Certified Ethical Hacker
Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) is a qualification obtained in assessing the security of computer systems, using penetration testing techniques. The code for the CEH exam is 312-50, the certification is in Version 9 as of late 2015.
Penetration tests are usually employed by an organization who trusts them to attempt to penetrate networks and/or computer systems for the purpose of finding and fixing computer security vulnerabilities. Unauthorized hacking (i.e., gaining access to computer systems without prior authorization from the owner) is a crime in most countries, but penetration testing done by request of the owner of the victim system(s) or network(s) is not.
The EC-Council offers another certification, known as Certified Network Defense Architect (CNDA). This certification is designed for United States Government agencies and is available only to members of selected agencies. Other than the name, the content of the course is exactly the same. The exam code for CNDA is 312-99.
Certification is achieved by taking the CEH examination after having either attended training at an ATC (Accredited Training Center) or done self-study. If a candidate opts for self-study, an application must be filled out and proof submitted of two years of relevant information security work experience, those without the required two years of information security related work experience can request consideration of educational background. The current version of the CEH is V9 uses EC-Council's exam 312-50, as did the earlier versions. Although the new version V8 has recently been launched. This exam has 125 multiple-choice questions, a 4-hour time limit, and requires at least a score of 70% to pass. The test delivery will be web based via Prometric prime. The exam code varies at different testing centers. 312-50 exam at Accredited Training Centers (ATC). The earlier v7 had 150 multiple-choice questions and a four-hour time limit. The version 7 and version 8 exams costs US$500 for the actual test and $100 as a non-refundable fee for registration. Prices apply in the United States (prices in other countries may differ), and is administered via computer at an EC-Council Accredited Training Center, Pearson VUE, or Prometric testing center (in the United States).
EC-Council Continuing Education (ECE) points serve to ensure that all certified professionals maintain and further their knowledge. Professionals must meet ECE requirements to avoid revocation of certification. Members holding the CEH/CNDA designation (as well as other EC-Council certifications) must recertify under this program every three years for a minimum of 120 credits.
Some computer security professionals have objected to the term "ethical hacker" as a "contradiction in terms". Part of the controversy may arise from the older, less stigmatized, definition of hacker, which has since become synonymous with computer criminal. According to EC-Council, there has been an increase of careers where CEH and other ethical hacking certifications are preferred or required. US government accepts this association and requires CEH accreditation for some jobs per DoD 8570.01-M guidelines.
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