Effective CISSP Questions

Your company implements a physical access control system (PACS) that uses contactless smart cards. The smart card readers and the identity repository are connected through a stack of switching hubs. Which of the following is the most likely attack against smart cards that leads to a data breach? (Wentz QOTD)
A. Side-channel attack
B. Content addressable memory (CAM) table overflow attack
C. Wiretapping attack
D. Piggyback attack

Kindly be reminded that the suggested answer is for your reference only. It doesn’t matter whether you have the right or wrong answer. What really matters is your reasoning process and justifications.

My suggested answer is A. Side-channel attack.

Wentz’s book, The Effective CISSP: Security and Risk Management, helps CISSP and CISM aspirants build a solid conceptual security model. It is a tutorial for information security and a supplement to the official study guides for the CISSP and CISM exams and an informative reference for security professionals.

Side-Channel Attack
Side-Channel Attack

Side-channel attack

A side-channel can be exploited by simply placing an antenna, magnetic probe, or other sensor near a device or system. This allows an attacker to measure power consumption, voltage fluctuations, or other side channels such as temperature or sound. Side-channel attacks can be used to extract the keys from a device like a smart card. In real-world terms, this allows an attacker to load or reset balances and extract or reset device PINs. (SemiEngineering)

An attack enabled by leakage of information from a physical cryptosystem. Characteristics that could be exploited in a side-channel attack include timing, power consumption, and electromagnetic and acoustic emissions.

Source: NIST Glossary

In computer security, a side-channel attack is any attack based on information gained from the implementation of a computer system, rather than weaknesses in the implemented algorithm itself (e.g. cryptanalysis and software bugs). Timing information, power consumption, electromagnetic leaks or even sound can provide an extra source of information, which can be exploited.

Source: Wikipedia

Content addressable memory (CAM) table overflow attack

When the CAM table overflows, a switching hub may downgrade to a hub to maintain the availability by sending frames to all ports. This results in malicious sniffing by a middle man.

A CAM table overflow attack is a hostile act performed against a network switch in which a flood of bogus MAC addresses is sent to the switch. This flood of data causes the switch to dump the valid addresses it has in its CAM database tables in an attempt to make room for the bogus information. After that happens, a switch’s default behavior is to broadcast normally private messages to all ports.

Source: CbtNuggets

Wiretapping Attack

Wiretapping is the surreptitious electronic monitoring of telephone, telegraph, cellular, fax or Internet-based communications.

Wiretapping is achieved either through the placement of a monitoring device informally known as a bug on the wire in question or through built-in mechanisms in other communication technologies.

Enforcement officials may tap into either for live monitoring or recording. packet sniffers — programs used to capture data being transmitted on a network – are a commonly-used modern-day wiretapping tool. A variety of other tools, such as wiretap Trojans, are used for different applications. 

Source: TechTarget

Piggyback attack

Piggyback attack is an active form of wiretapping where the attacker gains access to a system via intervals of inactivity in another user’s legitimate connection. It is also called a “between the line attack” or “piggyback-entry wiretapping”.

In securitypiggybacking refers to when someone tags along with another person who is authorized to gain entry into a restricted area the term is applied to computer networks in this context

Source: Wikipedia


您的公司建置了使用非接觸式智能卡的物理訪問控制系統 (PACS)。 智能卡讀卡機和身份存儲庫通過一組交換集線器相連。 以下哪一項是最有可能導致數據洩露的針對智能卡的攻擊? (Wentz QOTD)
A. Side channel attack
B. Content addressable memory (CAM) table overflow attack
C. Wiretapping attack
D. Piggyback attack

2 thoughts on “CISSP PRACTICE QUESTIONS – 20210811

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