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RE: OPST vs CEH
From: "Don Parker" <dparker () rigelksecurity com>
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2004 18:13:07 -0500 (EST)

I find it rather unlikely that any GIAC certified individual would not know the 
difference between a syn scan and a full connect. For that matter I have met several 
graduates of comp sci who were rather sad as well. The one thing that GIAC has going for 
it is that it has a rather difficult certification process which proves unequivocally 
that you know your material. 

Cheers!

Don

-------------------------------------------
Don Parker, GCIA
Intrusion Detection Specialist
Rigel Kent Security & Advisory Services Inc
www.rigelksecurity.com
ph :613.249.8340
fax:613.249.8319
--------------------------------------------

On Feb 11, wjnorth <wjnorth () earthlink net> wrote:

Good points all.

Here's my two cents, which will probably get me flamed, but, whatever I've 
got spam.

Certs in general, in my opinion, do not offer anything other then the 
recognition that someone spent enough time to study material and answer 
questions, and perhaps participate in a lab environment. I've ran into so 
many countless people that have certifications ranging from GSEC, CISSP, 
GCIA and a ton of others, that didn't know the difference between a syn 
scan and a full tcp connect, or couldn't explain some of the current public 
exploits and what they do to systems, or valued ISS over nessus, and nessus 
over manual methods...the list goes on and on.

That is not to say that the certs are useless, far from it, especially if 
one backs it up with practical experience. Having said that, let me also 
say that while I hold these sentiments against certifications I also 
believe they are worth something in that it provides people the ability to 
get into security or whatever field their cert is for. They aren't useless, 
in my mind, but for sure nothing beats experience.

Additionally I believe some of the SANS certs hold a bit more water then 
others simply due to industry acceptance, awhile back someone might have 
said the same for CISSP. Regarding the OSTMM, I only recently (within the 
last year) found out about them, and have been doing security for quite a 
while, but apparently not long enough to run across this very interesting 
methodology.

-Wes

P.S. you'll notice no letters after my name, but I could list my four year 
degree to offer some credibility. ;-)

At 07:14 AM 2/9/2004 -0500, Bartholomew, Brian J wrote:
Actually I did not, due to the fact that Track 4 was useless.  I do however
have a great respect for people who have taken the GIAC Certs as they are
very difficult (especially the GCIA).  But, as for the material covered, and
the way it was taught, SANS Track 4 is NOT a good course to take to learn
the basics behind pen testing.  The question was asked about which to
take...OPST or CEH (not GCIH).  The answer I gave described the courses I
had been through, including Track 4 and an "opinion" as to which of the
classes were better.

Also I would have to say that you are in the same boat as I sir since you do
not carry the GCIH.  So, your defense on that specific Track has as much
credibility as mine if we are going off of "certifications" as you hinted in
the previous email.  I was in your shoes about a year ago and thought SANS
was the greatest thing since sliced bread, until I took Track 4.  The
difference between Track 3 (your certification) and Track 4 (the one we are
discussing) is too large to quantify.

So, as stated in my last email, I suggest you take my advice and not waste
your, or your company's money on SANS Track 4.  Take the time and try to
attend one of the OSTMM specific courses as they are much, much better.
Good day to you.

Brian J. Bartholomew
US Department of State
Bureau of Diplomatic Security
DS/SI/ACD SA-20 Special Programs
Ph: 571-345-2598
Cell: 202-369-6349
1801 North Lynn St.
Arlington, VA 22201


-----Original Message-----
From: Don Parker [mailto:dparker () rigelksecurity com]
Sent: Monday, February 09, 2004 2:31 AM
To: Bartholomew, Brian J; 'pen-test () securityfocus com'
Subject: RE: OPST vs CEH


Hello Brian, did you actually bother to certify after taking whatever SANS
training it
was that you took? The SANS training is among the best out there, however
the challenge
starts when you do the certification process. This has not only a difficult
"practical"
portion, but also two demanding exams. From what I have seen of the OSTMM
and the CEH
neither one of them measure up. The OSTMM does seem to offer business
training as well
though in addition to the other obvious training. Though I would say that is
best left
to a place which actually specializes in business training such as a
college.

Cheers

-------------------------------------------
Don Parker, GCIA
Intrusion Detection Specialist
Rigel Kent Security & Advisory Services Inc
www.rigelksecurity.com
ph :613.249.8340
fax:613.249.8319
--------------------------------------------

On Feb 6 , "Bartholomew, Brian J" <BartholomewBJ () state gov> wrote:

I have taken the CEH but not the OPST.  The CEH is kinda simplistic, and
pretty easy to pass.  I have not taken the OPST, however, I have heard that
it is much more in depth and more difficult to pass.

I do think the course designed with the CEH exam (I took one through Intense
school) is one of the better courses I have taken (in comparison with
Foundstone, SANS, etc.).  Those "other" courses are too mainstream and none
of them speak of the OSTMM except for the CEH oriented classes.

To sum it up...If you are looking for letters after your name and a good
base to start with, go for the CEH (it can't hurt).  If you want to take a
more detailed, OSTMM sponsored test, take the OPST.  What the hell, take
both if you really like a challenge :)

Brian J. Bartholomew
Bureau of Diplomatic Security
DS/SI/ACD SA-20 Special Programs
Ph: 571-345-2598
Cell: 202-369-6349
1801 North Lynn St.
Arlington, VA 22201


-----Original Message-----
From: circut () hackthisbox org [mailto:circut () hackthisbox org]
Sent: Friday, February 06, 2004 11:01 AM
To: kenzo
Cc: pen-test () securityfocus com
Subject: Re: OPST vs CEH



I've taken the CEH class. It's pretty good, but it focuses more on hacking
windows then it does linux or unix. The instructor and environment was
good though. They don't really talk too much in depth about buffer
overflows or privledge escalation on linux. But I think the class was
worth it. NEver taken any of those other tests.

                                                -circut

On Wed, 4 Feb 2004, kenzo wrote:

I'm thinking about taking one of these certs. OPST (OSSTMM PROFESSIONAL
SECURITY TESTER)
 or CEH (certified ethical hacker)
I've read about the two, and they seem to be kind of the same thing.
I know that some people in here were talking about the opst, but what
about
the ceh?
Has anyone taking the CEH or both?
Please let me know.

thanks.


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