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CompTIA PenTest+ Certification Exam
CompTIA PenTest+ Certification Exam
CompTIA PenTest+ Certification Exam

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CompTIA PenTest+ Certification Facts

The CompTIA PenTest+ certification checks the competence of the specialists in the field of cybersecurity. It evaluates their skills in carrying out vulnerability scanning and penetration testing utilizing the relevant tools and techniques. Besides that, it assesses the expertise of the applicants in planning and scoping an assessment. To earn this certificate, the individuals need to nail the associated exam: CompTIA PT0-001. Another way to get certified is to pass CompTIA PT0-002 (this is a new version of the test).


The candidates should have proficiency in producing written reports containing proposed remediation techniques as well as communicating results to management. Moreover, they need to have competence in providing practical recommendations. Furthermore, the individuals should be familiar with legal and compliance requirements. In addition, it is recommended that the professionals have three to four years of hands-on experience in information security or related fields.

Exam Overview

CompTIA PT0-001 has the time frame of 165 minutes and features a maximum of 85 questions. The available languages are Japanese and English. The applicants can register for the test via Pearson VUE. The registration price is $370. The PT0-001 certification exam consists of 5 subject areas, such as:

Planning & Scoping: The first domain concentrates on:

  • Explaining the importance of planning for an engagement. It includes rules of engagement, comprehension of target audience, requirements and resources, budget, communication escalation path, remediation timelines and impact analysis, support resources, technical constraints, and disclaimers
  • Explaining the key legal concepts
  • Explaining the importance of scoping an engagement
  • Explaining the main aspects of compliance-based assessments

Information Gathering & Vulnerability Identification: This part takes a look at:

  • Conducting gathering of information utilizing the appropriate techniques. It covers enumeration, scanning, open Source Intelligence Gathering, debugging, fingerprinting, cryptography, packet inspection, decompilation, packet crafting, and eavesdropping
  • Performing a vulnerability scan
  • Analyzing vulnerability scan results. It contains prioritization of vulnerabilities, common themes, adjudication, and asset categorization
  • Explaining the process of leveraging information to prepare for exploitation. It includes mapping vulnerabilities to potential exploits, prioritizing activities in preparation for penetration test, and describing common techniques to complete attack
  • Explaining weaknesses related to specialized systems. It covers IoT, mobile, RTOS, application containers, SCADA, ICS, point-of-sale system, biometrics, and embedded

Attacks & Exploits: This topic gives attention to:

  • Comparing social engineering attacks. It includes impersonation, motivation techniques, interrogation, elicitation, phishing, USB key drop, and shoulder surfing
  • Exploiting network-based vulnerabilities
  • Exploiting wireless and RF-based vulnerabilities. It contains deauthentication attacks, evil twin, credential harvesting, fragmentation attacks, bluejacking, WPS implementation weakness, RFID cloning, bluesnarfing, repeating, and jamming
  • Exploiting the application-based vulnerabilities. It covers authentication, injections, security misconfiguration, cross-site scripting (XSS), authorization, clickjacking, cross-site request forgery (CSRF/XSRF), file inclusion, and unsecure code practices
  • Exploiting local host vulnerabilities. It contains OS vulnerabilities, default account settings, privilege escalation, physical device security, sandbox escape, and protocol configurations and unsecure service
  • Summarizing physical security attacks related to facilities. It covers egress sensor, piggybacking/tailgating, lock bypass, badge cloning, fence jumping, lock picking, and dumpster diving
  • Performing post-exploitation techniques

Penetration Testing Tools: This section includes:

  • Using Nmap to conduct information gathering exercises
  • Comparing various use cases of tools
  • Analyzing tool output or data related to a penetration test
  • Analyzing a basic script (limited to Python, Bash, PowerShell, and Ruby)

Reporting & Communication: The last subject area covers:

  • Using report writing and handling best practices. It covers written report of findings and remediation, normalization of data, storage time for report, risk appetite, and secure handling and disposition of reports
  • Explaining post-report delivery activities. It includes client acceptance, post-engagement cleanup, attestation of findings, follow-up actions/retest, and lessons learned
  • Recommending mitigation strategies for discovered vulnerabilities
  • Explaining the importance of communication during the penetration testing process

Preparation Options

Before taking the exam, you must prepare for this challenge. Here are some effective tools that can be used for the CompTIA PT0-001 test:

  • Exam Blueprint

    First of all, the students may pay attention to the exam blueprint. This is a document that contains the highlights of the subject areas that are entailed in the test. Besides that, it includes a list of the acronyms for the exam. The blueprint can be utilized to find out one’s weak points in the exam syllabus as well as determine the domains to focus on during the preparation process. All in all, it can be used to start preparation.

  • Study Guide

    This is a guidebook for self-preparation. This self-paced tool concentrates on penetration testing concepts, planning a penetration test, gathering and preparing background information, and performing social engineering and physical security tests. Furthermore, it gives attention to analyzing basic scripts and scanning networks. Besides that, the book takes a look at exploiting wireless and RF-based vulnerabilities, network-based vulnerabilities, and Windows-based vulnerabilities. Moreover, it covers utilizing anti-forensics, persistence, and lateral movement techniques. In addition, this guide includes developing recommendations for mitigation strategies, analyzing penetration test data, conducting post-report-delivery activities, and writing and handling reports.

  • 3rd-Party Tools

    The applicants can consider utilizing preparation tools from different 3rd-party platforms. There are many websites that propose study resources for various certification tests. These may be tutorials, exam dumps, practice tests, and so on. Just choose the option that will suit your needs and learning style. At the same time, the individuals should be quite careful when selecting these materials from the third-party sites. Their quality can be debatable, so make sure you utilize tools from reliable sources.

Career Opportunities

The professionals who pass the CompTIA PT0-001 exam will obtain the associated certificate, which is CompTIA PenTest+. There are several job roles that can utilize this certification. They include a Cybersecurity Analyst, an Information Security Manager, a Network & Security Specialist, a Security Consultant, a Cloud Security Specialist, and a Penetration Tester. At the same time, the available positions are an Information Security Analyst, a Cybersecurity Engineer, an Information Security Engineer, a Web App Penetration Tester, and a Cloud Penetration Tester, among others. As per PayScale, the average salary for the Security Consultants is $87,000 per year. According to the same source, the median remuneration for the Information Security Analysts is $73,000 per annum.

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