I have recently recertified for Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH v11). My existing certification was on CEH v7, which I took in 2006. One of my training partners needed me to recertify on the current version so I would be qualified to teach the CEH class
I originally took CEH v7 back in 2006. CEH was my second certification, my first was Microsoft’s old-school MCSE on NT 4.0, circa 2002. CEH was my first purely cybersecurity certification.
As usual, this will become a running discussion from other test takers, so bookmark this page and come back until you pass, and after you pass, please return and share your experience and study tips.
This post contains some of my experiences with the exam, and a list of the study materials I used.
I passed the CEH v11 312-50 exam, with a score of 101 out of 125, or an 81%. I took 90 minutes out of the 240 minutes (4 hours) that were available. There were 125 multiple choice questions. What was different about this exam, is there were ONLY single-answer multiple-choice questions. No multiple answer choose 2 or 3 questions, no drag and drop or rearrange in order questions. I marked 9 questions for review, and only changed two answers, which is a lot for me. Usually I change NOTHING, because your first impression is usually the correct one.. So compared to CISSP, CASP+, Security+, this was a fairly simple exam. I’m not going to say it is easy, but it was easier than some others I’ve taken this year, notably the CASP+.
I used the official EC-Council eBook, the iLabs materials, and a Practice exam from Boson. I spent three weeks preparing for the exam, two weeks on the book and labs, and a week using the practice exam. Others have stated on the Reddit page for the CEH that the Boson exam questions are very realistic to the questions on the actual exam, and I would agree. Get a Boson Ethical Hacker exam and practice until you can get them all correct. There are 375 questions in the Boson Exam.
Unless you are like me, a 20+ year IT and cybersecurity veteran with several cybersecurity certs already, you can expect to need more prep time than 3 weeks. I just had to brush up on of content on reconnaissance, scanning, and enumeration with a heavy focus on tools and commands for those tools. You will see questions about using a tool for a given result, and which command from the four answers shown will achieve your desired result. Learn those commands! See my study notes below for the ones that come up in the test
Some additional resources I encountered during my studies follow:
- From Reddit, the CEH discussion board
- From GitHub/underground wires/CEH-in-bullet-points
- From YouTube, a 12 video playlist for CEH Practical. This includes a lot of demonstrations of the iLabs content for the CEH.
- And a website and blog called Packet Life. Packet Life is a great resource for ANY Certification, especially those that have networking elements to them
- From Reddit, a Linux commands reference guide.
- From Reddit, comments of a CEH v11 test taker
Here are some notes CEH v11 Study Notes I created for myself. There was a lot about the CEH content that was the same as the content on any other cybersecurity certification you might take, so these notes cover the content that is unique to red team certs such as CEH and Pentest+ You should focus on software tools, especially nMap, and commands for nMap, hping3, and others. You will want to be able to recognize the code used in a SQL injection, in a directory traversal, and code obfuscation using UTF-8 and other types of encoding, and other examples of common mal-code.
Here is a link to the EC-Council CEH (CEH v11) Exam Syllabus. It’s a good idea to learn about the actual exam, so you can strategize your learning. For instance, Reconnaissance, Scanning, and Enumeration questions represent 21% of the total, and System Hacking Phases and Attack Techniques is 17%. 38% or just over a third of the exam is focused just on those two domains.
I will be back to add content and share comments from other test takers. Test takers, please share your experience, and study materials and tips.