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GNFA Certification

What You Need to Know About GNFA Certification

Apr 04, 20237 mins readAmit Masih
What You Need to Know About GNFA Certification

The GIAC GNFA certification is a professional certification designed to demonstrate expertise in network forensics and analysis. The GIAC Network Forensic Analyst (GNFA) certification program is offered by GIAC and recognized by organizations worldwide.

Earning the GIAC GNFA certification requires passing an exam and demonstrating a high understanding of network forensics and analysis.

What is the GIAC GNFA certification exam?

The GIAC Network Forensic Analyst (GNFA) certification is one of the leading forensic analyst certifications, validating a practitioner's capability of performing examinations that involve network forensic artifacts. By earning the GNFA certification, you will demonstrate your understanding of the fundamentals of network forensics, normal and abnormal conditions for common network protocols, processes and tools for examining device and system logs, and wireless communication and encryption protocols. 

The GIAC GNFA certification exam covers network architecture, network protocols, and network protocol reverse engineering, encryption and encoding, NetFlow analysis and attack visualization, security event & incident logging, network analysis tools and usage, wireless network analysis, & open source network security proxies. 

The GIAC GNFA exam consists of 50-66 multiple-choice questions and must be completed within 2-3 hours. To pass the GNFA exam, a passing score of 70% is required. The GNFA certification is ideal for anyone with a solid background in computer forensics, information systems, and information security interested in computer network intrusions and investigations.

Here are the topics covered in the GNFA exam:

  • Network architecture, network protocols, and network protocol reverse engineering
  • Encryption and encoding, NetFlow analysis and attack visualization, security event & incident logging
  • Network analysis tools and usage, wireless network analysis, & open-source network security proxies

Who can take the GIAC GNFA certification?

Any network forensics professional can pursue the GIAC GNFA certification. It is particularly beneficial for:

  • Those with a solid background in computer forensics, information systems, and information security who are interested in computer network intrusions and investigations should attend this workshop.
  • Incident response team members
  • Forensicators
  • Threat hunters
  • Law enforcement officers, federal agents, and detectives
  • SOC personnel
  • Information security practitioners and managers
  • Network defenders and engineers
  • Information technology professionals

The GIAC GNFA certification exam objectives and outcome statements

Common network protocols

Candidates will demonstrate a thorough understanding of common network protocols, including their behavior, security risks, and controls.

Encryption and encoding

Candidates will demonstrate an understanding of common network traffic encoding and encryption techniques, as well as common attacks on those techniques.

NetFlow analysis and attack visualization

Candidates will have experience identifying network attacks using NetFlow data and other information sources.

Network analysis tool and usage

Candidates will be familiar with open-source packet analysis tools and their purpose in filtering and rebuilding data streams.

Network architecture

Candidates will be familiar with designing and deploying a network utilizing multiple transmission and collection technologies.

Network protocol reverse engineering

Candidates will have a thorough understanding of how to analyze diverse protocols and data traversing a network.

Open-source network security proxies

Candidates will demonstrate knowledge of network security proxies, the benefits, and weaknesses of their deployment, as well as common log formats and how data flows in a network environment.

Security event and incident logging

Candidates will be familiar with diverse log formats, protocols, and security implications. Also, they will demonstrate an understanding of how to configure and deploy collection devices and logging aggregators throughout a network.

Wireless network analysis

Candidates will be familiar with the process of identifying and controlling wireless technology, protocol, and infrastructure risks.

GIAC GNFA certification exam syllabus

FOR572.1: Off the disk and onto the wire

Although many fundamental network forensic concepts align with any other digital forensic investigation, the network presents many nuances requiring special attention. Today you will learn how to apply what you already know about digital forensics and incident response to network-based evidence. You will also become acclimated to the essential tools of the trade.

  • Web proxy server examination
  • Foundational network forensics tools: tcpdump and Wireshark
  • Network Evidence Acquisition
  • Network architectural challenges and opportunities

FOR572.2: Core protocols & log aggregation/analysis

There are numerous network protocols that can be used in a production network. It will cover both the topics that are most likely to benefit forensicators in their typical casework and those that encourage the use of analysis methods when confronted with new, undocumented, or proprietary protocols. Knowing these protocols' "typical" behaviors will help you identify anomalous behavior that may suggest misuse. These protocol artifacts and anomalies can be profiled by analyzing direct traffic and log evidence. Even though this provides investigators with a wealth of opportunities for analyzing network traffic, analyzing large quantities of source data requires tools and methods designed for scale.

  • Hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) part 1: protocol
  • Hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) part 2: logs
  • Domain same service (DNS): protocol and logs
  • Forensic network security monitoring
  • Logging protocol and aggregation
  • Syslog
  • Microsoft eventing
  • Log data collection, aggregation, and analysis
  • Elastic stack and the SOF-ELK platform
  • Basics and pros/cons of the elastic stack

FOR572.3: NetFlow and file access protocols

The logging of network connections, commonly known as NetFlow, is the most valuable source of evidence when investigating networks. The minimal storage requirements of flow data have led to extensive archives of flow data in many organizations. By not capturing transmission content, NetFlow mitigates many legal issues associated with long-term retention. The NetFlow protocol is an excellent tool for guiding an investigation and identifying adversaries' activities before, during, and after an attack. In order to move within a victim's environment or to exfiltrate data, adversaries use different file access protocols. In order to identify an attacker's theft actions quickly, a fornicator must know some of the more common file access and transfer protocols.

  • NetFlow collection and analysis
  • Open-source flow tools
  • File transfer protocol (FTP)
  • Microsoft protocols

FOR572.4: Commercial tools, wireless, and full-packet hunting

In a network fornicators toolkit, commercial tools are essential. In this course, you will learn how commercial tools may be integrated into an investigative workflow to fill various roles. Investigators must also be prepared to cope with the unique challenges wireless networking poses due to its rapid adoption. No matter what protocol or budget is being examined, a means of performing full-packet capture is essential, and a toolkit for carrying out this analysis at scale is crucial.

  • Simple mail transfer protocol (smtp)
  • Object extraction with network miner
  • Wireless network forensics
  • Automated tools and libraries
  • Full-packet hunting with Moloch

FOR572.5: Encryption, protocol reversing, OPSEC, and Intel

Due to technological advancements, it has become easier for malicious people to commit crimes and more difficult for investigators to track them. There are a variety of encryption methods readily available, and custom protocols can quickly be developed and implemented. However, even the most sophisticated adversaries' methods have weaknesses. You must operate carefully as you learn about the attacker's deliberate concealment - or the attacker can pivot and nullify your progress.

  • Encoding, encryption, and ssl/tls
  • Meddler-in-the-middle (MITM)
  • Network protocol reverse engineering
  • Investigation opsec and threat intel
  • Intelligence

FOR572.6: Network forensics capstone challenge

In this section, you will combine everything you have learned so far. The objective of this activity is to examine network evidence from a real-world breach by an advanced attacker in groups. Each group will analyze data independently, develop hypotheses, and present findings.

-Network forensic case

The final words

The GNFA certification program is an excellent way to advance your network forensics career. With the GNFA certification, you will gain the knowledge and skills you need to excel in your network security career.

It's important to understand that obtaining the GIAC GNFA certification requires a lot of dedication, discipline, and a commitment to lifelong learning. If you want to earn the GNFA certification and are looking for a reliable proxy exam service center, CBT Proxy can help you pass the GNFA exam on your first attempt.

If you would like to learn more about the exam and how to get started, click the chat button below, and one of our guides will contact you shortly.

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