Exam Code: SSCP (Practice Exam Latest Test Questions VCE PDF)
Exam Name: System Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP)
Certification Provider: ISC2
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The controls that usually require a human to evaluate the input from sensors or cameras to determine if a real threat exists are associated with:

  • A. Preventive/physical
  • B. Detective/technical
  • C. Detective/physical
  • D. Detective/administrative

Answer: C

Detective/physical controls usually require a human to evaluate the input from sensors or cameras to determine if a real threat exists.
Source: KRUTZ, Ronald L. & VINES, Russel D., The CISSP Prep Guide: Mastering the Ten Domains of Computer Security, 2001, John Wiley & Sons, Page 36.


Which of the following technologies is a target of XSS or CSS (Cross-Site Scripting) attacks?

  • A. Web Applications
  • B. Intrusion Detection Systems
  • C. Firewalls
  • D. DNS Servers

Answer: A

XSS or Cross-Site Scripting is a threat to web applications where malicious code is placed on a website that attacks the use using their existing authenticated session status.
Cross-Site Scripting attacks are a type of injection problem, in which malicious scripts are injected into the otherwise benign and trusted web sites. Cross-site scripting (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 in the output it generates without validating or encoding it.
An attacker can use XSS to send a malicious script to an unsuspecting user. The end user??s browser has no way to know that the script should not be trusted, and will execute the script. Because it thinks the script came from a trusted source, the malicious script can access any cookies, session tokens, or other sensitive information retained by your browser and used with that site. These scripts can even rewrite the content of the HTML page.
Configure your IPS - Intrusion Prevention System to detect and suppress this traffic. Input Validation on the web application to normalize inputted data.
Set web apps to bind session cookies to the IP Address of the legitimate user and only permit that IP Address to use that cookie.
See the XSS (Cross Site Scripting) Prevention Cheat Sheet See the Abridged XSS Prevention Cheat Sheet
See the DOM based XSS Prevention Cheat Sheet
See the OWASP Development Guide article on Phishing.
See the OWASP Development Guide article on Data Validation. The following answers are incorrect:
Intrusion Detection Systems: Sorry. IDS Systems aren't usually the target of XSS attacks but a properly-configured IDS/IPS can "detect and report on malicious string and suppress the TCP connection in an attempt to mitigate the threat.
Firewalls: Sorry. Firewalls aren't usually the target of XSS attacks.
DNS Servers: Same as above, DNS Servers aren't usually targeted in XSS attacks but
they play a key role in the domain name resolution in the XSS attack process.
The following reference(s) was used to create this question:
CCCure Holistic Security+ CBT and Curriculum and


What is called the access protection system that limits connections by calling back the number of a previously authorized location?

  • A. Sendback systems
  • B. Callback forward systems
  • C. Callback systems
  • D. Sendback forward systems

Answer: C

The Answer: Call back Systems; Callback systems provide access protection by calling back the number of a previously authorized location, but this control can be compromised by call forwarding.
Source: KRUTZ, Ronald L. & VINES, Russel D., The CISSP Prep Guide: Mastering the Ten Domains of Computer Security, 2001, John Wiley & Sons, Page 35.


What can be best defined as the examination of threat sources against system vulnerabilities to determine the threats for a particular system in a particular operational environment?

  • A. Risk management
  • B. Risk analysis
  • C. Threat analysis
  • D. Due diligence

Answer: C

Threat analysis is the examination of threat sources against system vulnerabilities to determine the threats for a particular system in a particular operational environment.
The following answers are incorrect:
Risk analysis is the process of identifying the risks to system security and determining the probability of occurrence, the resulting impact, and the additional safeguards that mitigate this impact.
Risk analysis is synonymous with risk assessment and part of risk management, which is the ongoing process of assessing the risk to mission/business as part of a risk-based approach used to determine adequate security for a system by analyzing the threats and vulnerabilities and selecting appropriate, cost-effective controls to achieve and maintain an acceptable level or risk.
Due Diligence is identifying possible risks that could affect a company based on best practices and standards.
Reference(s) used for this question:
STONEBURNER, Gary & al, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), NIST Special Publication 800-27, Engineering Principles for Information Technology Security (A Baseline for Achieving Security), June 2001 (page B-3).


In Discretionary Access Control the subject has authority, within certain limitations,

  • A. but he is not permitted to specify what objects can be accessible and so we need to get an independent third party to specify what objects can be accessible.
  • B. to specify what objects can be accessible.
  • C. to specify on a aggregate basis without understanding what objects can be accessible.
  • D. to specify in full detail what objects can be accessible.

Answer: B

With Discretionary Access Control, the subject has authority, within certain limitations, to specify what objects can be accessible.
For example, access control lists can be used. This type of access control is used in local, dynamic situations where the subjects must have the discretion to specify what resources certain users are permitted to access.
When a user, within certain limitations, has the right to alter the access control to certain objects, this is termed as user-directed discretionary access control. In some instances, a hybrid approach is used, which combines the features of user-based and identity-based discretionary access control.
KRUTZ, Ronald L. & VINES, Russel D., The CISSP Prep Guide: Mastering the Ten Domains of Computer Security, 2001, John Wiley & Sons, Page 33.
HARRIS, Shon, All-In-One CISSP Certification Exam Guide 5th Edition, McGraw- Hill/Osborne, 2010, Chapter 4: Access Control (page 210-211).


Which of the following is a trusted, third party authentication protocol that was developed under Project Athena at MIT?

  • A. Kerberos
  • C. KryptoKnight
  • D. NetSP

Answer: A

Kerberos is a trusted, third party authentication protocol that was developed under Project Athena at MIT.
Kerberos is a network authentication protocol. It is designed to provide strong authentication for client/server applications by using secret-key cryptography. A free implementation of this protocol is available from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Kerberos is available in many commercial products as well.
The Internet is an insecure place. Many of the protocols used in the Internet do not provide any security. Tools to "sniff" passwords off of the network are in common use by systems crackers. Thus, applications which send an unencrypted password over the network are extremely vulnerable. Worse yet, other client/server applications rely on the client program to be "honest" about the identity of the user who is using it. Other applications rely on the client to restrict its activities to those which it is allowed to do, with no other enforcement by the server.
Some sites attempt to use firewalls to solve their network security problems. Unfortunately, firewalls assume that "the bad guys" are on the outside, which is often a very bad
assumption. Most of the really damaging incidents of computer crime are carried out by insiders. Firewalls also have a significant disadvantage in that they restrict how your users can use the Internet. (After all, firewalls are simply a less extreme example of the dictum that there is nothing more secure then a computer which is not connected to the network --- and powered off!) In many places, these restrictions are simply unrealistic and unacceptable.
Kerberos was created by MIT as a solution to these network security problems. The Kerberos protocol uses strong cryptography so that a client can prove its identity to a server (and vice versa) across an insecure network connection. After a client and server have used Kerberos to prove their identity, they can also encrypt all of their communications to assure privacy and data integrity as they go about their business.
Kerberos is freely available from MIT, under a copyright permission notice very similar to the one used for the BSD operating and X11 Windowing system. MIT provides Kerberos in source form, so that anyone who wishes to use it may look over the code for themselves and assure themselves that the code is trustworthy. In addition, for those who prefer to rely on a professional supported product, Kerberos is available as a product from many different vendors.
In summary, Kerberos is a solution to your network security problems. It provides the tools of authentication and strong cryptography over the network to help you secure your information systems across your entire enterprise. We hope you find Kerberos as useful as it has been to us. At MIT, Kerberos has been invaluable to our Information/Technology architecture.
KryptoKnight is a Peer to Peer authentication protocol incorporated into the NetSP product from IBM.
SESAME is an authentication and access control protocol, that also supports communication confidentiality and integrity. It provides public key based authentication along with the Kerberos style authentication, that uses symmetric key cryptography. Sesame supports the Kerberos protocol and adds some security extensions like public key based authentication and an ECMA-style Privilege Attribute Service. The complete Sesame protocol is a two step process. In the first step, the client successfully authenticates itself to the Authentication Server and obtains a ticket that can be presented to the Privilege Attribute Server. In the second step, the initiator obtains proof of his access rights in the form of Privilege Attributes Certificate (PAC). The PAC is a specific form of Access Control Certificate as defined in the ECMA-219 document. This document describes the extensions to Kerberos for public key based authentication as adopted in Sesame.
SESAME, KryptoKnight, and NetSP never took off and the protocols are no longer commonly used.
http://www.cmf.nrl.navy.mil/CCS/people/kenh/kerberos-faq.html#whatis and
Source: KRUTZ, Ronald L. & VINES, Russel D., The CISSP Prep Guide: Mastering the Ten Domains of Computer Security, 2001, John Wiley & Sons, Page 40.


How should a doorway of a manned facility with automatic locks be configured?

  • A. It should be configured to be fail-secure.
  • B. It should be configured to be fail-safe.
  • C. It should have a door delay cipher lock.
  • D. It should not allow piggybacking.

Answer: B

Access controls are meant to protect facilities and computers as well as people.
In some situations, the objectives of physical access controls and the protection of people's lives may come into conflict. In theses situations, a person's life always takes precedence.
Many physical security controls make entry into and out of a facility hard, if not impossible. However, special consideration needs to be taken when this could affect lives. In an information processing facility, different types of locks can be used and piggybacking should be prevented, but the issue here with automatic locks is that they can either be configured as fail-safe or fail-secure.
Since there should only be one access door to an information processing facility, the
automatic lock to the only door to a man-operated room must be configured to allow people out in case of emergency, hence to be fail-safe (sometimes called fail-open), meaning that upon fire alarm activation or electric power failure, the locking device unlocks. This is because the solenoid that maintains power to the lock to keep it in a locked state fails and thus opens or unlocks the electronic lock.
Fail Secure works just the other way. The lock device is in a locked or secure state with no power applied. Upon authorized entry, a solinoid unlocks the lock temporarily. Thus in a Fail Secure lock, loss of power of fire alarm activation causes the lock to remain in a secure mode.
Reference(s) used for this question:
Harris, Shon (2012-10-18). CISSP All-in-One Exam Guide, 6th Edition (p. 451). McGraw- Hill. Kindle Edition.
Hernandez CISSP, Steven (2012-12-21). Official (ISC)2 Guide to the CISSP CBK, Third Edition ((ISC)2 Press) (Kindle Locations 20249-20251). Auerbach Publications. Kindle Edition.


Which of the following are additional terms used to describe knowledge-based IDS and behavior-based IDS?

  • A. signature-based IDS and statistical anomaly-based IDS, respectively
  • B. signature-based IDS and dynamic anomaly-based IDS, respectively
  • C. anomaly-based IDS and statistical-based IDS, respectively
  • D. signature-based IDS and motion anomaly-based IDS, respectively.

Answer: A

The two current conceptual approaches to Intrusion Detection methodology are knowledge-based ID systems and behavior-based ID systems, sometimes referred to as signature-based ID and statistical anomaly-based ID, respectively.
Source: KRUTZ, Ronald L. & VINES, Russel D., The CISSP Prep Guide: Mastering the Ten Domains of Computer Security, 2001, John Wiley & Sons, Page 63.


Which of the following is not an encryption algorithm?

  • A. Skipjack
  • B. SHA-1
  • C. Twofish
  • D. DEA

Answer: B

The SHA-1 is a hashing algorithm producing a 160-bit hash result from any data. It does not perform encryption.
In cryptography, SHA-1 is a cryptographic hash function designed by the United States National Security Agency and published by the United States NIST as a U.S. Federal Information Processing Standard.
SHA stands for "secure hash algorithm". The four SHA algorithms are structured differently
and are distinguished as SHA-0, SHA-1, SHA-2, and SHA-3. SHA-1 is very similar to SHA- 0, but corrects an error in the original SHA hash specification that led to significant weaknesses. The SHA-0 algorithm was not adopted by many applications. SHA-2 on the other hand significantly differs from the SHA-1 hash function.
SHA-1 is the most widely used of the existing SHA hash functions, and is employed in several widely used applications and protocols.
In 2005, cryptanalysts found attacks on SHA-1 suggesting that the algorithm might not be secure enough for ongoing use. NIST required many applications in federal agencies to move to SHA-2 after 2010 because of the weakness. Although no successful attacks have yet been reported on SHA-2, they are algorithmically similar to SHA-1.
In 2012, following a long-running competition, NIST selected an additional algorithm, Keccak, for standardization as SHA-3
A Cryptographic Hash Function is not the same as an Encryption Algorithm even thou both are Algorithms. An algorithm is defined as a step-by-step procedure for calculations. Hashing Algorithm do not encrypt the data. People sometimes will say they encrypted a password with SHA-1 but really they simply created a Message Digest of the password using SHA-1, putting the input through a series of steps to come out with the message digest or hash value.
A cryptographic hash function is a hash function; that is, an algorithm that takes an arbitrary block of data and returns a fixed-size bit string, the (cryptographic) hash value, such that any (accidental or intentional) change to the data will (with very high probability) change the hash value. The data to be encoded are often called the "message," and the hash value is sometimes called the message digest or simply digest.
Encryption Algorithms are reversible but Hashing Algorithms are not meant to be reversible if the input is large enough.
The following are incorrect answers:
The Skipjack algorithm is a Type II block cipher with a block size of 64 bits and a key size of 80 bits that was developed by NSA and formerly classified at the U.S. Department of Defense "Secret" level.
Twofish is a freely available 128-bit block cipher designed by Counterpane Systems (Bruce
Schneier et al.).
DEA is a symmetric block cipher, defined as part of the U.S. Government's Data Encryption Standard (DES). DEA uses a 64-bit key, of which 56 bits are independently chosen and 8 are parity bits, and maps a 64-bit block into another 64-bit block.
Reference(s) used for this question: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SHA-1
SHIREY, Robert W., RFC2828: Internet Security Glossary, may 2000. and
Counterpane Labs, at http://www.counterpane.com/twofish.html.


Which of the following embodies all the detailed actions that personnel are required to follow?

  • A. Standards
  • B. Guidelines
  • C. Procedures
  • D. Baselines

Answer: C

Procedures are step-by-step instructions in support of of the policies, standards, guidelines and baselines. The procedure indicates how the policy will be implemented and who does what to accomplish the tasks."
Standards is incorrect. Standards are a "Mandatory statement of minimum requirements that support some part of a policy, the standards in this case is your own company standards and not standards such as the ISO standards"
Guidelines is incorrect. "Guidelines are discretionary or optional controls used to enable individuals to make judgments with respect to security actions."
Baselines is incorrect. Baselines "are a minimum acceptable level of security. This minimum is implemented using specific rules necessary to implement the security controls in support of the policy and standards." For example, requiring a password of at leat 8 character would be an example. Requiring all users to have a minimun of an antivirus, a personal firewall, and an anti spyware tool could be another example.
CBK, pp. 12 - 16. Note especially the discussion of the "hammer policy" on pp. 16-17 for the differences between policy, standard, guideline and procedure.
AIO3, pp. 88-93.


The IP header contains a protocol field. If this field contains the value of 17, what type of data is contained within the ip datagram?

  • A. TCP.
  • B. ICMP.
  • C. UDP.
  • D. IGMP.

Answer: C

If the protocol field has a value of 17 then it would indicate it was UDP. The following answers are incorrect answers:
TCP. Is incorrect because the value for a TCP protocol would be 6. ICMP. Is incorrect because the value for an ICMP protocol would be 1. IGMP. Is incorrect because the value for an IGMP protocol would be 2.
The protocol field of the IP packet dictates what protocol the IP packet is using. TCP=6, ICMP=1, UDP=17, IGMP=2
Reference(s) used for this question:
SANS http://www.sans.org/resources/tcpip.pdf?ref=3871


Which of the following protocol was used by the INITIAL version of the Terminal Access Controller Access Control System TACACS for communication between clients and servers?

  • A. TCP
  • B. SSL
  • C. UDP
  • D. SSH

Answer: C

The original TACACS, developed in the early ARPANet days, had very limited functionality and used the UDP transport. In the early 1990s, the protocol was extended to include additional functionality and the transport changed to TCP.
TACACS is defined in RFC 1492, and uses (either TCP or UDP) port 49 by default. TACACS allows a client to accept a username and password and send a query to a TACACS authentication server, sometimes called a TACACS daemon or simply TACACSD. TACACSD uses TCP and usually runs on port 49. It would determine whether to accept or deny the authentication request and send a response back.
TACACS+ and RADIUS have generally replaced TACACS and XTACACS in more recently built or updated networks. TACACS+ is an entirely new protocol and is not compatible with TACACS or XTACACS. TACACS+ uses the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and RADIUS uses the User Datagram Protocol (UDP). Since TCP is connection oriented
protocol, TACACS+ does not have to implement transmission control. RADIUS, however, does have to detect and correct transmission errors like packet loss, timeout etc. since it rides on UDP which is connectionless.
RADIUS encrypts only the users' password as it travels from the RADIUS client to RADIUS server. All other information such as the username, authorization, accounting are transmitted in clear text. Therefore it is vulnerable to different types of attacks. TACACS+ encrypts all the information mentioned above and therefore does not have the vulnerabilities present in the RADIUS protocol.
RADIUS and TACACS + are client/ server protocols, which means the server portion cannot send unsolicited commands to the client portion. The server portion can only speak when spoken to. Diameter is a peer-based protocol that allows either end to initiate communication. This functionality allows the Diameter server to send a message to the access server to request the user to provide another authentication credential if she is attempting to access a secure resource.
Reference(s) used for this question: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TACACS
Harris, Shon (2012-10-18). CISSP All-in-One Exam Guide, 6th Edition (p. 239). McGraw- Hill. Kindle Edition.


Organizations should consider which of the following first before allowing external access to their LANs via the Internet?

  • A. plan for implementing workstation locking mechanisms.
  • B. plan for protecting the modem pool.
  • C. plan for providing the user with his account usage information.
  • D. plan for considering proper authentication options.

Answer: D

Before a LAN is connected to the Internet, you need to determine what the
access controls mechanisms are to be used, this would include how you are going to authenticate individuals that may access your network externally through access control.
The following answers are incorrect:
plan for implementing workstation locking mechanisms. This is incorrect because locking the workstations have no impact on the LAN or Internet access.
plan for protecting the modem pool. This is incorrect because protecting the modem pool has no impact on the LAN or Internet access, it just protects the modem.
plan for providing the user with his account usage information. This is incorrect because the question asks what should be done first. While important your primary concern should be focused on security.


What is the Maximum Tolerable Downtime (MTD)?

  • A. Maximum elapsed time required to complete recovery of application data
  • B. Minimum elapsed time required to complete recovery of application data
  • C. Maximum elapsed time required to move back to primary site after a major disruption
  • D. It is maximum delay businesses can tolerate and still remain viable

Answer: D

The Maximum Tolerable Downtime (MTD) is the maximum length of time a BUSINESS FUNCTION can endure without being restored, beyond which the BUSINESS is no longer viable
The ISCP Coordinator should analyze the supported mission/business processes and with the process owners, leadership and business managers determine the acceptable downtime if a given process or specific system data were disrupted or otherwise unavailable. Downtime can be identified in several ways.
Maximum Tolerable Downtime (MTD). The MTD represents the total amount of time the system owner/authorizing official is willing to accept for a mission/business process outage or disruption and includes all impact considerations. Determining MTD is important because it could leave contingency planners with imprecise direction on selection of an appropriate recovery method, and the depth of detail which will be required when developing recovery procedures, including their scope and content.
Other BCP and DRP terms you must be familiar with are:
Recovery Time Objective (RTO). RTO defines the maximum amount of time that a system resource can remain unavailable before there is an unacceptable impact on other system resources, supported mission/business processes, and the MTD. Determining the information system resource RTO is important for selecting appropriate technologies that are best suited for meeting the MTD. When it is not feasible to immediately meet the RTO and the MTD is inflexible, a Plan of Action and Milestone should be initiated to document the situation and plan for its mitigation.
Recovery Point Objective (RPO). The RPO represents the point in time, prior to a disruption or system outage, to which mission/business process data can be recovered (given the most recent backup copy of the data) after an outage. Unlike RTO, RPO is not considered as part of MTD. Rather, it is a factor of how much data loss the mission/business process can tolerate during the recovery process. Because the RTO must ensure that the MTD is not exceeded, the RTO must normally be shorter than the MTD. For example, a system outage may prevent a particular process from being completed, and because it takes time to reprocess the data, that additional processing time
must be added to the RTO to stay within the time limit established by the MTD.
References used for this question:
KRUTZ, Ronald L. & VINES, Russel D., The CISSP Prep Guide: Mastering the Ten Domains of Computer Security, John Wiley & Sons, 2001, Page 276.
http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/nistpubs/800-34-rev1/sp800-34-rev1_errata-Nov11- 2010.pdf


Which of the following is best at defeating frequency analysis?

  • A. Substitution cipher
  • B. Polyalphabetic cipher
  • C. Transposition cipher
  • D. Ceasar Cipher

Answer: B

Simple substitution and transposition ciphers are vulnerable to attacks that perform frequency analysis.
In every language, there are words and patterns that are used more than others.
Some patterns common to a language can actually help attackers figure out the transformation between plaintext and ciphertext, which enables them to figure out the key that was used to perform the transformation. Polyalphabetic ciphers use different alphabets to defeat frequency analysis.
The ceasar cipher is a very simple substitution cipher that can be easily defeated and it does show repeating letters.
Out of list presented, it is the Polyalphabetic cipher that would provide the best protection against simple frequency analysis attacks.
Source: HARRIS, Shon, All-In-One CISSP Certification Exam Guide, McGraw- Hill/Osborne, 2002, Chapter 8: Cryptography (page 507).
And : DUPUIS, Clement, CISSP Open Study Guide on domain 5, cryptography, April 1999.


Which of the following is an example of a passive attack?

  • A. Denying services to legitimate users
  • B. Shoulder surfing
  • C. Brute-force password cracking
  • D. Smurfing

Answer: B

Shoulder surfing is a form of a passive attack involving stealing passwords, personal identification numbers or other confidential information by looking over someone's shoulder. All other forms of attack are active attacks, where a threat makes a modification to the system in an attempt to take advantage of a vulnerability.
Source: HARRIS, Shon, All-In-One CISSP Certification Exam Guide, McGraw- Hill/Osborne, 2002, chapter 3: Security Management Practices (page 63).


Which of the following is not a preventive login control?

  • A. Last login message
  • B. Password aging
  • C. Minimum password length
  • D. Account expiration

Answer: A

The last login message displays the last login date and time, allowing a user to discover if their account was used by someone else. Hence, this is rather a detective control.
Source: RUSSEL, Deborah & GANGEMI, G.T. Sr., Computer Security Basics, O'Reilly, July 1992 (page 63).


What is the name of the protocol use to set up and manage Security Associations (SA) for IP Security (IPSec)?

  • A. Internet Key Exchange (IKE)
  • B. Secure Key Exchange Mechanism
  • C. Oakley
  • D. Internet Security Association and Key Management Protocol

Answer: A

The Key management for IPSec is called the Internet Key Exchange (IKE)
Note: IKE underwent a series of improvements establishing IKEv2 with RFC 4306. The basis of this answer is IKEv2.
The IKE protocol is a hybrid of three other protocols: ISAKMP (Internet Security Association and Key Management Protocol), Oakley and SKEME. ISAKMP provides a framework for authentication and key exchange, but does not define them (neither authentication nor key exchange). The Oakley protocol describes a series of modes for key exchange and the SKEME protocol defines key exchange techniques.
IKE??Internet Key Exchange. A hybrid protocol that implements Oakley and Skeme key exchanges inside the ISAKMP framework. IKE can be used with other protocols, but its initial implementation is with the IPSec protocol. IKE provides authentication of the IPSec peers, negotiates IPSec keys, and negotiates IPSec security associations.
IKE is implemented in accordance with RFC 2409, The Internet Key Exchange.
The Internet Key Exchange (IKE) security protocol is a key management protocol standard that is used in conjunction with the IPSec standard. IPSec can be configured without IKE, but IKE enhances IPSec by providing additional features, flexibility, and ease of configuration for the IPSec standard.
IKE is a hybrid protocol that implements the Oakley key exchange and the SKEME key
exchange inside the Internet Security Association and Key Management Protocol (ISAKMP) framework. (ISAKMP, Oakley, and SKEME are security protocols implemented by IKE.)
IKE automatically negotiates IPSec security associations (SAs) and enables IPSec secure communications without costly manual preconfiguration. Specifically, IKE provides these benefits:
•Eliminates the need to manually specify all the IPSec security parameters in the crypto maps at both peers.
•Allows you to specify a lifetime for the IPSec security association.
•Allows encryption keys to change during IPSec sessions.
•Allows IPSec to provide anti-replay services.
•Permits certification authority (CA) support for a manageable, scalable IPSec implementation.
•Allows dynamic authentication of peers.
The Internet Security Association and Key Management Protocol (ISAKMP) is a framework that defines the phases for establishing a secure relationship and support for negotiation of security attributes, it does not establish sessions keys by itself, it is used along with the Oakley session key establishment protocol. The Secure Key Exchange Mechanism (SKEME) describes a secure exchange mechanism and Oakley defines the modes of operation needed to establish a secure connection.
ISAKMP provides a framework for Internet key management and provides the specific protocol support for negotiation of security attributes. Alone, it does not establish session keys. However it can be used with various session key establishment protocols, such as Oakley, to provide a complete solution to Internet key management.
About Oakley
The Oakley protocol uses a hybrid Diffie-Hellman technique to establish session keys on Internet hosts and routers. Oakley provides the important security property of Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) and is based on cryptographic techniques that have survived substantial public scrutiny. Oakley can be used by itself, if no attribute negotiation is needed, or Oakley can be used in conjunction with ISAKMP. When ISAKMP is used with Oakley, key escrow is not feasible.
The ISAKMP and Oakley protocols have been combined into a hybrid protocol. The resolution of ISAKMP with Oakley uses the framework of ISAKMP to support a subset of Oakley key exchange modes. This new key exchange protocol provides optional PFS, full
security association attribute negotiation, and authentication methods that provide both repudiation and non-repudiation. Implementations of this protocol can be used to establish VPNs and also allow for users from remote sites (who may have a dynamically allocated IP address) access to a secure network.
About IPSec
The IETF's IPSec Working Group develops standards for IP-layer security mechanisms for both IPv4 and IPv6. The group also is developing generic key management protocols for use on the Internet. For more information, refer to the IP Security and Encryption Overview.
IPSec is a framework of open standards developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) that provides security for transmission of sensitive information over unprotected networks such as the Internet. It acts at the network level and implements the following standards:
Internet Key Exchange (IKE) Data Encryption Standard (DES) MD5 (HMAC variant)
SHA (HMAC variant) Authentication Header (AH)
Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP)
IPSec services provide a robust security solution that is standards-based. IPSec also provides data authentication and anti-replay services in addition to data confidentiality services.
For more information regarding IPSec, refer to the chapter "Configuring IPSec Network Security."
SKEME constitutes a compact protocol that supports a variety of realistic scenarios and security models over Internet. It provides clear tradeoffs between security and performance as required by the different scenarios without incurring in unnecessary system complexity. The protocol supports key exchange based on public key, key distribution centers, or manual installation, and provides for fast and secure key refreshment. In addition, SKEME selectively provides perfect forward secrecy, allows for replaceability and negotiation of the underlying cryptographic primitives, and addresses privacy issues as anonymity and repudiatability
SKEME's basic mode is based on the use of public keys and a Diffie-Hellman shared secret generation.
However, SKEME is not restricted to the use of public keys, but also allows the use of a pre-shared key. This key can be obtained by manual distribution or by the intermediary of a key distribution center (KDC) such as Kerberos.
In short, SKEME contains four distinct modes:
Basic mode, which provides a key exchange based on public keys and ensures PFS thanks to Diffie-Hellman.
A key exchange based on the use of public keys, but without Diffie-Hellman. A key exchange based on the use of a pre-shared key and on Diffie-Hellman. A mechanism of fast rekeying based only on symmetrical algorithms.
In addition, SKEME is composed of three phases: SHARE, EXCH and AUTH.
During the SHARE phase, the peers exchange half-keys, encrypted with their respective public keys. These two half-keys are used to compute a secret key K. If anonymity is wanted, the identities of the two peers are also encrypted. If a shared secret already exists, this phase is skipped.
The exchange phase (EXCH) is used, depending on the selected mode, to exchange either Diffie-Hellman public values or nonces. The Diffie-Hellman shared secret will only be computed after the end of the exchanges.
The public values or nonces are authenticated during the authentication phase (AUTH), using the secret key established during the SHARE phase.
The messages from these three phases do not necessarily follow the order described above; in actual practice they are combined to minimize the number of exchanged messages.
References used for this question:
Source: KRUTZ, Ronald L. & VINES, Russel D., The CISSP Prep Guide: Mastering the Ten Domains of Computer Security, John Wiley & Sons, 2001, Chapter 4: Cryptography (page 172).
http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc4306 http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc4301 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Key_Exchange
CISCO ISAKMP and OAKLEY information
CISCO Configuring Internet Key Exchange Protocol http://www.hsc.fr/ressources/articles/ipsec-tech/index.html.en


What can be defined as secret communications where the very existence of the message is hidden?

  • A. Clustering
  • B. Steganography
  • C. Cryptology
  • D. Vernam cipher

Answer: B

Steganography is a secret communication where the very existence of the message is hidden. For example, in a digital image, the least significant bit of each word can be used to comprise a message without causing any significant change in the image. Key clustering is a situation in which a plaintext message generates identical ciphertext
messages using the same transformation algorithm but with different keys. Cryptology encompasses cryptography and cryptanalysis. The Vernam Cipher, also called a one-time pad, is an encryption scheme using a random key of the same size as the message and is used only once. It is said to be unbreakable, even with infinite resources.
Source: KRUTZ, Ronald L. & VINES, Russel D., The CISSP Prep Guide: Mastering the Ten Domains of Computer Security, John Wiley & Sons, 2001, Chapter 4: Cryptography (page 134).


What are the components of an object's sensitivity label?

  • A. A Classification Set and a single Compartment.
  • B. A single classification and a single compartment.
  • C. A Classification Set and user credentials.
  • D. A single classification and a Compartment Set.

Answer: D

Both are the components of a sensitivity label. The following are incorrect:
A Classification Set and a single Compartment. Is incorrect because the nomenclature "Classification Set" is incorrect, there only one classifcation and it is not a "single compartment" but a Compartment Set.
A single classification and a single compartment. Is incorrect because while there only is one classifcation, it is not a "single compartment" but a Compartment Set.
A Classification Set and user credentials. Is incorrect because the nomenclature "Classification Set" is incorrect, there only one classifcation and it is not "user credential" but a Compartment Set. The user would have their own sensitivity label.


Which of the following is often the greatest challenge of distributed computing solutions?

  • A. scalability
  • B. security
  • C. heterogeneity
  • D. usability

Answer: B

The correct answer to this "security". It is a major factor in deciding if a centralized or decentralized environment is more appropriate.
Example: In a centralized computing environment, you have a central server and workstations (often "dumb terminals") access applications, data, and everything else from that central servers. Therefore, the vast majority of your security resides on a centrally managed server. In a decentralized (or distributed) environment, you have a collection of PC's each with their own operating systems to maintain, their own software to maintain, local data storage requiring protection and backup. You may also have PDA's and "smart phones", data watches, USB devices of all types able to store data... the list gets longer all the time.
It is entirely possible to reach a reasonable and acceptable level of security in a distributed environment. But doing so is significantly more difficult, requiring more effort, more money, and more time.
The other answers are not correct because:
scalability - A distributed computing environment is almost infinitely scalable. Much more so than a centralized environment. This is therefore a bad answer.
heterogeneity - Having products and systems from multiple vendors in a distributed environment is significantly easier than in a centralized environment. This would not be a "challenge of distributed computing solutions" and so is not a good answer.
usability - This is potentially a challenge in either environment, but whether or not this is a problem has very little to do with whether it is a centralized or distributed environment. Therefore, this would not be a good answer.
Official ISC2 Guide page: 313-314
All in One Third Edition page: (unavailable at this time)


You are running a packet sniffer on a network and see a packet containing a long string of "0x90 0x90 0x90 0x90...." in the middle of it traveling to an x86-based machine as a target. This could be indicative of what activity being attempted?

  • A. Over-subscription of the traffic on a backbone.
  • B. A source quench packet.
  • C. A FIN scan.
  • D. A buffer overflow attack.

Answer: D

A series of the same control characters, hexadecimal code, imbedded in the
string is usually an indicator of a buffer overflow attack.
The Intel x86 processors use the hexadecimal number 90 to represent NOP (no operation). Many buffer overflow attacks use long strings of control characters and this is representative of that type of attack.
A buffer overflow takes place when too much data are accepted as input to a specific process. A buffer is an allocated segment of memory. A buffer can be overflowed arbitrarily with too much data, but for it to be of any use to an attacker, the code inserted into the buffer must be of a specific length, followed up by commands the attacker wants executed. So, the purpose of a buffer overflow may be either to make a mess, by shoving arbitrary data into various memory segments, or to accomplish a specific task, by pushing into the memory segment a carefully crafted set of data that will accomplish a specific task. This task could be to open a command shell with administrative privilege or execute malicious code.
Common threats to system availability, integrity, and confidentiality include hardware failure, misuse of system privileges, buffer overflows and other memory attacks, denial of service, reverse engineering, and system hacking.
Since many vulnerabilities result from insecure design and most threats are well known, it is the responsibility of the security architect to ensure that their designs are addressing security requirements appropriately while also ensuring that the system can continue to perform its intended function.
The following answers are incorrect:
Over-subscription of the traffic on a backbone. Is incorrect because if there was Over- subscription of the traffic on a backbone, that would typically result in not being able to send or receive any packets, more commonly known as Denial of Service or DoS.
A source quench packet. This is incorrect because a source quench packet is an ICMP message that contains the internet header plus 64 bits of the original datagram.
A FIN scan. This is incorrect because a FIN scan is when a packet with the FIN flag set is sent to a specific port and the results are then analyzed.
Reference(s) used for this question:
Harris, Shon (2012-10-25). CISSP All-in-One Exam Guide, 6th Edition, Security Architecture and Design, Page 332, for people using the Kindle edition you will find it at
Kindle Locations 7310-7315.
Schneiter, Andrew (2013-04-15). Official (ISC)2 Guide to the CISSP CBK, Third Edition : Security Architecture and Design (Kindle Locations 1403-1407). . Kindle Edition.
Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_scanner
ICMP http://security.maruhn.com/iptables-tutorial/x1078.html Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffer_overflow


Unshielded Twisted Pair cabling is a:

  • A. four-pair wire medium that is used in a variety of networks.
  • B. three-pair wire medium that is used in a variety of networks.
  • C. two-pair wire medium that is used in a variety of networks.
  • D. one-pair wire medium that is used in a variety of networks.

Answer: A

Unshielded Twisted Pair cabling is a four-pair wire medium that is used in a variety of networks.
Source: KRUTZ, Ronald L. & VINES, Russel D., The CISSP Prep Guide: Mastering the
Ten Domains of Computer Security, 2001, John Wiley & Sons, Page 101.


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