Monday, October 30, 2017

Check Point researches dissect IOTroops Botnet

Check Point security research team has recently posted an elaborate and impressive report about IOTroops botnet.

The details and depth are fascinating. Highly recommended to read.

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Monday, October 16, 2017

Check Point is finally fixing issue with CCSM continuity, somewhat

At the beginning of the year I was posting about CCSM continuity hiccup (1, 2, 3).

In a nutshell, there were two main issues:

1. CP did not managed to let people with expiring CCSM re-certificate in time and did not provide any graceful extension.
2. Due to a clerical error, some people were getting 4 years of CCSM certification while others were having only 2.

I have taken liberty to contact Check Point Education Services managers and to discuss the issue. There was a quite long threat with dozens of emails back and forth, and finally in February Check Point Certification manager has publicly acknowledged the mentioned issue.

However, Check Point did not provide any solution for the matter at that time. Moreover, they have rejected my private proposal to make a one time correction of CCSM validity for all certified specialists from 2 to 4 years, that would resolve both continuity and consistency problems in one shot.

This situation has undermined public trust and appeal of having the highest certification level with Check Point. Also, new partnership program does not require having any CCSMs, even for support partners. It seemed to me that the company did not have any solid strategy to develop an advanced certification at this point.

In my humble opinion, CCSM is nothing but a stripped down version of older CCSE Plus certification, and cannot be even compared with flawed but very challenging CCMA exams that Check Point eventually failed as well.

That said, there are signs the company is finally coming to its senses and trying to reverse the situation.

At the end of September all CCSMs have received an email from Check Point Certification manager Jason Tugwell granting an extension of CCSM status for all people having their certificates expired between the beginning of 2017 and up to end of March 2018.

Everyone in this group, including those whose certification has lapsed already, are granted extension of CCSM status till end of June 2018.

Although this is not making right 2 years of certification versus 4 years for some, but it is still covering the continuity lapse, under condition Check Point Education Services will be able to develop and release new CCSM course and exam till the second quarter of 2018.

Just to make it clear, the extension notice should be received by all CCSM professionals whose certification expires between January 2017 and March 2018. If you are one of them but did not receive such notice, please talk to account managment at Check Point to fix it.

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