CSX Penetration Testing Overview


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The CSX Penetration Testing Overview course provides students an introductory understanding of penetration testing and ethical hacking. Students will work with real systems in real environments and will leverage real vulnerability analysis and exploitation tools in a live environment. Upon completion, students will understand the overall concepts guiding penetration testing from a practical, hands-on vantage point.


The CSX Penetration Testing Overview course is conducted in an adaptive, performance-based cyber laboratory environment. Students will have hands-on instruction and practice in applying basic concepts and industry-leading methods and in utilizing a large array of open source tools within real-world scenarios.


  • Introduction to Penetration Testing
  • TCP/IP Basics
  • Reconnaissance
  • Enumeration
  • Vulnerability Identification
  • Reporting
  • Security Controls


  • Linux Shell and Commands
  • TCP/IP Basics
  • Packet Inquiry
  • Network Discovery
  • Service Enumeration
  • Network Vulnerability Identification
  • Network Vulnerability Exploitation
  • Evidence Removal
  • CPTO Challenge 1
  • CPTO Challenge 2

CSX Penetration Testing Overview Outline

Introduction to Penetration Testing

  • Ethical hacking overview
  • Methodology overview
  • Essential hacking tools
  • Key Linux commands

Linux Shell and Commands

The Unix bourne-again shell, also known as Bash, is a command processor that runs in the Kali Linux terminal. Bash scripting and command execution is the foundation of penetration testing.

TCP/IP Basics

  • Discuss network vulnerabilities and network-based attacks
  • Understand the roles of TCP/IP protocol
  • Understand basic commands to obtain network and process information
  • Learn network-based commands

TCP/IP Basics

In Linux, viewing and configuring network connections is not only a fundamental aspect of computer and network security, but it is also an essential piece of the penetration testing infrastructure.


  • Learn information gathering techniques
  • Learn Reconnaissance tools
  • Identify and map networks
  • Leverage packet analysis tools

Packet Inquiry

Wireshark is a free and open source network protocol analyzer that is both efficient and effective. In Kali Linux, packets are captured in Wireshark by penetration testers and cybersecurity professionals on a daily basis.

Network Discovery

Again, Wireshark is a free and open source network protocol analyzer that is both efficient and effective. It is necessary for penetration testers to understand the packets that are traversing through a network segment while discovering network hosts and navigating to websites.


  • Learn how to leverage enumeration tools
  • Identify specific services in relation to their ports and states
  • Understand the relationship between packets and traffic types
  • Learn the importance of the three-way handshake

Service Enumeration

The CLI tool, nmap, and its GUI counterpart, Zenmap, are both extremely important when it comes to identifying and enumerating network hosts, ports and services, and more.

Vulnerability Identification

  • Identify vulnerabilities
  • Leverage vulnerability assessment tools
  • Understand Metasploit
  • Leverage Metasploit

Network Vulnerability Identification

Metasploit is a software project that is arranged for penetration testing. Metasploit provides essential information about computer and network security vulnerabilities and helps users exploit machines.

Network Vulnerability Exploitation

Using the results of an exploit to enable another exploit is something penetration testers do on a daily basis. Once their exploits take them deep enough into a remote system, using MySQL syntax to navigate a MySQL database can be a crucial skill when they're in search of information.


  • Verify findings
  • Review configurations
  • Conduct root cause analysis

Security Controls

  • Analyze network security assessment areas
  • Learn security architecture and design
  • Understand firewall technologies
  • Analyze IDS and IPS

Evidence Removal

Removing evidence, also known as covering your tracks, is the last step in penetration testing. Although it is the last step, it is by far not the least important.

CPTO Challenge 1

This challenge is based on the first four labs of this series. This lab reflects the Identify domain of penetration testing.

CPTO Challenge 2

This challenge is based on the last four labs of this series. This lab reflects the Identify, Detect, and Recover domains of penetration testing.


CSX Penetration Testing Overview Certificate Exam

Earn your CSX Penetration Testing Overview (CPTO) Certificate when you pass this 2-hour, real-time, hands-on exam. The exam assesses candidates understanding and implementation of the penetration testing process.

Continuing Profession Education (CPE) Credit: 4 CPEs (2 per examination hour) when a passing score is achieved

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