So you want to become a hacker? Have you heard something like ethical hacking and thought about some hacking movies? At least, that’s how I got introduced to the concept that immediately got my attention. I started researching the idea only to find out how hard it is to hack. Some more research suggested that I needed to know networking to become a successful certified ethical hacker, and slowly I was getting to the start of all – helpdesk.
How to Become a Certified Ethical Hacker
First, I started doing some hacking tutorials against my machines. I saw that I enjoyed hacking; I love looking for the details, the little things that most people miss out on and leave behind. Now, after several months as a first-line helpdesk and fraud analyst at a bank, here I am as second-line support, a.k.a field support at different corporations.
I was and still am trying to plan out my future with as much detail as possible to become an ethical hacker. After doing plenty of research and listening to the pros in the field, here’s my conclusion for the best way to become a certified ethical hacker.
I pursued the 10th edition of CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) for a few weeks in the previous year that taught me about ethical hacking. It was the most effective approach to becoming an ethical hacker back then. The study materials were suitable, very informative, but it was tool-based and not very practical. The accreditation was also entirely based on questions, which isn’t testing your practical skills and, therefore, not real-world proof. It wouldn’t give you the “I’m ready” confidence after passing the exam.
It is the eleventh edition at the time of writing, and CEH has improved a lot. After the end of each module, I saw that EC-Council (the creators) had added challenges to test your skills. The certification is now divided into two parts, CEH Theory and CEH Practical. The combination of both makes you a CEH Master. EC Council recommends Parrot OS for hacking, a rival of Kali Linux. I’ve tested it out and find the interface pretty cool. CEH v11 now includes the latest Malware Analysis tactics for ransomware, banking and financial malware, IoT botnets, OT Malware Analysis, Android Malware, and more! More information is below:
- The CEH exam alone costs between $950 and $1,119 depending on where and how you take it. It’s valid for three years and requires two years of relevant information security work experience if you want to enter with self-study.
The second certificate I got hyped for the most is OSCP (Offensive Security Certified Professional). Currently, the study material is approximately 900 pages, of which is most fully applicable in a real-world scenario. After getting some theory, you’re immediately faced with some challenges you need to complete, and it’s not always easy. Most of the time, you need to check out some other resources to grasp the material thoroughly or solve the task. An example would be to build a simple network scanner using Python & Ruby. I loved it but decided to focus more on networking to fully understand different corps’ inner workings and technologies. Therefore pursued CCNA first.
- Price: € 1300
There’s a new certificate released by The Cyber Mentor’s company, TCM Security, called PNPT (Practical Network Penetration Tester). You get five days to complete the assessment and an additional two days to write your professional report. In the end, you have to perform a live 15-minute report debrief in front of senior penetration testers.