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PT0-001 Exam Facts

CompTIA PT0-001 is a certification exam that evaluates the specialists’ knowledge of penetration testing and vulnerability management. This test checks the skills of the individuals in analyzing data and reporting and communicating results. Besides that, it focuses on planning and scoping assessments. Those who ace this qualification exam will get the related certificate, which is CompTIA PenTest+. In addition, the professionals can earn this certification by completing CompTIA PT0-002.

Requirements

The certification exam does not have any compulsory requirements. However, CompTIA recommends that the specialists possess 3 to 4 years of hands-on experience performing penetration tests, vulnerability assessments, and vulnerability management.

Exam Overview

CompTIA PT0-001 contains 85 multiple-choice and performance-based questions with the time limitation of 165 minutes. The test can be taken in English or Japanese. To pass the exam, the individuals need to achieve the score of 750 points on a scale of 100-900. The registration fee is $370. The professionals can register for the test via Pearson VUE. They can sit for it as an online exam or at a testing center.

CompTIA PT0-001 comes with 5 domains. The highlights of the topics covered in the exam are as follows:

Planning and Scoping: The first part gives attention to:

  • Describing the significance of planning for engagements. It covers rules of engagement, resources, and requirements, communication escalation path, budget, disclaimers, technical constraints, impact analysis and remediation timelines, and support resources
  • Describing core legal concepts, including contracts, written authorization, and environmental differences
  • Describing the significance of properly scoping an engagement. It includes types of assessment, target selection, special scoping considerations, strategy, scheduling, threat actors, risk acceptance, scope creep, and tolerance to impact
  • Describing core areas of compliance-based assessments, including clearly defined objectives based on regulations and compliance-based assessment, caveats, and limitations

Information Gathering and Vulnerability Identification: This module is about:

  • Carrying out information gathering with the use of suitable techniques in a specified scenario. It includes scanning, packet crafting, enumeration, packet inspection, cryptography, fingerprinting, eavesdropping, debugging, decompilation, and open-source intelligence gathering
  • Carrying out vulnerability scanning in a specified environment, including credentialed vs. non-credentialed, application scan, container security, types of scans, and consideration of vulnerability scanning
  • Evaluating vulnerability scan outcomes in a given situation, covering common themes, asset categorization, prioritization of vulnerabilities, and adjudication
  • Describing the procedure for leveraging information for exploitation preparation
  • Describing weaknesses associated with specialized systems, including biometrics, RTOS, embedded, IoT, mobile, SCADA, point-of-sale system, application containers, and ICS

Attacks and Exploits: This section focuses on:

  • Comparing and contrasting identified social engineering attacks, including phishing, motivation techniques, elicitation, USB key drop, shoulder surfing, impersonation, and interrogation
  • Exploiting different network-based vulnerabilities in a given environment, including name resolution exploits, SMB exploits, SMTP exploits, SNMP exploits, pass the hash, DNS cache poisoning, man-in-the-middle, NAC bypass, DoS/stress test, and VLAN hopping
  • Exploiting RF-based and wireless vulnerabilities, including bluesnarfing, jamming, repeating, bluejacking, credential harvesting, WPS implementation weakness, authentication attacks, evil twin, and fragmentation attacks
  • Exploiting different application-based vulnerabilities, including injections, authorization, authentication, unsecure code practices, file inclusion, security misconfiguration, clickjacking, cross-site request forgery, and cross-site scripting
  • Exploiting specific host vulnerability in a given situation, including OS vulnerability, physical device security, privilege escalation, unsecure service and protocol configuration, sandbox escape, and default account settings
  • Summarizing different physical security attacks associated with facilities, including fence jumping, lock bypass, piggybacking/tailgating, dumpster diving, badge cloning, and egress sensor
  • Carrying out post-exploitation methods in a specified scenario, covering persistence, covering your tracks, and lateral movement

Penetration Testing Tools: This subject area takes a look at:

  • Utilizing Nmap to carry out information collating exercise
  • Comparing and contrasting different use cases for tools
  • Evaluating tool output or data associated with a penetration test, including password, cracking, injections, proxying a connection, pass the hash, getting a reverse shell, and setting up a bind shell
  • Evaluating a basic script in a specified scenario, including common operations, encoding/decoding, arrays, variables, substitutions, logic, and I/O

Reporting and Communication: The last domain is revolved around:

  • Utilizing handling best practices and report writing
  • Describing post-report delivery actions
  • Recommending mitigation plans for identified vulnerabilities in a given situation
  • Describing the significance of communication in the course of a penetration testing process

Preparation Options

The applicants can explore various training options to get ready for this CompTIA test. Many tools are available online. Some of them can be found on the official webpage. For instance, the specialists can give attention to the exam blueprint. It comes with a review of the subject areas of the test. Besides that, it contains a list of the acronyms for the exam. This resource is designed to start one’s preparation process. It can be used to get familiar with the test as well as determine one’s knowledge and skill gaps. At the same time, the individuals can consider utilizing the official study guide. This book is created for self-preparation. It covers analyzing vulnerabilities, penetrating networks, exploiting host-based vulnerabilities, completing post-exploit tasks, and testing applications. Furthermore, the guidebook concentrates on conducting passive reconnaissance and active reconnaissance. Moreover, it takes a look at performing non-technical tests to gather information. In addition, it is about planning and scoping penetration tests as well as analyzing and reporting penetration test results. On the other hand, the professionals may explore the study materials proposed by various 3rd-party platforms. These can be practice tests, exam dumps, and so on. Select a preparation tool depending on your preferences and needs.

Career Opportunities

Those students who attain the pass mark in the CompTIA PT0-001 exam will get the related certificate, and namely CompTIA PenTest+. This certification can be used for different job roles. Some of them are a Security Consultant, a Penetration Tester, a Web App Penetration Tester, a Cybersecurity Analyst, a Cloud Penetration Tester, a Network & Security Specialist, and a Cloud Security Specialist, among others. According to the information from the PayScale website, the median salary for the Penetration Testers is $87,000 per year. At the same time, the average compensation outlook for the Cybersecurity Analysts is $76,000 per annum. It should be noted that the actual salary will depend on various factors (for instance, one’s skills, title, experience, company, and so on).

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