Cyber Basics - Module 4: Hacking

3 Lessons

This is the fourth module in the Cyber Basics course (aka GenCyber).  This module familiarizes the student with techniques for passive and active network reconnaissance to include sweeping, scanning, OS finger printing, banner grabbing, war-dialing and war-driving.  It then looks at how passwords are stored (hashes) and how attacks on user password hashes are carried out.  During the password cracking lesson, the students actually get some hands-on experience with a free, open source password cracking tool.  Finally, the module moves on to how web servers have evolved and introduces the student to the various web application vulnerabilities resulting from this evolution.  Again, students get some hands-on experience by attacking web applications using a known vulnerable website with vulnerable applications.

Learning Objectives
  • Describe techniques for passive network reconnaissance
  • Define sweeping, scanning, OS finger printing and banner grabbing
  • Define war-dialing and war-driving
  • Understand how passwords are stored on a modern operating system
  • Describe how attacks on user password hashes are carried out
  • Apply tools to attack password hash files
  • Describe why password complexity is important
  • Describe how web servers have evolved and various web application vulnerabilities
  • Understand classes of vulnerabilities in web applications that could lead to compromise
  • Apply attacks on web applications using a known vulnerable website
Faculty Instructions

There are four Virginia Cyber Range exercises that can be used with this module.

Each of these exercises are available in the courseware repository and in the Virginia Cyber Range exercise are. If instructors add the Cyber Basics – Reconnaissance and Network Scanning Lab to their exercise list, students can complete all of the labs using that environment. [NOTE:  Students can complete these lab exercises using a standalone environment such as the individual Kali Linux workstation they may have set up during the introductory module.]

Module 4: Hacking Description

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* NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework KSAs Addressed
  • K0069: Knowledge of query languages such as SQL (structured query language).
  • K0070: Knowledge of system and application security threats and vulnerabilities (e.g., buffer overflow, mobile code, cross-site scripting, Procedural Language/Structured Query Language [PL/SQL] and injections, race conditions, covert channel, replay, return-oriented attacks, malicious code).
  • K0111: Knowledge of common network tools (e.g., ping, traceroute, nslookup) and interpret the information results.
  • K0119: Knowledge of hacking methodologies in Windows or Unix/Linux environment.
  • K0129: Knowledge of Unix command line (e.g., mkdir, mv, ls, passwd, grep).
  • K0158: Knowledge of organizational information technology (IT) user security policies (e.g., account creation, password rules, access control).
  • K0236: Knowledge of how to utilize Hadoop, Java, Python, SQL, Hive, and PIG to explore data.
  • K0300: Knowledge of network mapping and recreating network topologies.
  • K0307: Knowledge of common network tools (e.g., ping, traceroute, nslookup).
  • K0342: Knowledge of penetration testing principles, tools, and techniques.
  • S0051: Skill in the use of penetration testing tools and techniques.
  • S0130: Skill in writing scripts using R, Python, PIG, HIVE, SQL, etc.
  • A0055: Ability to operate common network tools (e.g., ping, traceroute, nslookup).
* NSA/DHS Center of Excellence (CAE) KUs Addressed
  • Cyber Threats (CTH)
  • Databases (DAT)
  • Database Management Systems (DMS)
  • Basic Networking (BNW)
  • Operating Systems Hardening (OSH)
  • Penetration Testing (PTT)
  • Basic Scripting and Programming (BSP)
  • Linux System Administration (LSA)

* Most courseware content maps to NIST NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework (NCWF) Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) and/or NSA/DHS CAE Knowledge Units (KUs). For more information on KSAs and KUs, please visit: