I've been in the IT security industry for well almost a year now since I graduated last year and I'm currently thinking about taking up C|EH examination. I've glanced through several prep and review books and found that C|EH seems to be quite straightforward.

I do not have hands on experience on most of the hacking tools listed in the books but I do use some of it on a daily basis e.g. tcp/windump, nmap, wireshark, etc. Plus, I noticed that C|EH is more towards guiding users on how to use the tools which is available in the tools man pages itself. I do not wish to spend too much time learning each and every tool suggested by C|EH.

As such is it possible to pass C|EH exam without any hands-on experience in hacking or hacking tools?

  • If you're not bothered about using tools and applying your knowledge then why bother getting the certification?
    – Arlix
    Nov 26, 2015 at 14:58

4 Answers 4


Having taken the C|EH fairly recently, I'd reccomend following their guidelines in knowing the command line parameters and expected output of the most common tools. I think it is 10% of the exam according to their materials and since they don't offer any man pages you can just write off that part if you aren't at all familiar with the basics (nmap, netstat, ipfilter, nslookup, etc.)


The CEH is a very tools based exam, so I would advise practicing with all the common tools before sitting it.

However, I'm sure some people have managed with minimal tools practice so ymmv.


I haven't heard anybody state that it was a particularly challenging examination and indeed have known many non-technical people to have passed, so would expect that you'll probably pass without investing much in the way of prep-time. That said, maximising your practice time is always a good thing regardless of the requirements of a given assessment.


I took C|EH one year Back if you read the PDFs and practice a little with specific tools (Netcat, Cryptcat, Firewalk, John the Ripper, SID2User, lots of stuff on Nmap, Etercap, Hping2, Tcpdump..etc)mentioned in the PDFs you are good to go.

If you want an excellent and challenging course go to OSCP it is very hard and challenging,also familiarize yourself with extracting info from logs like scanning attempts

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