How to become a certified ethical hacker [CEH]? What is Certified Ethical hacker salary? What are CEH prerequisites? Where to find Certified Ethical hacker jobs? All answers here!
With an organization lies tremendous amount of data and operations.
The safety of these must be ensured to protect the integrity of not just the organization itself but also to the stakeholders to whom the organization extends services. So an organization comes up with a security system for all the operations and layers of protocols and logic. This is to ensure there is no unauthorized access to the system.
But how an organization be sure that the security system built by networking experts is indeed safe? How can they be sure the extent to which the system is or isn’t vulnerable? This is where the role of an Ethical Hacker comes into picture.
Certifies Ethical Hacker – Jobs, Salary & Tutorials
An ethical hacker is the key security professional for an organization. Also known as a white hat hacker, an ethical hacker is hired to test the network security system, they are supposed to find faults, exploit vulnerabilities and weakness of the system and see if they can use the weaknesses to penetrate or break into the system – the same way a black hat hacker would.
The Certified Ethical Hacker [CEH] jobs are offered high salary. As per a recent report in 2018, the average Certified Ethical Hacker salary is $71,331 per annum.
The only difference being an ethical hacker has a legal right to break into systems and is trusted with the duty to try and penetrate into a system using the logic of a real hacker. Basically, he has a license to hack.
So how do we get this ‘License to Hack’? The job requires a wide range of skill set- both technical and logical.
The Electronics Council (EC-council) provides a certification of Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). This certification is specially designed for the network security professional as an Ethical Hacker i.e. you will be credited as an Ethical Hacker from a standard council. The latest version of this certification is CEHv10.
After earning a CEH one can proceed with CEH (Practical) that is a hands-on practical exam that needs you to demonstrate your learning as a CEH and apply real life solutions to challenges. But that of course is a next step.
The first step is to acquire a CEH certificate, and to do that you need to be clear with some basic concepts.
Becoming a Certified Ethical Hacker [CEH]
Understanding the language of computers is essential. If one knows programming, it will help him study codes, break them and analyze each piece of code. Also, one can write scripts of their own, and give commands.
The most widely used programming languages are C/C++, Java and scripting languages like Python and Perl and basic Shell scripting. Programming languages are easy to learn, and different languages are used to write different types of code.
Knowledge of Linux systems can also prove to be important since all the servers and networks are mostly deployed on UNIX based operating systems. Also, the most powerful hacking tools work on UNIX.
Apart from programming languages, there are several scripting languages used across the web. Server side scripting languages like PHP and ASP.NET are used to handle web pages. Learning these could prove helpful for web based attacks.
Coupled with networking knowledge, these can be used to enter into a server that in turn exposes the entire system.
The main aim is to learn basic syntax and operative ability of a language to understand what a piece of program is capable of. But the more advanced knowledge one has, the more in depth dissection can be performed.
It’s the internet that has connected devices together. In order to penetrate into a system, one needs to know how the system can be accessed from a remote location.
For that the knowledge of networking -topology, addressing, sub netting, VPN and tunneling, routing and switching, data packets and protocols under TCP/IP, HTTP, HTTPS, SSH, FTP- might come handy.
If these words seem alien to you, you need to give a quick read to Basics of Networking.
What is inside a server that most hackers are racking their brains for? Data.
How data is being stored and how is it being retrieved is essential to understand the Database of an organization. Although there are a number of databases available and in use, one needs to know basic concepts of SQL and other No-SQL databases that give us an idea about the structure in which Data storage formats.
These days, organizations are using cloud based data storage options, i.e the data is not stored in physical vicinity but is rather deployed elsewhere. The working and security of cloud based databases can also prove to be helpful.
You may like to read: 20 Best Hacking Movies You Should Watch in 2018
Cyber Security Concepts
Just like before breaking in a lock we first know the working of a lock, similarly to break into a system, we need to first know about the system- the firewalls and Intrusion Detection Systems that are deployed by security administrators. Only then we can think of by passing them using Malwares and Exploits without being detected.
The above technical knowledge will provide a base for understanding real world systems.
There are a lot of online learning platforms that will help you gain insights to languages and concepts.
Codeacademy, Udemy, Coursera etc have lots of free or courses at minimal prices that will help in learning. Hackerrank is a website that has challenges to practice coding.
The main aim is to have a clear knowledge about hacking itself and become an expert security cracker. You need to apply your knowledge to see if you can get into hacking. Plus, in order to become a professional white hat hacker, you must be able to declare yourself as one. That is where the courses and certifications help you- to legalize your work and give you an environment to practice and learn.
Certified Ethical hacker [CEH] Certification
The CEH is first step to undertake a career in Ethical Hacking. There are a lot of courses offered by the EC Council itself and a few official partners of EC-Council like Udemy, Koenig and Simpli Learn, in order to get the classroom training for the exam. This classroom training will help you to clear the certification exam as it covers a wide range of topics.
The fee for training also includes the exam fee. One can choose to undertake the exam even with self study by submitting application form. A work experience of a minimum of two years in the domain of Information Security is required to take the exam.
If one does not have the relevant experience, education qualification in related field can be submitted for consideration.
The CEH course comprises of 18 modules covering around 270 attack methodologies that are commonly used by attackers.
The main modules in the CEH include-Ethical hacking basics-what are the key issues that are plaguing the world, incident management process and penetration testing, Technical foundations of hacking, Foot printing, Enumeration and system hacking,Trojans and backdoors, Sniffers, session hijacking, and denial of service, Linux distros and automated assessment tools, Web server hacking, web applications, and database attacks, Wireless technologies, mobile security, and mobile attacks,IDS, firewalls, and honeypots,Physical security and social engineering, Buffer overflows, viruses, and worms,Cryptographic attacks and defences.
The course also covers around 140 lab exercises that cover real world scenarios.
Exam Structure – Certified Ethical hacker
The latest version of the EC-CEH is v10 and the exam contains 125 multiple choice questions that need to be answered in 4 hours.
The exam is web based via Prometric prime and a minimum of 70% score is required to clear the course.
The test costs around $500 and a non-refundable fee of $100 needs to be paid for registration. The test and prices are monitored by the EC-Council and ATCs.
Please note that once a certification is acquired, CEH requires a re-certification in every three years. This ensures that members are up-to-date with latest advancements in the field.
What to do after becoming Certified Ethical Hacker?
Once you become a CEH, the journey has just begun. There are a lot of things that you need to keep in mind.
First and foremost, you need to learn about cyber laws and ethics. As a security professional, you need to know the where to draw the line where to stop. Even if you’re trying to do the right thing, it can be easy to accidentally hurt others, so read up on the mostly settled debate regarding full disclosure vs. coordinated vulnerability disclosure.
Practice is essential too. You need to keep working on your skills to be able to face challenges. There are a lot of ways to simulate real life challenges.
Specialize. You will have to make choices about specialization – it isn’t practical to be able to do everything, though if you did, you’d certainly be a great hacker!
Changing mindset – Certified Ethical hacker
Do you want to be great at finding vulnerabilities, at turning them into working exploits, or at deploying them in practice (typically illegal)?
Do you want to penetration test – hack companies so they can fix the problems – or play defense – fixing bugs, analyzing malware, tracking attackers?
Rest assured, all are well paid, fun, and make a big difference in the world.
Think like an attacker. Don’t limit yourself. Anything and everything is fair game (within ethical and legal limits – though on an authorized pen test, the legal limits are usually very broad).
Where is the victim being too trusting?
Is the victim likely to be lazy?
Where can you attempt an attack repeatedly without detection until it works?
Also consider what you’re going for, and who would have access to it. Don’t attack straight on; find a way around obstacles. For example, don’t try to break crypto, find a place where they left the document unencrypted, or get access to a machine that has the keys.
Publish. To be publicly recognized as a great hacker, you will need to publish and present, and do both with at least a minimum level of polish and charisma.
Twitter is a must, as are conference talks. Generally to be seen as truly great you will need to be innovative. You might find significant exploits in a new area, disprove a commonly held belief, develop new vulnerability discovery or mitigation techniques, or identify an important trend first.
Many of the best hackers are unknown because they work in military units or on penetration test teams that are not allowed to discuss their attacks.
For example, Stuxnet is the single most brilliant piece of malware I’ve seen from almost every angle, yet nobody knows the names of the people who worked on it. (Incidentally, the name Stuxnet was coined by the same coworker who can read a program in hex, along with others.)
So if fame is what you want, you’ll need to be clever and a good writer and presenter, and you will spend most of your time doing what is essentially academic research and not actually breaking into stuff.
‘Don’t learn to hack, Hack to learn’