CSX Vulnerability and Exploitation Course


Build your technical skills with immersive, hands-on training in a live network environment.

6 months access

ISACA Member: $250

Non-Member: $400

Purchase Self-Paced Course

Certificate Exam

ISACA Member: US $200

Non-Member: US $249

Purchase Exam

The CSX Vulnerability and Exploitation Course provides students, who possess a basic understanding of penetration testing, a deeper understanding of vulnerability identification and exploitation capabilities. 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 how to successfully exploit and maintain a presence within information systems.


The CSX Vulnerability and Exploitation 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.


  • Open Source Research
  • Initial Vulnerability Scanning
  • Vulnerability Identification
  • Basic Exploitation
  • Privilege Escalation
  • Backdoor Implants
  • Covering Tracks
  • System Exploration


  • Footprinting
  • Initial Vulnerability Scanner Setup
  • Vulnerability Analysis
  • Initial Exploitation
  • Privilege Escalation
  • Backdoor Implementation
  • Covering Tracks
  • Deeper Exploration
  • CVEC Challenge

CSX Vulnerability and Exploitation Course Outline

Open Source Research

  • Understand footprinting
  • Conduct target research
  • Perform “Google hacking”


This lab instructs students on the basics of open source researching a target domain.

Initial Vulnerability Scanning

  • Discover known vulnerabilities
  • Learn vulnerability scanner implementation
  • Prepare vulnerability scanners

Initial Vulnerability Scanner Setup

OpenVAS is a popular open-source vulnerability scanner and management tool. One of the tools included with OpenVAS is the Greenbone Security Assistant (GSA), a web application which connects to the OpenVAS manager daemon to provide a GUI for vulnerability management. In this lab, you'll become familiar with how these tools work and how to use them.

Vulnerability Identification

  • Research vulnerabilities
  • Identify vulnerability severity
  • Identify patch levels

Vulnerability Analysis

Conducting a vulnerability scan is important. In this lab, students will learn how to interpret the results from the vulnerability scans.

Basic Exploitation

  • Match a vulnerability with an exploit
  • Successful post exploitation steps
  • Additional post exploitation failure research

Initial Exploitation

It's important to realize not all exploits require scripted code and payloads. Sometimes a simple Nmap scan - coupled with a Telnet connection and a clever username - is all you need!

Privilege Escalation

  • Learn system privileges
  • Remote compile local exploits
  • Escalate privileges
  • Establish Netcat listeners

Privilege Escalation

Privilege escalation exploits are one of the most common exploit types. By exploiting flaws in the OS, this type of exploit allows a user to elevate their level of system access. Once elevated, a user can make permanent changes and gain control of the vulnerable system.

Backdoor Implants

  • Learn backdoors
  • Establish a backdoor

Backdoor Implementation

This lab will take students through creating backdoors in systems as well as implementing inadvertent backdoors and exploitations.

Covering Tracks

  • Learn how to cover tracks after an exploitation
  • Modify date/time stamps on files
  • Search logs for evidence
  • Delete evidence from logs

Covering Tracks

When a system is accessed, either by normal or clandestine operations, evidence is left behind in log files. Sanitation of those log files is important to cover up any activity that had taken place.

System Exploration

  • Identify valuable information
  • Discover password files on a system
  • Crack discovered passwords
  • Identify open network file shares

Deeper Exploration

Once a system has been compromised with administrator level access all sensitive system information is available to the attacker. In this lab, we'll take you through obtaining that system information.

CVEC Challenge

This is a challenge lab for the CVEC series which is based on the materials covered in the previous 8 labs.


CSX Vulnerability and Exploitation Certificate Exam

Earn your CSX Vulnerability and Exploitation (CVEC) Certificate when you pass this 2-hour, real-time, hands-on exam. The exam assesses candidates understanding and implementation of scanning a system or network for vulnerabilities and exploiting them to gain access. 

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

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