Skip Links

The cheating industry that is devaluing IT certification - part four

By Brad Reese on Mon, 04/30/07 - 7:13pm.

This is what it’s all about in the cheating industry.

Here in the fourth and last part of our series (Part One, Part Two and Part Three) that may just make your stomach turn when you read it.

The people we’ll be talking about in our last and final installment are the worst form of cheaters there are.

These people won’t be found looking for jobs in IT, nor will they be using braindumps to take their exams, but you will see them advertise their illegal services in certification forums and newsgroups across the internet.

Robert WilliamsGunmen

Gunmen take tests for certification candidates and have taken exams so often they can recite tests verbatim to you. They know the exams inside and out, upside-down, and backwards.

The Gunmen know their services disrupt the value of certifications, but they don’t care.

They charge outrageous fees so that they can certify someone else. Gunmen are prominent in India and China where the value of the currency is miniscule compared to the U.S. Dollar.

Currency Conversion rates:

1 Chinese Yuan = $0.13

1 Indian Rupee = $0.02

China, for instance, has an average annual income, per capita, of about $650, which is roughly 1/70th that of the United States. These gunmen charge upwards of $500 per exam and are able to take 3 to 4 exams per day. Do the math.

For more information read:

Gunmen Domain Hosts

Gunmen are the primary reason is operating. The roles of the other cheaters are minute compared to what the gunmen do. A majority of the time, the "candidates" that the gunmen test for have no background in Information Technology at all.

Here is what CertGuard has been doing to stop these gunmen from operating.

Whenever we see an advertisement for a gunman service, we do a little phishing.

We contact the gunman and have them take exams for us (under false names and pretenses, of course).

Once the gunman provides us with the testing information, we supply that information to the certification vendor, which in turn provides that information to the testing company (usually Thomson Prometric or Pearson Vue) and they have the respective testing center closed for investigations.

The only problem with this method was that the gunmen would just change testing centers, so it became an endless cycle for all of us.

That is where Microsoft decided they would prevent foreigners from testing in those countries without the proper credentials.

We also see this as a problem, because those credentials have been, and will continue to be, forged.

For more information read the article:

The Value of IT Certifications

So far, Microsoft has been the only certification vendor that has been helping CertGuard take care of these gunmen.

Cisco, from what I understand, has followed suit by removing their Certification Exams from those rogue testing centers, but CertGuard has been unsuccessful in contacting their Exam Security Team.

Microsoft is doing the rest of the industry a favor by closing the doors of these gunmen, but none of the other certification vendors see it.

Or if they do see it, they don’t seem to care much about it.

CertGuard wants all of the certification vendors involved in this process. If you’re a representative of one of the Certification Vendors and we haven’t contacted you yet, then please contact us immediately.

Related article: Would you cheat to get an IT credential?

We hope you’ve enjoyed this series about the cheating industry and we look forward to presenting more information to you in the future.

Robert Williams (CertGuard)
and Brad Reese

On The Web