As one of the most sought-after information security certifications, CEH certificate holders are among the highest-paid security experts in the industry. The certificate also opens up opportunities for varied cybersecurity roles. To become certified, you must pass the CEH exam.In this guide
However, the EC-Council regularly releases new Certified Ethical Hacker versions. As such, attending a CEH certification bootcamp where the curriculum is based on the current version is an effective way to prepare for your exam and prove your knowledge of the latest security trends.
The Certified Ethical Hacker bootcamp is an intensive part-time or full-time program that provides the required knowledge to pass your CEH (312-50) exam. CEH bootcamps teach students to use specific tools and techniques to perform ethical hacking and detect system threats.
A bootcamp is faster than the typical information security degree, ensuring you can kickstart your cybersecurity career in the shortest time possible. Most bootcamp graduates find employment within six months, with providers such as Flatiron, Coding Dojo, and Fullstack reporting 72-83 percent employment rates within three months. Since these programs attract other information security professionals from around the world, CEH bootcamps also help you network with experts, which is crucial in the cybersecurity industry.
In addition, the CEH certificate makes you a member of the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council). It will also maximize your earning potential and is ranked as one of the top-paying IT certifications with a 116,000 base salary or more. Being CEH-certified also proves you understand the activities of cybercriminals. Cyber threats are now global; anticipating hackers and maintaining an organization’s security architecture are in-demand skills in virtually any industry.
The CEH exam is currently in its 11th version (CEH v11 released in September 2020). Its objectives are to test candidates’ understanding of fundamental security concepts and their ability to evaluate an organization’s infrastructure to identify and analyze vulnerabilities and offer solutions using the latest techniques and technologies.
Candidates must have two years of work experience in the Information Security domain before taking the CEH exam. This requirement will be waived if the candidate attends official training at an accredited training center or an approved academic institution. This makes it crucial to attend a CEH certification bootcamp.
For related program information be sure to check out the complete cybersecurity bootcamp guide.
CEH certificate bootcamp curriculum
Most CEH certification bootcamps have a similar goal – to prepare students for the exam. While there might be slight changes depending on the provider, the best bootcamps align their courses with the CEH exam domain to help students conceptualize the exam questions and pass.
If you plan to register for a CEH bootcamp, the curriculum will look similar to EC-Council’s original course outline. You should remember that bootcamps aren’t designed to make you an expert but rather to provide sufficient knowledge that guarantees your success in the theoretical exam.
CEH bootcamp course outline
There are about twenty modules in the EC-Council CEH course outline. This is what a CEH bootcamp curriculum will look like:
Introduction to Ethical Hacking
- The basics of ethical hacking
- Information security controls
- Relevant laws
- Penetration testing concepts
Footprinting and Reconnaissance
- Techniques and tools in footprinting and reconnaissance
- Website footprinting
- Footprinting through social network sites
- The critical pre-attack phase of the ethical hacking process
- DNS footprinting
- Network scanning techniques and countermeasures
- Scanning tools and techniques
- Scanning beyond IDS and firewall
- Banner grabbing
- Enumeration concepts
- SNMP enumeration
- NetBIOS enumeration
- LDAP enumeration
- NTP enumeration, SMTP, and DNS enumeration.
- Identifying security loopholes
- Communication infrastructure
- End systems
- System hacking methodologies
- Cracking passwords
- Hiding files
- Executing applications
- Penetration testing
- Escalating privileges
- Introduction to the types of malware
- System auditing for malware attacks
- Malware analysis
- Trojan concepts
- Anti-malware software
- Malware penetration testing.
- Packet-sniffing techniques
- MAC attacks
- DHCP attacks
- Spoofing attacks
- DNS poisoning
- Sniffing pen testing
- Countermeasures against sniffing attacks.
- Social engineering concepts and techniques
- Identity theft
- Insider threats
- Impersonation on social networking sites
- Audit human-level vulnerabilities
- Social engineering countermeasures.
- Denial of Service (DoS) attack techniques
- Distributed DoS (DDoS) attack techniques
- Tools used to audit a target
- DoS and DDoS countermeasures and protections.
- Session hijacking techniques
- Application level session hijacking
- Penetration testing
- Network level session hijacking
Evading IDS, Firewalls, and Honeypots
- Intrusion detection system
- Honeypot evasion techniques
- Audit network perimeter for weaknesses
Hacking Web Servers
- Web server attacks
- Comprehensive attack methodology
- Patch management
- Web server operations
- Web server attack methodology
Hacking Web Applications
- Web application attacks
- Comprehensive web application hacking methodology
- SQL injection attack techniques
- Injection detection tools
- Countermeasures against SQL injection attempts.
Hacking Wireless Networks
- Wireless encryption
- Wireless hacking methodologies and tools
- Wi-Fi security tools.
Hacking Mobile Platforms
- Mobile platform attack vectors
- Android vulnerability exploits
- Mobile security guidelines and tools.
- Secure and defend the Internet of Things (IoT)
- Operational technology (OT) devices
- Possible threats to IoT and OT platforms.
- Cloud computing concepts
- Cloud-based threats and attacks
- Cloud security techniques and tools.
- Cryptography and ciphers
- Public-key infrastructure
- Cryptography attacks
- Cryptanalysis tools.
Upon completion, most bootcamps offer students a practice test to familiarize them with potential exam questions. You may get unlimited practice tests, but this depends on the bootcamp.
Timeframe for CEH certification bootcamps
The timeframe for CEH certification bootcamps depends on the training provider and delivery formats. Bootcamps focusing solely on the certification are generally shorter, around five days to two weeks. However, some institutions provide a comprehensive cybersecurity bootcamp where ethical hacking is a module. As such, these bootcamps last longer and may reach up to sixteen weeks.
CEH-focused bootcamps typically come in two formats; on-site at the provider’s location and online instructor-led bootcamp. Many institutions also offer online self-paced learning with study guides. Considering the short timeframe of about five days, CEH bootcamps are immersive and generally take the whole day (usually from 9 AM to 5 PM). Students are also expected to follow up with personal preparation after each class.
The EC-Council has several authorized providers around the world. Before choosing a training provider, it’s crucial to confirm if it is an accredited training center or an approved academic institution by the EC-Council. You can find an official classroom training by EC-Council here. If you prefer virtual training, authorized institutions such as Infosec and Certfirst have 5-day online CEH bootcamps.
Regardless of your format, most CEH bootcamps offer additional perks besides the training. Here are some services that you may expect to get in addition to the bootcamp:
- EC-Council official courseware
- Exam voucher
- CEH lab review guide
- Practice exam questions (limited or unlimited)
- Post-class CEH review sessions
- CPE/CEU post-class package
- Exam pass guarantee
- 6 months to 1-year access to all bootcamp video recordings and materials
- Knowledge transfer guarantee and more.
Some training providers offer free access to their other premium services once you pay for the CEH bootcamp. If you choose an on-site format, you may get hotels, meals or refreshments, and airfare, but these are rare and cost more.
Cost of CEH certification bootcamps
The cost of CEH certification bootcamps will depend on the training provider, the learning format you choose, and the additional perks included in the package. Your location and the number of extra study materials you buy may also influence the price.
CEH bootcamps range between $850 to $5,000. Online bootcamps typically cost lesser than on-site. The EC-Council has official training courseware, which costs $850 with a free 50-question CEH assessment. It is not a bootcamp but is a prerequisite before you are allowed to register for the exam. You must either take this training at an accredited training center or choose one of their authorized academic institutions and attend a bootcamp there.
Infosec Institute’s CEH bootcamp total cost is $4,599. The program includes additional perks such as an exam voucher, exam pass guarantee, on-site proctoring of the exam, access to bootcamp video replays and materials, and more.
If you can’t afford that, Training Camp’s CEH bootcamp costs $3,795 with an $800 discount promo offer for being the “EC-Council Partner of the Year.” This puts the cost at around $2,995. It also includes an exam voucher, pass guarantee, CEH courseware, and practice questions.
Both Infosec and Training Camp has online and on-site bootcamps, but the costs remain the same. Another cheaper alternative is the CyberTraining 365 online CEH bootcamp which costs $2083.
Preparation costs for the CEH depend on self-study materials. While bootcamp costs vary, the amount of extra courseware you’re willing to buy will impact your total costs.
What happens after the CEH bootcamp?
The CEH bootcamp’s purpose is to equip you with the necessary knowledge to pass the CEH exam. Although the exam is thorough, it is not overly hard to pass. Candidates for the CEH training and exam must not be under the legal age permitted by their country of origin or residence.
The CEH exam is a multiple-choice question test with 125 total questions for 4 hours. There is no set passing percentage, and the criteria for passing vary with each consecutive exam. The certification passing requirements are sometimes stated. Otherwise, the test demands the students to exhibit the critical abilities relevant to the exam’s domain. However, some professionals expect the CEH passing score to be around 70 percent and higher.
Each CEH domain has different numbers of questions and weight percentages. It is spread as follows:
|Domain||Number of Questions||Weight|
|Information Security and Ethical Hacking||8||6 percent|
|Reconnaissance Techniques||26||21 percent|
|System Hacking Phases and Attack Techniques||21||17 percent|
|Network and Perimeter Hacking Sniffing||18||14 percent|
|Web Application Hacking||20||16 percent|
|Wireless Network Hacking||8||6 percent|
|Mobile Platform, IoT, and OT Hacking||10||8 percent|
|Cloud Computing||7||6 percent|
The CEH certification has two tiers – CEH v11 (ANSI Program) and CEH Practical. You can become CEH-certified after passing the multiple-choice exam. If you choose to proceed, you can complete the CEH Practical exam, which requires performing penetration tests on simulated systems. You will be accorded the CEH Master status if you pass the exam.
Applying for the CEH exam costs a non-refundable eligibility application fee of $100.
The CEH exam voucher has a few different sections that depend on whether you’ll be taking the exam online, in an EC-Council Authorized testing center, or at a Pearson VUE testing center. It costs $950 if you want to test on-site or at an EC-Council-approved testing facility. The cost of providing your proctor is an extra $100. The voucher will cost $1,199 if you take the exam at a Pearson VUE testing facility. The worst-case scenario, which no one likes to consider, is that a CEH retest voucher will cost $499 if you fail the exam and have to retake it.
If, unfortunately, a candidate fails the exam on the first attempt, there’s no waiting or cooling period before retaking the exam. If the candidate fails on the second, third, and fourth attempts, they must wait 14 days each time before retaking the exam. A candidate cannot take an exam more than five times a year. A 12-month waiting period will be imposed before taking the exam for the sixth time (5th retake).
Successful candidates are certified for three years. To maintain the certification, you must earn 120 EC-Council Continued Education (ECE) credits within the 3 years. Obtaining these ECE credits prove that you’re staying updated with the constantly-changing developments in the information security industry.