was published in 1977. The algorithm described by AES is a symmetric-key algorithm, meaning the same key is used for both encrypting and decrypting the data.
  • MD5 – MD5 message-digest algorithm is a widely used hash function producing a 128-bit hash value. Although MD5 was initially designed to be used as a cryptographic hash function, it has been found to suffer from extensive vulnerabilities. It can still be used as a checksum to verify data integrity, but only against unintentional corruption. It remains suitable for other non-cryptographic purposes, for example for determining the partition for a particular key in a partitioned database.[3]
  • WEP – Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) is a security protocol, specified in the IEEE Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) standard, 802.11b, that is designed to provide a wireless local area network (WLAN) with a level of security and privacy comparable to what is usually expected of a wired LAN.

Again, it smees like I would use WEP but according to this AES is better as WEP is volenerable however it does say ‘most likely’.

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Role based access is such an odd thing because it depends on the type of server the info is on. If its on a Windows Server the access is little different but lets go through what these are because to be honest I dont know shit about file access controls on any thing but windows servers

  • MAC – Mandatory Access Control (MAC) is the strictest of all levels of control. The design of MAC was defined, and is primarily used by the government.
  • DAC – Discretionary Access Control (DAC) allows each user to control access to their own data
  • RBAC – Role Based Access Control AKA Non discretionary Access Control, takes more of a real world approach to structuring access control. Access under RBAC is based on a user’s job function within the organization to which the computer system belongs
  • ABAC – Attribute-based access control, also known as policy-based access control, defines an access control paradigm whereby access rights are granted to users through the use of policies which combine attributes together

Honestly, this is similar conceptually and I kind of understand it rather than taking a blind guess.

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There are two steganography questions on here and I understand it conceptually but man, unclear, unclear. Anyway, I’m assuming visually it appears the same and they now suspect that there is data in the image? I mean, after understanding steganography I’m not sure what else they could be talking about.

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For starters, I’m not sure what IPSec that provides ESP with integrity protection is. So that could be a good place to start

ESP = An Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP) is a protocol within the IPSec for providing authentication, integrity and confidentially of network packets data/payload in IPv4 and IPv6 networks. ESP provides message/payload encryption and the authentication of a payload and its origin within the IPSec protocol suite

That sounds like it has integrity protection. The thing is, some how this protocol is a question?? Man this is confusing. Anyway, lets go through these answers.

  • HMAC – Cryptography, an HMAC (sometimes expanded as either keyed-hash message authentication code or hash-based message authentication code) is a specific type of message authentication code (MAC) involving a cryptographic hash function and a secret cryptographic key
  • PCBC – Plaintext Cipher Block Chaining
  • CBC – Cipher block chaining (CBC) is a mode of operation for a block cipher (one in which a sequence of bits are encrypted as a single unit or block with a cipher key applied to the entire block). Cipher block chaining uses what is known as an initialization vector (IV) of a certain length.
  • GCM – Galois/Counter Mode (GCM) is a mode of operation for symmetric-key cryptographic block ciphers widely adopted thanks to its performance.
  • CFB – Cipher Feedback (CFB) mode, a close relative of CBC, makes a block cipher into a self-synchronizing stream cipher. Operation is very similar; in particular, CFB decryption is almost identical to CBC encryption performed in reverse:

So this is a bunch of weird block chain stuff and one cryptography answer that im assuming is the second part of the ESP solution? That’s what I’m going with.

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I know about load balancers but the types of load balancers I’m not super sure on. I guess we can go through those.

  • Round-robin – rotates servers by directing traffic to the first available server and then moves that server to the bottom of the queue. Most useful when servers are of equal specification and there are not many persistent connections.
  • weighted – This method uses the response information from a server health check to determine the server that is responding fastest at a particular time. The next server access request is then sent to that server. This ensures that any servers that are under heavy load, and which will respond more slowly, are not sent new requests. This allows the load to even out on the available server pool over time.
  • Least connection – Directs traffic to the server with the fewest active connections. Most useful when there are a large number of persistent connections in the traffic unevenly distributed between the servers.
  • Locality-based – Weight assignments across different zones and geographical locations is by using explicit weights supplied via EDS in the Locality Endpoints message. This approach is mutually exclusive with zone aware routing, since in the case of locality aware LB, we rely on the management server to provide the locality weighting, rather than the Envoy-side heuristics used in zone aware routing.

That last one, that is the answer seems a little bit extra but it does say that they could be in different areas so I guess I can see that. It also took a long time to find a definition for it even though it seems obvious which would indicate its not used much. This is a bull shit question. Typically a load balancer serves a set s machines sitting in one physical location. This starts to get into some really complicated stuff because if you are serving from the data center thats where the load balancer is, why not use those?

Anyway, thats all for now. I got about 1/3 of the amount of research done that I was hoping to get done tonight but that’s ok. My brain is tired and I couldn’t make it to 10 in questions in this post. Ill get back on it tomorrow and hopefully get another 1/3 or so done.

Security+ part 1

I’ve passed my Network+ test, finally. On the first try though. I suppose that I could have worked a little faster but whatever, I got it done. Moving on to Security+. I went through the first 100 of about 700 test prep (wow…) questions last night and found that, so far, I’m not terribly off base with what I need to know but I did find about 30 questions that I wanted to research a little more so lets get into that!

I knew the answer here and to be honest I cant exactly explain why other than ‘it didn’t look like the other ones’ and the get and change portions set off some flags. Anyway, lets define the other stuff in the post

  • Command injection – Command injection is an attack in which the goal is execution of arbitrary commands on the host operating system via a vulnerable application. Command injection attacks are possible when an application passes unsafe user supplied data (forms, cookies, HTTP headers etc.) to a system shell. In this attack, the attacker-supplied operating system commands are usually executed with the privileges of the vulnerable application. Command injection attacks are possible largely due to insufficient input validation.
  • Password attack – An attack in which repetitive attempts are made to duplicate a valid logon or password sequence.
  • Buffer overflow – causes some of that data to leak out into other buffers, which can corrupt or overwrite whatever data they were holding.
  • Cross-site scripting – a type of injection, in which malicious scripts are injected into otherwise benign and trusted websites. XSS attacks occur when an attacker uses a web application to send malicious code, generally in the form of a browser side script, to a different end user. Flaws that allow these attacks to succeed are quite widespread and occur anywhere a web application uses input from a user within the output it generates without validating or encoding it.

So a get process command sent to a Linux box is for sure an example of command injection.

This question, I got wrong, but the point being I honestly don’t really know how that string of things fits together. Which is ironic, given that the answer is that who ever implemented the solution didn’t know how to make all those things work together either. Lets start with defining those things

  • TLS – Transport Layer Security (TLS), and its now-deprecated predecessor, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL),[1] are cryptographic protocols designed to provide communications security over a computer network.[2] Several versions of the protocols find widespread use in applications such as web browsing, email, instant messaging, and voice over IP (VoIP). Websites can use TLS to secure all communications between their servers and web browsers.
  • AES-GCM-256 – The cipher AES-256 is used among other places in SSL/TLS across the Internet. It’s considered among the top ciphers. In theory it’s not crackable since the combinations of keys are massive. Although NSA has categorized this in Suite B, they have also recommended using higher than 128-bit keys for encryption
  • SHA-384 – SHA-256 and SHA-512 are novel hash functions computed with 32-bit and 64-bit words, respectively. They use different shift amounts and additive constants, but their structures are otherwise virtually identical, differing only in the number of rounds. SHA-224 and SHA-384 are truncated versions of SHA-256 and SHA-512 respectively.
  • ECDSA -a cryptographic algorithm used by Bitcoin to ensure that funds can only be spent by their rightful owners.

The unauthenticated encryption method is kind of a mystery to me. Do they mean its lacking a PKI or like its not an ‘official’ encryption standard. Regardless, D does make more sense.

This is also confusing, why wouldn’t you run nmap on the IP range? Is that not considered a vulnerability assessment? To me it seems like the same thing but ok, Grey-box pentest and its grey box since we have IP addresses.

I have no idea what PGP has to do with secure email and to be honest, I doubt the internet is going to help me with this one but lets find out!

Welp, that was easy, PGP

Personally, I find this a bit odd but given that I was genuinely uneducated on the last question, this could be the case here too. As to where to find these definitions, who knows but lets see what we can do.

Honestly, all I’m finding are generic psychological answers that I’m not sure are super helpful given that ‘social proof’ means that you simply re state what someone else said to you.

That’s all for now! I tried a new way of posting as Photobucket isn’t cooperating tonight. Normally I dump images into Photobucket, edit the post in an HTML editor and then copy and paste the code into WordPress but im currently giving their block editor a go and putting the images directly onto the site.

Review questions, Network+

Well, this is the last of the first round of Network+ stuff for the VCE. I feel like I’m starting to learn what i’m doing and I’m enjoying learning networking. When I first approached networking I thought that I was absolutely never going to be able to get a Cisco cert and now I’m certain that at some point I would like to put the effort into it. And also an MCSE. But first I want to finish this security+ and pentest+. So it may be a while before I get to around to that. Regardless, it might be simply wishful thinking based around life circumstances.

anyway, lets umm do this thing.

 photo pat_zps8ufvg3k8.jpg

On some level, it makes sense to think it would be nat but its clearly wrong so, lets make a list!

  • NAT – Network address translation is a method of remapping one IP address space into another by modifying network address information in the IP header of packets while they are in transit across a traffic routing device.
  • PAT – Port Address Translation (PAT), is an extension to network address translation (NAT) that permits multiple devices on a local area network (LAN) to be mapped to a single public IP address. The goal of PAT is to conserve IP addresses.
  • STP – Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) is a network protocol that builds a loop-free logical topology for Ethernet networks. The basic function of STP is to prevent bridge loops and the broadcast radiation that results from them.
  • SNAT – Source Network Address Translation (source-nat or SNAT) allows traffic from a private network to go out to the internet. … The gateway has one arm on the public network and as part of SNAT, it replaces the source IP of the originating packet with its own public side IP.
  • ARP – address resolution protocol (arp) is a protocol used by the Internet Protocol (IP) [RFC826], specifically IPv4, to map IP network addresses to the hardware addresses used by a data link protocol. The protocol operates below the network layer as a part of the interface between the OSI network and OSI link layer.

Ok, so let me get this right, the P stands for port? ok…my bad.

 photo waf_zpstf8kstrg.jpg

I dont know what most of this is:

  • DLP – Data loss prevention software detects potential data breaches/data ex-filtration transmissions and prevents them by monitoring, detecting and blocking sensitive data while in use, in motion, and at rest. The terms “data loss” and “data leak” are related and are often used interchangeably
  • IDS – intrusion detection system (IDS) is a device or software application that monitors a network or systems for malicious activity or policy violations.
  • WAF – web application firewall (or WAF) filters, monitors, and blocks HTTP traffic to and from a web application. A WAF is differentiated from a regular firewall in that a WAF is able to filter the content of specific web applications while regular firewalls serve as a safety gate between servers.
  • WPA – Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA)
  • TPM – Trusted Platform Module (TPM)

I guess that makes sense, not super clear though.

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I have no idea why i picked SIP and the other two don’t make sense but im not sure what DSCP is. Differentiated Services Code Point (DSCP) is a means of classifying and managing network traffic and of providing quality of service (QoS) in modern Layer 3 IP networks. It uses the 6-bit Differentiated Services (DS) field in the IP header for the purpose of packet classification. .

 photo pstn_zpsc94plfge.jpg

Is this really nessesary?

  • PSTN – public switched telephone network (PSTN) is the aggregate of the world’s circuit-switched telephone networks that are operated by national, regional, or local telephony operators, providing infrastructure and services for public telecommunication.
  • PRI – The Primary Rate Interface (PRI) is a telecommunications interface standard used on an Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) for carrying multiple DS0 voice and data transmissions between the network and a user. PRI is the standard for providing telecommunication services to enterprises and offices.
  • BRI – Basic Rate Access is an Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) configuration intended primarily for use in subscriber lines similar to those that have long been used for voice-grade telephone service.
  • E1/E2 – this seems out of scope
  • DSL – (Digital Subscriber Line

Not exactly sure why this is the answer, it sort of makes sense but there’s a large gap that will probably not be filled with basic research.

 photo virtual ip_zpsznregdyk.jpg

a reservation ensures that the IP iis static but the gateway term throws it off a bit. Anyway, i should look up virtual IP: A virtual IP address (VIP or VIPA) is an IP address that doesn’t correspond to an actual physical network interface. Uses for VIPs include network address translation (especially, one-to-many NAT), fault-tolerance, and mobility.

I think i just realized they where creating a fault tolerant gateway with the same IP on two physical devices and now my questions are cleared up.

 photo voip pbx_zpsicexahwp.jpg

Last question! Its late and i may come back to this but as for why i picked ICMP, i have no clue. Also, sip? why?I have question on this telcom stuff.

  • h. 323 – H.323 provides standards for equipment, computers and services for multimedia communication across packet based networks and specifies transmission protocols for real-time video, audio and data details. H.323 is widely used in IP based videoconferencing, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Internet telephony.
  • RTP – Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP) is a network protocol for delivering audio and video over IP networks.

No idea about SIP in this situation though.

Well, that’s all for tonight

More test prep!

Some of this stuff seems really self explanatory if you know you what your doing. Unfortunately some of us, like me, don’t. So we have to put time and effort into learning how this stuff works so that in the off chance we are put in charge of a network we don’t make horrendous mistakes that cost people time and money and possibly even your job. I mean, I’m fully aware that someone who only read a Network+ book shouldn’t be solely responsible for an enterprise network. Given time and experience maybe we can get better before we completely ruin a bunch of very serious stuff though. Anyway, or if your in charge of that and aware that you shouldn’t be, sometimes its a good idea to walk away.

I’m back on the VCE questions tonight. Not really sure why but here we go. I mean, I do need to get them done.

 photo lacp_zpssnprsfmm.jpg
  • SIP – Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is a signaling protocol used for initiating, maintaining, modifying and terminating real-time sessions that involve video, voice, messaging and other communications applications and services between two or more endpoints on IP networks.
  • BGP – BGP offers network stability that guarantees routers can quickly adapt to send packets through another reconnection if one internet path goes down. BGP makes routing decisions based on paths, rules or network policies configured by a network administrator. Each BGP router maintains a standard routing table used to direct packets in transit. This table is used in conjunction with a separate routing table, known as the routing information base (RIB), which is a data table stored on a server on the BGP router. The RIB contains route information both from directly connected external peers, as well as internal peers, and continually updates the routing table as changes occur. BGP is based on TCP/IP and uses client-server topology to communicate routing information, with the client-server initiating a BGP session by sending a request to the server.
  • LACP – Link Aggregation Control Protocol, In computer networking, the term link aggregation applies to various methods of combining multiple network connections in parallel in order to increase throughput beyond what a single connection could sustain, and to provide redundancy in case one of the links should fail
  • LLDP – Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP) is a vendor-neutral link layer protocol used by network devices for advertising their identity, capabilities, and neighbors on a local area network based on IEEE 802 technology, principally wired Ethernet.

I feel like I should know what SIP is by now, I have no idea what I was thinking. However LACP does seem accurate.

 photo oh rocky_zpsjactce41.jpg

Of course I called this photo ‘oh rocky’! Anyway, as you see the VCE questions kick it up a notch in difficulty. The middle two don’t make sense to me so lets look at the top and bottom answers.

  • Time division multiplexing – (TDM) is a method of transmitting and receiving independent signals over a common signal path by means of synchronized switches at each end of the transmission line so that each signal appears on the line only a fraction of time in an alternating pattern. It is used when the bit rate of the transmission medium exceeds that of the signal to be transmitted. This form of signal multiplexing was developed in telecommunications for telegraphy systems in the late 19th century, but found its most common application in digital telephony in the second half of the 20th century.
  • Time division spread spectrum – spread-spectrum techniques are methods by which a signal (e.g., an electrical, electromagnetic, or acoustic signal) generated with a particular bandwidth is deliberately spread in the frequency domain, resulting in a signal with a wider bandwidth. These techniques are used for a variety of reasons, including the establishment of secure communications, increasing resistance to natural interference, noise and jamming, to prevent detection, and to limit power flux density (e.g., in satellite down links).

Ok, then. good to also know about spread spectrum.

 photo signature management_zps1rorvt90.jpg

Hummm….requires research lol. This is the closest thing The intrusion prevention system (IPS) compares traffic against signatures of known threats and blocks traffic when a threat is detected. Which, given its true and what the question is talking about,makes sense.

 photo xml and json_zpscpzely2z.jpg

Since OSI is starting to make sense I’m getting more comfortable with this. Layer 6 makes a hell of a lot of sense after, shocking, reading the book and learning the bits about encryption.

 photo atm cells_zpsr3pfizzn.jpg – In the ISO-OSI reference model data link layer (layer 2), the basic transfer units are generically called frames. In ATM these frames are of a fixed (53 octets or bytes) length and specifically called “cells”.

So I wasn’t clear on what that was but I guess I understand it now. Anyway, Its getting late and I guess that’s all for tonight. I think eventually I’m going to have to get back into the slides but you know, I have to say its very enjoyable to really learn the material. However, I do have a week off at the of the month and that’s what I plan to do with that time.

Chapter 1 book questions

Its kind of amazing that HTML editors with all their fancy tech don’t auto save your work. I suppose that’s how it goes. Humm, not sure I started this properly. I started writing this post a few days ago and left it up on my computer and every day since then I’ve thought ‘if that post is still up, then I’ll take odds on god actually existing’ and each day I failed to save it. Anyway, I’m going to sort of work through book questions. I think I should be moderately fun. I mean who knows. I might learn a thing or two. Do I think it will help me pass the test, not really, no. Will I actually learn the material and be in a better position to talk about it. For sure. So I guess I’ll go through these first few questions again that didn’t take long… and then get through the reset of them tonight. If its not too late when I’m finished I may even head out for a beer later.

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Honestly, this is already seeming like too much effort. It’s C, SSH

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I mean, honestly, there are various answers to this, Powershell remote being the primary example. Especially for core or nano installs. but they are looking for RDP. SNMP is like a monitoring thing (im really not sure how else to explain it).

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It’s TCP, UDP just streams information, TCP checks to make sure it showed up.

 photo 4_zps7mcpzfbc.png


So its worth noting that I was super tired the first time I started into this. However I’m mostly remembering what I was thinking at the time. Anyway, I was looking up alternatives to tracert and still had the link up in google.

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I was surprised to learn that this was B, the Presentation layer. Most of the time when people explain the OSI model, I get hella confused because there is so much detail missing. However when I check out specific concepts I start to get a clearer picture of what exactly is going on.

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I have several questions about why this is and how this differs from making vlans and at the end of the day I’m willing to bet this is like an arbitrary thing. Humm, I just noticed that the PDF I had open in a web browser, of the book, is not open. I guess I should load that. Anyway, here is what the book has to say about that subject and honestly, when realizing that VLANS increase broadcast domains, I’m starting to understand.

 photo vlans_zpshxajxi19.jpg
 photo 7_zps15dghlvr.png

1500 for regular frames, 9000 for jumbo frames

 photo 8_zpskwxpiixb.png

Generic mac has to be B. However, I’m not sure what IGMP is, The Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP) is a communications protocol used by hosts and adjacent routers on IPv4 networks to establish multicast group memberships. IGMP is an integral part of IP multicast.. I guess now I have an idea.

 photo 9_zpsqozi6yvm.png

So this one is C, it is vendor neutral however I’m not sure how it interfaces with the Cisco tech for trunking and if you use that do you seriously only get to use Cisco stuff in your network. I guess I could do some research, however you could also look up the damn tech in the question for your self haha

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Humm, don’t really know this one. Time to hit the book again. It’s amazing that the book has answers in it. Lets see what it says about this one.

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So its the lowest bridge ID, got it….

 photo 11_zpsm9eomyqs.png

By process of elimination this should be easy. Usually you can rule out the smart ass answers of lower power or buy more. I mean, they want to talk about features of these babys :::slaps roof::: anyway, lets find out what LLDP does.

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I’m highly confused as to how this works but kind of amazed that it does. Must be some sort of wizard smoke power converter.

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Honestly, a little confused by this one for various reasons. Well, perhaps uneducated would be a better thought to convey. So, this is kind of complicated and I highly doubt that google will provide an obvious answer so I’m going to hit the book.

 photo dynamic_zps45vvwg4q.jpg

Reading the question, I understand what they are getting at but I’m not quite sure this sentence really conveys whats going on here.

 photo 13_zps9uyttczi.png

Ok, half way through. Watching this Pantera live video, you can check it out on YouTube. Its the one that starts with the backdrop from Trend kill. Anyway, its BGP and the answer text, which will be at the end of the post, does a great job of explaining this.

 photo 14_zpsyxzuhf2f.png

Apparently, you cant :: twice, so D.

 photo 15_zpslltygxaq.png

MMMkay, im starting to think ‘fuck my life’ but to be honest I picked C as a guess and I was right because they always start with FF.

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This one, no clue. Lol, ok so its D which is actually a part of A. However, there was a complicated explanation and I think I might have mostly understood it. Possibly as a result of … study.

 photo 17_zpsfj25xaqm.png

lets make a list

  • RSTP – Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol
  • VRRP – The Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP) is a computer networking protocol that provides for automatic assignment of available Internet Protocol (IP) routers to participating hosts. This increases the availability and reliability of routing paths via automatic default gateway selections on an IP subnetwork.
  • HSRP – Cisco proprietary redundancy protocol for establishing a fault-tolerant default gateway
  • VLSM – Variable Length Subnet Mask

Ok so its VRRP

 photo 18_zpsn0q0ddk3.png

I’m no good with subnets to be honest and I’m not going to learn every thing it takes to understand this one tonight but the answer is B.

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Jesus, Mary and Joseph thats a long question! Anyway, its for sure on APIPA so it can’t contact the DHCP server. So, D.

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Really? I’m not looking this up but apparently its B.

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This one is interesting and I’m not sure of the answer! I read it and said ‘oh wow’ because I’m a huge nerd. The answer is A. I love a good fun fact.

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I’m taking at stab at this and saying C, lets check the answer. Turns out I was right.

 photo 23_zpscbeqbhn1.png

again, man, that’s a ton of effort and like, im on some serious coffee at this point so I’m reading the answer in the back which is C.

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Well, its servers so that would be infrastruture, A

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You would make a reservation, C

And now we are caught up to page 200 in a 500 page book and we have gone through chapter 1. Did I mention there is stuff after the last chapter in the book too? Anyway, that’s all for tonight. I had fun going on a learning journey and I hope you did too! Now I’m off to say and do things that totally contradict my fake ass ideology.

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Network+ book review pt. 2

It’s a great Friday afternoon and I’m sitting at my desk with a load of questions. It’s the same questions that I normally have to ask throughout my life but this time I’m mostly worried about passing this test and hoping to get that sys admin job. I’m not too worried about much else. Any way, sitting here at my desk killing time before I meet with my trainer at 7. I irresponsibly forgot my gym bag on Wednesday. Not sure if that cost me one of my 4 sessions this month but I would assume. Regardless, lets talk about some of this stuff from the book that I didn’t know about before I started studying.

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As previously mentioned this one is a bit confusing. Either because the question was confusing or because it is actually confusing. The thing about this is it defines a word I already understood while having no clue what a collision domain actually is. The thing about this is, studying independently, I never know if its just me or if its actually confusing. I guess I should go to YouTube:

I’m still kind of unclear but I guess I’ll move on. Honestly, the video was helpful though.

 photo broadcast domains 2_zpsejldtrhn.png

These two concepts are often lumped together and I still have no idea what’s going on here. I basically understand that its a mass sent signal but im reminded of unicast and broadcast in image deployment. You know, I realize that I could probably pass the test without really learning this stuff but if I am given the opportunity to learn CCNA stuff it might be good to have a strong baseline. So lets go to YouTube again:

Oh man, there is all sorts of stuff:

Ok, now I’m maybe starting to figure this out. I mean honestly, probably not and there’s a guy that sits behind me at work that could possibly explain this but he might also fail to verbalize it. Thats the thing about some of this stuff.

 photo csma-cd-ca 3_zpswrr8lfy4.png

Yeah, ok that’s helpful and straight forward.

 photo pdu - osi movement part 4_zps7ckafafg.png

At this point the only thing helpful here is the first definition. I have no idea how stuff moves through layers, which is asked on the test. I’m also starting to realize I like this method of independent learning using test questions and then looking back through the book to kind of hone my understand of the book and what I’m actually studying. Maybe that’s interesting. Ok, its not interesting but it is interesting to me haha

 photo vlan part 5_zpsomaszpq1.png

Conceptually, I understand VLANs but I have many questions. The questions are all based around exactly how they work but vaguely get the concept. To be honest, with server stuff, I’m fully aware of how far the rabbit hole goes and I’m willing to kind of call a stopping place. However, with VLANs, its like ‘its a logical network segment’ but clearing up the exact differences between subnets and VLANs is confusing.

This is mostly helpful but I’m not entirely sure what exactly is going on but we are getting close to a comfort zone.

 photo spanning tree part 6_zpsjwoornd7.png

I should have highlighted this one because the definition was right under the photo. I think I get the idea in that its sort of like preventing packets from being routed in a circle that goes on and on. There are also different kinds of this with newer features. That is covered in the book but I didn’t take a photo of that for some reason.

 photo DMZ part 7_zpso3dzefhs.png

This seems to be a somewhat antiquated term these days as every one is using ‘web application proxy’ to mean a DMZ. It’s for sure testable but simply making the note.

 photo ARP table part 9_zpsckcdhkwe.png

This is true but generally it has DHCP information and basically all network configuration information for a server. At least, when I’ve tried to use it. This is also helpfulARP table

 photo RIP part 10_zpsichfipc8.png

Pretty much all of this is important and I’ve seen it on the test prep questions. Given that I’ve never really seen or had to use it I’m kind of limited to how much I am aware of its existence, so its time to hit YouTube.

That’s all for now. I may go back to and do the last two sets of slides as while this is helpful it get’s tiring. Who knows. May get in the mood to do more of this type of review.

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