The term “hacker” is often associated with illegal online activity. However, there are hackers who perform 100 percent legal services, which are based on evaluating the information infrastructures of companies. For those who hold the Certified Ethical Hacker certification from the EC-Council, there are several jobs to consider that come with attractive compensation. Some of the most common jobs for hackers holding the CEH certification include computer forensics, incidence response, penetration testing and security analysis. Penetration testing is the most common job for new hackers, but some later advance to become engineers or take on a wider variety of tasks.
Penetration testing, which is commonly called pentesting, involves several different methods of scanning servers, databases, network devices and software. A penetration tester or pentester must be hired by a company or have permission to access its information system. The goal of a tester is to thoroughly check the company’s system for any vulnerabilities that might allow malicious hackers access to sensitive information. Network mapping is used to gain access to the company’s computers, routers, switches, firewalls and servers. Ethical hackers may also test Internet sites and databases. When a penetration tester finishes his or her duties, a report is created to explain any vulnerabilities to the hiring company.
Ethical hackers who work in incident response deal with security breaches. To be successful in this type of work, ethical hackers must stay current with the latest threats. They must also analyze threats and understand how to deal with them. However, incident response involves more than just analyzing. Hackers must know how to prepare for attacks, contain them, defeat them and help a company recover afterward. In addition to being beneficial to hiring companies, the information ethical hackers gather from their analysis of attacks is useful to them for preventing future incidents with the same client or other clients.
For ethical hackers, this job is often similar to incidence response when a crime has occurred. Computer forensics specialists work with investigators to determine how reliable digital evidence is, and they assist in collecting evidence. They may use lab searches or work on site. After obtaining evidence, forensics specialists analyze the data to prepare for trial. They may also collect statements or set up interviews when needed.
These hackers are responsible for ensuring the integrity and security of data. This is normally a job held only by experienced ethical hackers. They are responsible for protecting all of a company’s most sensitive data, and they are required to ensure systems have solid enough security to prevent any attacks. To be successful, an analyst must be knowledgeable about every aspect of information security within a company. The main job of a security analyst is to review the security measures of a company to determine if they are effective. Most of these professionals work with IT employees and business administrators within the companies that hire them. In the event that there are any breaches, a security analyst must also create documentation to assist hiring parties in dealing with such issues.
Engineers may also perform the duties of security analysts. Both positions come with the largest amounts of responsibilities and the widest ranges of tasks. In the United States, ethical hackers may earn annual salaries as low as $55,000 to more than $80,000. Pay rates increase with years of experience, and many ethical hackers with more than 20 years of experience can expect to earn six-digit salaries. As a rule, the higher-paying jobs are in larger cities.
The Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification has become the benchmark for penetration testing certifications. From 2007-2011it became all the rage among the community. More and more hackers fled to the scene and started their careers off by passing the coveted CEH certification exam. There is no question that the CEH is still a highly sought after certification (especially because it was added to the DoD 8570 Directive), but its place in the field has changed. Before, the CEH was a symbol of hacking prowess, dignity, strength, wisdom, reverance, veneration, amazement (OK thats enough)… Now, it holds its spot firmly as the preeminent baseline or entry-level hacking / penetration testing certification.
Being that the CEH teaches a strong foundation of skill sets to aspiring cyber security professionals, we (TrainACE) obviously want more and more people to achieve the certification, because our goal (you may have noticed by now) is to play a significant hand in advancing the skill sets of the cyber security community. We still provide quite a bit of CEH training, but we also offer a great deal of advanced cyber security courses which require a skill level that one can meet by passing the CEH certification exam.
So, in order to serve our own interests help folks along the path of cyber security excellence, we thought we would do you a solid and give away a FREE CEH exam prep study guide. We have been preparing people for the CEH exam since 2005, we are pretty freakin good at it. So feel free to download your copy of the CEH study guide and make sure to check back in with us when you are ready to move on to an advanced cyber security class like Exploit Development, Cyber War, Threat Intel, Honey Pots etc. Here you go:
After the walls came down on 9/11, the walls went up on computer security. Cybercrime, computer-based terrorism, and nuisance computer hacking have become major problems in a world increasingly dependent on information technology. Computer forensic specialists have trained to uncover evidence of computer tampering not only to point out violations but also to get legal evidence for use in prosecuting criminals.
The EC-Council Provides Certifications
The International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants, commonly known as the EC-Council, organized after the 9/11 attacks to create standardized certifications to meet the need for competent computer-security experts. The vibrant and growing field has welcomed over 80,000 trained professionals, including 30,000 trained in advanced security matters, since the EC=Council began operations.
Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
The Certified Ethical Hacker designation serves as the flagship certification of the EC-Council. People with CEH certification qualify for jobs as auditors, site administrators, and security staff in many fields. The designation qualifies people for some of the highest-paying entry-level jobs, and Certified Ethical Hackers earn an average annual salary of $92,200.
Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI)
The CHFI designation for Computer Hacking Forensic Investigators offers official recognition for people who have passed a rigorous training program learning to trace minuscule clues left in information systems after hacking intrusions. CHFI certification enables graduates to uncover signs of fraud, compile legal evidence of cybercrimes, and trace the source of viruses or defamatory email campaigns.
CHFI certifications prepare people for careers in law enforcement, IT security, defense and military industries, e-business, and work as system administrators.
The U.S. Department of Defense, National Security Agency, and National Security Systems have endorsed the value of EC-Council certifications.
Security jobs have tremendous job security, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics has identified the field as one of the fastest growing for job opportunities.
Legal Careers Devising Criminal Plots
Experts in computer forensics enjoy thinking creatively and put their talents to use devising hypothetical ways to commit crime. The best way to uncover criminal plots involves learning to think like a criminal. Ethical hacking, penetration testing, and network security benefit need proactive approaches to control crime. Computer forensics specialists move into critical positions in the public and private sectors.
Computer forensic investigators investigate hacking attempts but also find out whether these violations have even occurred because hackers try to hide their intrusions. Technology advances more rapidly in cyberspace than any other area, and groundbreaking advances help investigators retrieve more data from electronic footprints for investigations, digital forensics, or even standard data-recovery efforts.
Digital forensics involves finding whether hackers have compromised systems and getting the evidence necessary for legal prosecutions. Computer hackers sometimes commit costly cybercrimes as forms of amusement or malicious mischief. Investigators can find all types of intrusions including theft attempts, destruction of information, and changing information to commit fraud.
Evidence could prove vital in the following types of cases.
Web page hacking.
Possession of restricted pornography.
Gaining the CHFI Certification
CHFI certification occurs after passing a comprehensive four-hour examination called the ECO 312-49, and students must score 70 percent or better to pass. The test has 150 questions that test their knowledge of advanced hardware and software processes. Once certified, forensic investigators have remarkable flexibility in finding lucrative jobs in the following areas.
Defense Department and military agencies
Federal, state, and local law enforcement
Legal and judicial departments
Systems administrators for IT companies
Banking, insurance and financial industries
Science, research and engineering
Computer forensics specialists earn high starting salaries that could go as high as $85,000–$120,000. Graduates earn handsome incomes to plan crimes and hack their way into computers.
Computer Forensics Salary Details
Salaries vary considerably due to experience, educational background, employer, and geographic job location. According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which keeps the most extensive national database, people working for law enforcement in digital forensics earn an average of $58,260, which tends toward the low-end of the scale. State agencies generally pay the lowest salaries, and the federal government pays salaries at the high-end of the scale, with the highest-paying jobs earning more than $105,000.
Investigators with degrees and experience earn the highest salaries. Private firms usually pay better than public agencies, and major metropolitan cities pay the highest salaries. Consultants often start their own businesses and offer investigative services as free agents. These professionals earn between $375 and $600 an hour, good pay by any standard.
Investigators with associate’s degrees and less than four years of experience average $59,503, but experienced investigators with 10 or more years of experience earn $90,389.
Bachelor of Science degree-holders with five to nine years of experience earn $91,541.
Master’s degree-holders with investigative experience earn $96,531.
Computer Forensics Salaries by U.S. Geographic Location
Computer forensics investigators earn the most in Washington, D.C., followed by Illinois, California and Virginia. Virginia has many Pentagon employees, and national security demands the best and brightest analysts to combat computer-based terrorist threats and foreign-government espionage. Silicon Valley employs many investigators involved with software and hardware research, industrial espionage, and technology testing.
The salary breakdown by U.S. cities includes the following examples compiled from information furnished by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.indeed.com, and PayScale.
Washington, D.C.— $91,000
New York, New York — $89,000–$100,000
Los Angeles, California — $64,000–$71,000
San José, California — $85,000-$94,000
Palo Alto, California — $86,000–$95,000
Miami, Florida — $64,000–$71,000
Chicago, Illinois — $75,000–84,000
Springfield, Illinois — $86,000–96,000
New Orleans, Louisiana — $69,000–$77,000
Portland, Maine — $43,000–$48,000
International Forensics Analysts Salaries
Computer language and troubleshooting translates easily to foreign career postings, and qualified CHFI-certified investigators can find work for international corporations in many exciting foreign locales. Employers have different requirements, and some foreign countries might need applicants familiar with their rules of evidence and chain-of-custody procedures.
London digital forensics investigators earn £50,000 or $78,435 U.S. dollars.
In London, the average salary for 90 percent of these jobs tops £28,500 or $44,708 U.S. dollars.
About 10 percent of these jobs pay more than £75,500 or $117,653 U.S. dollars.
Other European cities pay similar, if slightly smaller salaries.
The salary for computer forensics investigators in the rest of the U.K. averages £37,500 or $58,826 U.S. dollars.
Cybercrime costs billions of dollars worldwide, and CHFI certification trains investigators in techniques needed to catch criminals. The salaries rank among the highest for entry-level positions, and all states offer training and degree programs to help students prepare for the certification exam.
Its that time of the year again, I hope you are pumped!! Well, you should be at least.
The Hacker Halted Conference by the EC-Council is a very well-rounded and heck of a lot of fun security conference. The conference includes some really great training before hand which is always led by well known, industry names such as the CHFI class by Robert Reed. At the end of the training they then take the exam, if there is one associated with that particular class.
After the 4 days of training the main conference kicks off with plenty of top-tier speakers and short break out session presentations. Some of the break out presentations include golden techniques and advanced tactics.
Not only does the conference have everything that a growing IT security professional would want from a industry standpoint, but the conference also features South Beach as well as an unparallelled party that the EC-Council hosts for the conference attendees. The party always has some amazing flares. For example, last year they featured a Casino Royale party. The party goers were issued chips that they could cash in for prizes at the end of the night. There were live actors playing famous characters like Tony Montana and Marilyn Monroe. There was also a performance of the James Bond theme by a bunch of dancers.
Request information about signing up for the conference or for training at the conference here:
We are excited, yet again! We have been asked to run the CHFI certification training class at the Hacker Halted Conference in Miami again this year! Highly renowned forensics expert Robert Reed is teaching the class again for us. He is as good as they get for the CHFI, mainly because of his unparalleled forensics background.
Where / When
The class will be held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Miami from 10/25 – 10/28/12. The test is included and will be held in the classroom on the final day.
Register and pay by June 30, 2012: $2799
Register and pay by August 31, 2012: $3199
Register and pay after September 1, 2012: $3399
Lunch and coffee breaks throughout the duration of the training.
1 Complimentary Prometric Prime Exam voucher
Complimentary Pass to Hacker Halted conference (Inclusive of Party entrance pass).
We just wanted to give a shout out to a student of ours who took the CEH class with us last week (6/25 – 6/29/12) and scored the highest score we have yet to record.
Ryan Blakely (http://www.facebook.com/strikerwolf334 and @shadydevyl) scored a 97% on the Certified Ethical Hacker exam last Friday. The previous high score that we had recorded was a 96% scored by George from the IRS in 2010, so needless to say we are pretty impressed with this score.
The main reason we are so impressed is because we have done more CEH than any other company on the planet for the last two years (EC-Council ATC of the Year award for the last two years). We have also been training CEH since 2005, so our sample size of test scores is quite large.
Congrats to Ryan for this massive exam domination! Follow him on twitter and like him on FB.