2.1.8 Packet Tracer – File and Data Integrity Checks Answers

2.1.8 Packet Tracer – File and Data Integrity Checks (Answers)


Part 1: Recover Files after a Cyber Attack
Part 2: Using Hashing to Verify File Integrity
Part 3: Using HMAC to Verify File Integrity


In this Packet Tracer (PT) activity, you will verify the integrity of multiple files using hashes to ensure files have not been tampered with. If any files are suspected of being tampered with, they are to be sent to Sally’s PC so that she can further analyze the contents. The IP addressing, network configuration, and service configurations are already complete. You will use the client devices to verify and transfer any suspect files.


The CSE-LABVM installed in VirtualBox

Note: It is recommended that you use the CSE-LABVM to check file MD5 files hashes in this activity. The CSE-LABVM was installed during the Lab – Install a Virtual Machine on a Personal Computer.


Part 1: Recover Files after a Cyber Attack

Client data must be secured and remain unchanged by unauthorized personnel. By hashing data before and after it is archived, you can tell if it has changed even by one character or even one bit because the hashes will not match. In this Part, you will attempt to recover files from a backup after a cyber attack.

Step 1: Access the BR Server from Mike’s PC.

a. Click Branch Office and then click Laptop BR-1.

b. Click the Desktop tab and then click Web Browser.

c. Enter the URL http://branch.corp and click Go.

Note: Packet Tracer may take up to a minute to converge. You can click Fast Forward Time (Alt+D) to speed up the process.

d. Click the link to download the most current files.

Step 2: Copy the hash values from the last time the files were archived.

You need to restore the missing files from a backup server located in HQ. But first, you need the hashes for the stored files to ensure their integrity.

a. Enter the URL http://hq.corp and click Go.

b. Click the link to view the most recent files and their hashes.

c. Select and copy all the content.

d. Open the CSE-LABVM, and then click Menu > Text Editor Pluma.

e. Paste the contents of your clipboard into the blank document. You will use these hashes to validate if a file is corrupted.

Step 3: Download the backup files to Mike’s PC.

a. Back in Packet Tracer, close the Web Browser one Mike’s PC.

b. Click Command Prompt. Connect to the HQ FTP Server by entering ftp hq.corp at the prompt.

c. Enter the username of mike and a password of cisco123.

d. At the ftp> prompt, enter the command dir to view the current files stored on FTP server.

e. Download the six client files (NEclients.txt, NWclients.txt, Nclients.txt, SEclients.txt, SWclients.txt, and Sclients.txt) to Mike’s PC. Example for the first file is shown here:

ftp> get NEclients.txt

Reading file NEclients.txt from hq.corp:
File transfer in progress...

[Transfer complete - 584 bytes]

584 bytes copied in 0.05 secs (11680 bytes/sec)

f. After downloading all the files, quit the FTP command line.

g. Enter the command dibr and verify the client files are now on Laptop BR-1.

Part 2: Use Hashing to Verify File Integrity

In this Part, use the CSE-LABVM to hash the contents of the files you downloaded. You will then compare the new hash to the old hash to see if the data has changed. Any files that have changed since they were archived will be sent to Sally so that she can investigate the changes at a later time.

Step 1: Check the hashes on the client files on Mike’s PC.

a. Close the Command Prompt, and then click Text Editor.

b. Click File > Open, select first document NEclients.txt, and then click OK.

c. Copy the entire text document content.

d. Open the CSE-LABVM.

e. Double click the Terminal icon to open a terminal window.

f. Use the echo -n ‘file-contents’ | md5 sum command to create a hash to validate the data in the NEclients.txt file. Paste you clipboard content between the single quotes.

[email protected]:~$ echo -n 'file-contents' | md5sum

g. Compare the hash value created here with the hash values you copied to the text document earlier.


Are the two hash values for NEclients.txt the same?

h. Hash the contents of the remaining five files until one of the values does not match the computed hash.


Which file has been tampered with and has an incorrect hash?

Step 2: Escalate the cyber attack to Mike’s supervisor, Sally.

a. Return to Packet Tracer and close the Text Editor.

b. Click Email, and then Compose. Write an email and send it to [email protected] to tell her that the file server has been hacked.

Step 3: Download the suspected file to Sally’s PC.

a. Navigate to the HQ site, and then click HQ-Laptop-1.

b. Click Desktop tab > Command Prompt, and then enter ftp hq.corp to connect to the HQ FTP Server.

c. Enter the username of sally and a password of cisco321.

d. At the ftp> prompt, enter the dir command to view the current files stored on the remote HQ FTP Server.

e. Download the file that was found to have been tampered with in Part 3 Step 1.

f. At the ftp> prompt, enter the command quit.

g. At the C:\> prompt, enter the command dir and verify the tampered client file is now on HQ-Laptop-1 for analysis by Sally in the future.

Part 3: Use HMAC to Verify File Integrity

Bob is the CFO for a small business and keeps track of all the finances. In this Part, you will compute and verify a hash-based message authentication code (HMAC) of a critical file to ensure that it is the same data since the last time the file was used. HMAC requires a secret key before file integrity can be validated.

a. Click Bob’s laptop, which is HQ-Laptop-2.

b. Click the Desktop tab > Command Prompt, and then enter the dir command and verify the critical file named income.txt is on the laptop. Close the command prompt window when done.

c. Click Text Editor, and then File > Open.

d. Select the document income.txt and click OK.

e. Select and copy all the document contents.

f. In the CSE-LABVM, click the Menu button, and then click Text Editor Pluma. Click Edit and click Paste.

g. Click File and click Save. Save the file with the name income.txt. Close the file.

h. In a terminal window in the CSE-LABVM VM, use the following command to create an HMAC for the file income.txt. The secret key is cisco123.

[email protected]:~$ openssl dgst -sha256 -hmac cisco123 income.txt


What is the computed HMAC for the contents of the file?

How is using HMAC more secure than general hashing?
To produce a specific hash, you need both the original message and a secret key.

Does the HMAC hash for the income.txt file match the original hash you copied to the text file on the CSE-LABVM?


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