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Case Study Network Protocols Firewalls and Proxy Servers Quiz Answer

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Case Study: Network Protocols, Firewalls, and Proxy Servers

Justine is a service desk technician. Another employee, Heather, files a support ticket about an issue that sheโ€™s encountering, and Justine is the technician assigned to her case. In the ticket, Heather provides the following information:

Ticket: 4510
Customer: Heather T
Issue: Website wonโ€™t load
Description: Iโ€™m trying to visit a website for research that Iโ€™m doing for a work project, but the page wonโ€™t load for me. When I go to the site, I get a page that says, โ€œThis site canโ€™t be reached. www.quintupleclick.com refused to connect. Try checking the connection or checking the proxy and the firewall. ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED.โ€
Let me know what you think at your earliest convenience. This setback isnโ€™t an emergency; I have plenty of other websites to use for my research, but Iโ€™d also like to use this one sometime this week.

Question 1)
Assume that Justine follows the CompTIA model for troubleshooting. What should she do first?

  • Research the knowledge base.
  • Duplicate the problem.
  • Verify full system functionality.
  • Establish a theory of probable cause.

 

Before replying to Heather, Justine does what she can to identify the problem on her own, starting with duplicating the problem. She uses a browser on her work computer at the office to visit the website and finds that the website does not load.
She looks up the site onWebsitePlanetโ€™s โ€œWebsite Down or Not?โ€ page, which confirms that the website exists and is currently up and running.

Question 2)
Which Windows command could Justine enter to verify that quintupleclick.com exists and is available?

  • ipconfig
  • sfc
  • cipher
  • ping

 

The output from the command suggests to Justine that something is blocking communication with the website.

Question 3)
What should Justine do next?

  • Escalate the problem to a higher level of technical support.
  • Document findings and lessons learned from the ping command.
  • Attempt to visit the website from a device outside her company network.
  • Contact Heather to find out what solutions she has already tried.

 

Since sheโ€™s using her office computer, she knows that the companyโ€™s network settings could be blocking the website. To rule out her companyโ€™s security settings as a cause, she tests the website using a device outside her companyโ€™s network. She visits the website from her cell phone, which uses her cell phone carrierโ€™s network, and the website loads without issue. This finding suggests that her companyโ€™s security settings are a likely cause.

She now has enough useful information to have a productive and efficient discussion with Heather. She contacts Heather and begins a chat through the companyโ€™s internal messaging system.

Technician: Hi, Heather. Let’s work together to try and solve the issue. Let me ask you some questions. Is this the only website that will not load for you?

Employee: Yes, it is. All other websites load okay for me.

Technician: Okay. Are you working from home or at the office?

Employee: Iโ€™m working from home, but Iโ€™m using my work laptop.

Technician: Okay, thanks. Are you logged into the companyโ€™s VPN when you try visiting this website, and if so, have you tried accessing the site when logged out of the VPN?

Employee: Yes, I always keep my work laptop logged into the VPN. Let me try accessing the site with the VPN turned off.

Heather turns off the VPN and then visits the website. The website still does not load.

Employee: No luck.

Technician: Okay, thanks. Have you tried accessing the website from another device on your network, like your personal desktop computer or your cell phone? When I try accessing the website from my work computer at the office, the website doesnโ€™t load. However, I can access the website without issue from a non-company-owned device outside the companyโ€™s network.

Employee: I didnโ€™t even think to try that! Iโ€™ll do it now.

Heather uses her personal computer to visit the website and the website loads without issue.

Employee: Yes, that works! I wonder why we canโ€™t access the website from company computers.

Question 4)
Which networking component might be blocking access to the site based on a predetermined security rule?

  • Firewall
  • NIC
  • Cache
  • IDS

 

Technician: Something about our company computers is blocking access to this website. VPN settings canblock a website, but we know that the company VPN isnโ€™t the problem. Letโ€™s check your firewall settings. IT technicians configure each device before allowing employees to use them, and this configuration involves firewall settings that block certain websites.

Justine talks Heather through the steps for checking Heatherโ€™s firewall settings in Windows. They discover that this website is one of many that the firewall blocks.

Employee: Strange! Why is the company blocking this website?

Technician: We block websites that we think are unsafe to visit. Later, I can read through our records to find out why this website is blocked. In the meantime, letโ€™s look for clues to determinehow safe the site is.

Question 5)
What are three essential tips Justine can follow to determine whether the website is safe to use? Select all that apply.

  • Use the Whois Lookup tool.
  • Ensure the website is an HTTP site.
  • Inspect the websiteโ€™s design.
  • Check the trust seal.

 

Technician: This websiteโ€™s URL has HTTPS, not HTTP, meaning that the site follows the HTTPS protocol. This protocol provides an encrypted connection between you and the site, so HTTPS is what you want to see. But a website can use HTTPS and still try to scam users or be compromised somehow.

You should also use a tool like Whois Lookup to determine who owns the site. When I look up this website using that tool, I find no contact information for the owner, which is concerning.

From a quick Google search, I find discussions on Reddit warning that this website uses your computer for Bitcoin mining without your permission. Bitcoin mining will decrease the performance of your computer and is not a permitted use of company resources. I assume this is why our department blocked this website, and I advise you to avoid it on your personal devices too!

Employee: Wow, I had no idea about that! Iโ€™ll stick with other websites for my research, and Iโ€™ll be sure to evaluate each website before doing so. Thanks for your help!

Technician: Youโ€™re welcome! Have a nice day.