Risk
3/2/2010
01:31 PM
50%
50%

DoD Approves Ethical Hacker Certification

Certified Ethical Hacker training and certification is now an option for four categories of IT pros in meeting Department of Defense job requirements.

Editors note: This story was updated on March 9.

Government cyber defenders can now be trained in the techniques of a hacker under a certification program that was recently approved by the Department of Defense.

The DoD requires its computer network defenders (CNDs) to meet certain requirements under Directive 8570, which provides a variety of certification options depending on job description. The newly approved Certified Ethical Hacker certification program, offered by the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council), now fulfills DoD requirements for four categories of CND service providers: analysts, infrastructure support, incident reporters, and auditors. Other certification options are also available to those workers.

The Certified Ethical Hacker qualification tests someone's knowledge in the mindset, tools, and techniques of a hacker. CNDs -- who are part of the DoD's information assurance workforce -- protect, monitor, analyze, detect, and respond to unauthorized activity within DoD information systems and computer networks.

Assistant Secretary of Defense John Grimes officially instated the Certified Ethical Hacker requirement in late February under DoD Directive 8570, which provides guidance for how DoD information workers should be trained and managed.

The move is significant because it solidifies the practice of ethical hacking -- also known as penetration testing -- in mainstream IT practices, said Jay Bavisi, co/founder and president of EC-Council. The council is a vendor-neutral organization that certifies IT professionals in security-related skills.

"Now hacking is no longer a bad word in mainstream IT community," he said, adding that ethical hacking is not exactly what people think of when they hear that word anyway.

"What we are doing is not hacking -- we are seeking permission from the owners of the network to beat the hackers at their own game," Bavisi said. In fact, the tag line for the EC-Council's Certified Ethical Hacker educational program is: "To beat a hacker, you must think like one."

IBM coined the term "ethical hacking" in the 1960s to define a way for IT security researchers to emulate the work of hackers so they can better defend networks, Bavisi said.

Ironically, though ethical hacking was first adopted in covert practices by the U.S. military, in the last decade or so it has become a common practice among Fortune 500 companies to employ ethical hackers to defend networks, he added.

The practice seems to have come full circle with the DoD directive, which Bavisi said the department took three years to approve.

"We were put through a lot of hoops before the DoD accepted us," he said. "It was a very well-thought, very well-planned, researched movement."

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest, Dec. 19, 2014
Software-defined networking can be a net plus for security. The key: Work with the network team to implement gradually, test as you go, and take the opportunity to overhaul your security strategy.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-5208
Published: 2014-12-22
BKBCopyD.exe in the Batch Management Packages in Yokogawa CENTUM CS 3000 through R3.09.50 and CENTUM VP through R4.03.00 and R5.x through R5.04.00, and Exaopc through R3.72.10, does not require authentication, which allows remote attackers to read arbitrary files via a RETR operation, write to arbit...

CVE-2014-7286
Published: 2014-12-22
Buffer overflow in AClient in Symantec Deployment Solution 6.9 and earlier on Windows XP and Server 2003 allows local users to gain privileges via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2014-8015
Published: 2014-12-22
The Sponsor Portal in Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) allows remote authenticated users to obtain access to an arbitrary sponsor's guest account via a modified HTTP request, aka Bug ID CSCur64400.

CVE-2014-8017
Published: 2014-12-22
The periodic-backup feature in Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) allows remote attackers to discover backup-encryption passwords via a crafted request that triggers inclusion of a password in a reply, aka Bug ID CSCur41673.

CVE-2014-8018
Published: 2014-12-22
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in Business Voice Services Manager (BVSM) pages in the Application Software in Cisco Unified Communications Domain Manager 8 allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via a crafted URL, aka Bug IDs CSCur19651, CSCur18555, CSCur1...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join us Wednesday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to hear what employers are really looking for in a chief information security officer -- it may not be what you think.