Certified Ethical Hacker
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Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) is a qualification obtained by assessing the security of computer systems, using penetration testing techniques. The code for the CEH exam is 312-50, and the certification is in Version 9 as of late 2015.
Penetration tests are employed by organizations that hire certified ethical hackers to penetrate networks and computer systems with the purpose of finding and fixing security vulnerabilities. While unauthorized hacking, also known as Black Hat hacking, is illegal, penetration testing done at the request of the owner of the targeted systems 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.
Certification is achieved by taking the CEH examination after having either attended training at an Accredited Training Center (ATC), or completed through 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 which uses the EC-Council's exam 312-50, as the earlier versions did. Although the new version V8 has recently been launched, this exam has 125 multiple-choice questions, with 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. The 312-50 exam proctored 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 be different), and is administered via computer at an EC-Council Accredited Training Center, Pearson VUE, or Prometric testing center (in the United States). The V9 has been released with very few changes in its modules.
The EC-Council and various ATCs (Authorized Training Center) administer the CEH examination. Members holding the CEH/CNDA designation (as well as other EC-Council certifications) must seek re-certification 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 the computer criminal. According to the EC-Council, there has been an increase of careers where CEH and other ethical hacking certifications are preferred or required. The US government accepts this association and requires CEH accreditation for some jobs, per DoD 8570.01-M guidelines.
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