What is Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
The Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) is a prestigious professional certification provided by the EC-Council. It’s designed for cybersecurity practitioners who are primarily responsible for securing information systems. A CEH is skilled in understanding and knowing how to look for weaknesses and vulnerabilities in target systems, using the same knowledge and tools as a malicious hacker, but in a lawful and legitimate manner.
The CEH certification verifies the candidate’s skills in ethical hacking (also known as penetration testing or white-hat hacking) and ensures they understand how to secure a system by assessing it for possible vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities are usually exploited by attackers or malicious hackers to penetrate network systems and retrieve sensitive information.
A CEH-certified professional uses various hacking tools and techniques, but unlike a malicious hacker, they have legal permission to improve system security. The primary goal is to protect and secure the systems from attacks by fixing the vulnerabilities found during the testing.
What are the benefits of getting CEH certified?
Obtaining a CEH certification offers several advantages:
Enhanced Job Prospects:
CEH certification significantly enhances employment opportunities within information security. It validates your ability to execute ethical hacking and penetration testing, marking you as a valuable potential employee.
Professionals with CEH certification often receive a higher remuneration compared to those without it. According to a report from the Information Systems Security Association, professionals with CEH certification earn, on average, an additional $10,000 per annum than those without this credential.
Improved Job Stability:
With the escalating demand for information security professionals, possessing a CEH certification can solidify your job security. A study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that job growth for information security analysts will outpace average growth across occupations, increasing by 31% from 2020 to 2030.
Expanded Knowledge and Skill Set:
CEH certification enriches your understanding of diverse topics related to information security, such as ethical hacking, penetration testing, and vulnerability assessment. This expanded knowledge and practical skill set can prove beneficial in advancing your career.
What are the requirements for getting CEH certified?
The following prerequisites are needed for CEH certification:
- Completion of high school education or its equivalent
- Two years of professional experience in information security or a similar field
- A successful pass in the CEH examination
What is the cost of getting CEH certified?
The fee for obtaining the CEH certification is approximately $950.
Where can I get CEH certified?
Numerous options exist for earning your CEH certification. The exam can be taken at a certified testing center, or you may opt for an online proctored exam.
What are the best resources for studying for the CEH exam?
Among the best study resources available for the CEH exam are:
- The Official CEH Study Guide
- The CEH Practice Exam
- The CEH Training Course
What are some of the most common mistakes people make when studying for the CEH exam?
Common errors people often commit when preparing for the CEH exam include:
- Inadequate study time
- Insufficient practice
- Lack of understanding of the examination’s objectives
- Not utilizing effective study resources
How long does it take to get CEH certified?
The general timeline for obtaining CEH certification ranges from 3 to 6 months for most people.
What are the job prospects for CEH-certified professionals?
Job prospects for CEH-certified professionals are promising. With the increasing demand for information security professionals, holding a CEH certification can give you a competitive edge.
CEH Exam Tips
Here are some strategies to succeed in the certified ethical hacker examination:
- Dedicate time to thoroughly reviewing the official CEH study guide.
- Attempt the CEH practice examination to familiarize yourself with the question format.
- Enroll in a CEH training course for a structured learning experience.
- Hone your skills through hands-on hacking exercises on a virtual machine.
- Keep yourself informed about the newest security threats and vulnerabilities.
- Maintain your perseverance! The CEH exam can be rigorous, but with relentless effort and commitment, success is achievable.
What is the CEH Syllabus?
The CEH certification covers a wide array of topics, such as footprinting and reconnaissance, scanning networks, system hacking, social engineering, denial of service, session hijacking, hacking web servers, wireless networks, and web applications, and more. Candidates also gain practical, hands-on experience through labs that simulate a real-world environment. The syllabus includes the following:
1. Introduction to Ethical Hacking
Overview of different hacking methodologies, types of hackers, and various types of attacks.
2. Footprinting and Reconnaissance
This involves gathering information about a target. For instance:
whois domain.com // obtain domain registration information nslookup domain.com // obtain domain IP information
3. Scanning Networks
Identify live hosts, ports, and services that are running on the host.
nmap -sS -p 22,80,443 target.com // perform SYN scan
Extract further information from the network like routing paths, users/groups, etc.
net view \\target.com // enumerate network resources
5. Vulnerability Analysis
Identify vulnerabilities in the system.
nmap --script vuln target.com // check for vulnerabilities
6. System Hacking
Gaining access and maintaining access to the system.
john --format=descrypt passwordfile // crack passwords with John The Ripper
7. Malware Threats
Understand various types of malware, their functioning, and how to use antivirus tools.
Intercepting and logging traffic.
tcpdump -i eth0 // start packet capture
9. Social Engineering
Manipulation techniques that prompt individuals to make security mistakes.
Understanding methods and tools for DoS and DDoS attacks.
11. Session Hijacking
Exploiting the session control mechanism, which can be used to steal other people’s HTTP session cookies.
12. Evading IDS, Firewalls, and Honeypots
Methods to evade Intrusion Detection systems, Firewalls and detection via Honeypots.
13. Hacking Web Servers
Hacks specific to web servers.
14. Hacking Web Applications
Hacks specific to web apps like Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), SQL Injection, etc.
15. SQL Injection
Methods and tools to perform SQL injection attacks.
Understand the various types of wireless encryption and how to break them.
Techniques and tools to exploit vulnerabilities found in mobile platforms.
18. IoT Hacking
Understanding IoT networks, protocols, and devices, and how to perform IoT device hacking.
19. Cloud Computing
Understanding security challenges in cloud computing and learning how to use various tools to audit and secure cloud services.
Principles of cryptography and how they can be used in cyber security.
Here are some common tools used by ethical hackers:
- Nmap: Network scanner.
- Wireshark: Network protocol analyzer.
- Metasploit: Penetration testing framework.
- John the Ripper: Password cracker.
- Burp Suite: Web vulnerability scanner.
- OWASP ZAP: Open-source web application security scanner.
- Nessus: Vulnerability, configuration, and compliance assessment tool.
- OpenVAS: Open-source vulnerability scanner and manager.
- SQLmap: Automatic SQL injection tool.
- Aircrack-ng: Network software suite for wireless network security.
Basic Commands for the Tools
nmap -sS target.com // SYN scan nmap -sV target.com // Service/version detection nmap -O target.com // OS detection
(tip: use filters like ip.addr == 10.0.0.1 to focus on a specific IP address)
msfconsole // open metasploit console search exploit_name // search for an exploit use exploit_name // use an exploit show payloads // show available payloads for the selected exploit set payload payload_name // set a payload
John the Ripper
john --format=descrypt passwordfile // use John to crack password hashes
sqlmap -u "http://www.target.com/vuln.php?id=1" // SQL injection testing
airmon-ng start wlan0 // start monitor mode airodump-ng wlan0mon // start capturing packets aireplay-ng --deauth 100 -a [router bssid] -c [client bssid] wlan0mon // deauthenticate a client aircrack-ng -b [bssid] [filename] // crack WEP/WPA key
ls // list files and directories cd // change directory pwd // print working directory cat // read file chmod // change file permissions chown // change file ownership grep // pattern matching ps // process status netstat // network statistics ssh // secure shell into a machine
# Bash Scripting #!/bin/bash // bash shebang echo "Hello World!" // print statement read varname // read user input # Python Scripting #!/usr/bin/python3 // python shebang print("Hello World!") // print statement input_string = input() // read user input
In today’s world, the cybersecurity landscape is constantly evolving, and so too are the threats that organisations face. This makes the role of an ethical hacker not only incredibly important, but also highly valued. The Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification is a crucial credential for professionals aiming to make a difference in this challenging field.
The CEH provides a comprehensive ethical hacking and network security-training program to meet the standards of highly skilled security professionals. The knowledge, skills, and tools that you learn in this process are critical in preserving the integrity of network infrastructure and sensitive data.
While the certification provides a good foundation, remember that cybersecurity is a vast field. Continuous learning and staying updated with the latest vulnerabilities, attack vectors, and mitigation techniques is key to being successful in this field. Furthermore, gaining hands-on experience, whether in a controlled lab environment or on the job, is equally important in understanding the practical applications of the concepts learned during the CEH course.