Master Certificate in Cyber Security (Red Team)

This article is purely my personal experience about Master Certificate in Cyber Security (Red Team) by Jigsaw Academy in collaboration with Hacker U.

My Journey

Ethical Hacking is not an overnight dream for me, I and my friend used to discuss this since our graduation. We don’t know where to start and how to start. We kept this subject aside and started running for life as everyone does.

I should appreciate the Digital Marketing Team of Jigsaw Academy for targeting the exact audience. I was one of the students who enrolled in this course through an advertisement.

Phase 1

After multiple calls and emails, I went to Jigsaw Academy on the invitation to speak with Hacker U’s CEO, Global Education Mr. Ariel Cohen. After discussing with him, I enrolled for the course then and there only.

I was informed that the course starts on the same day. Within 2 hours JigsawAcademy helped me to finish the process and receive login credentials for Hackampus LMS (Learning Management System of Hacker U).

The instructor is Lion Kontorer. Lion is leading the Offensive Security Team of Hacker U.

He started from scratch but it’s difficult for me to understand as I’m a commerce student. Few topics I intentionally missed and then I realized how important they are.

My humble request for you not to miss even a single lecture that creates a gap in future lectures. Be patient you’re not the only one.

Phase 2

Lion explained very well, then I attended 1-week classroom training which is a part of Phase 2 by Oleg Karant.

To be very genuine we had a lot of issues in Phase 2.

  • Internet Connection was Poor
  • Problem with Israel Ascent
  • Lack of time management and
  • Not able to grab the content quickly etc.,

I am one of the students who raised voice about these issues since 2nd Day in Phase 2. One day we reached Sonu, and he connected us with Sarita. She promised a few things about the infrastructure that they are going to do.

We were not really satisfied, not as productive as expected in Phase 2. Because of the above-mentioned issues. We missed one or two concepts partially.

Post completion of Phase 2, we have to give an exam to gain eligibility for Phase 3. Except for two of our friends, every one qualified for this exam. For us, the qualifying marks are 70. I finished the exam and scored 92 I think.

Then, I had counseling with Sonu about the course, feedback and he was able to help me partially and he sent me few emails as requested by me, he got approval for a few of my requests in course.

Phase 3

I’ve already wasted 4 months in searching for a course, now I can’t wait for one more batch and decided to get into Phase 3. Jigsaw connected me with Propelld team for financial assistance.

Phase 3 started after a gap of 10–20 days from Phase 2. As we are familiar with Oleg, we are excited to get started. I had the same attitude to question what has been promised and not done rather than utilizing the provided one.

Oleg trained us in Linux, Windows Server Administration, Bypassing Perimeter concepts. It was so clear and on point. Though Oleg was slow in teaching, he used to help a lot and he thinks from the perspective of least in the class. Oleg is so nice and friendly, he used to sit with us, he helps us in troubleshooting network, Linux, server issues.

Last day with Oleg Karant
Last day with Oleg Karant

After 4 weeks of Journey, we had Vladi Fidchuk as an instructor for Advanced Infrastructure and Python for Hacking. Vladi was the most active trainer who teaches everything with fun so that students can understand easily. He is very passionate about things and open-minded.

Vladi claims himself a technical guy which is 100% correct and he is a Master in Programming. He believes and encourages students to practice rather than being calm in class and at home. Of course, we need practice for Python. I am very new to programming. However, I was able to write small programs and I can understand the function of the program by looking at the code. Rama Chandra Prasad Mylapuram (The most dedicated, joyful person in the classroom) helped me a lot in Python and the rest of the course as well.

Last day with Vladi Fidchuk
Last day with Vladi Fidchuk

Suggestion: Don’t get confused by errors after writing 100 lines of code. Start executing one by one, it will be easy to understand and troubleshoot errors.

Then we had Yosi Magor for Web And Mobile Security. He was a security researcher at eBay and Instructor at Hacker U. He does bug bounty as well.

He started from basic languages like HTML, XML, CSS, JS, etc., Yosi is a different person, if you post a question, he will ask you to research about it. Only if you are not able to find the solution, he will help you.

I suggest you read How to ask good questions — The art of questioning

He was an expert in bypassing iPhone locks. He plays with android security. He personally guided me in bug bounty. He explained how he was able to compromise eBay. He also shared experience with one of his students who tried to secure an organization and get into trouble.

From the 4th day of Yosi’s class, I started looking at normal websites to Bruteforce. I was not aware of any of the other bugs by that time. I was able to report an insecure login page to TicketNew and received honors for reporting it.

Apart from that, I am able to report a security issue in payments for a fast-growing company in Bangalore, which ends with a bug bounty of USD 300 and a hall of fame.

I really felt proud myself for that and I shared the same with all my instructors and fellow students.

Last day with Yosi
Last day with Yosi

Then we had Swaroop Yermalkar and Azaz for iOS Security, Reverse Engineering, Buffer Overflow, etc., Swaroop was mastered in iOS Security. He authored a book Learn iOS Penetration Testing.

Swaroop is the Head of Cyber Security, Hacker U, India. He helped us in understand the security concepts and he used to give us practical examples in malware analysis to report them. I personally felt that Swaroop has an ocean of knowledge, but by default, you can’t see that. You have to speak to him, and you have to ask questions.

If you have interest he will explain the concepts in more detail, but in general, he will explain up to one extent. If one person is not able to understand the concept he will change the approach and explain it again.

Swaroop used to call students to teach the class for a couple of minutes on a specific topic on a daily basis. I taught it was a time waste process because very less time of 3 months and on top of it we are not getting any placement information etc., However, it helped many of us to know where we stand in terms of communication and knowledge.

The one un-sung superhero of the class is Yogendra Swaroop. He is an OSCP Certified. In terms of knowledge, he is like a walking Wikipedia. You ask him for a suggestion or question. Most probably he will give you 5–10 sources to learn it if he was not completely aware of it. If he was aware you will get to know directly from him.

He is the coolest person in the class who encourages students that are trying to learn this subject. No matter whether it’s a small or big achievement he will clap for you, he will encourage you, he will push you, he will guide and he will be always there for you.

If you wish to know more about Yogendra, click here to read his blog.

Certification

To be eligible to receive a “Master Certificate in Cyber Security (Red Team)” program certificate you should score a minimum of 70% in the final exam. Along with that, there are other conditions like your attendance, assignments, performance, etc.,

If you satisfy all the above you will receive a certificate like the following.

Master Certificate in Cyber Security (Red Team)

Placements

I think this is the most awaited section for all of the readers and students who are planning to join the Master Certificate in Cyber Security (Red Team).

We had one company before completing Phase 3. Unfortunately, I was not shortlisted by that company because of the eligibility criteria. We have successfully completed the course as per the schedule. Now, it’s time for practice and placements.

On completion, of course, the pandemic situation arose. We all left for our homes. I truly lost hope in placements. I wrote an email to Jigsaw Team about placements. They responded to me with an update that they are going to arrange interviews.

I assumed, nothing is going on, just these people are giving false promises. Suddenly I got an email regarding a drive of a top cybersecurity company which is FireEye.

I applied for that. I gave the exam and shortlisted for the second round. I cleared the second round and director discussion, confirmed by the HR Team on the same day. the very next day HR Discussion was scheduled and completed.

The interview panel was so great not just because they shortlisted me, the interaction was fantastic.

Then background verification was scheduled and partially completed due to lockdown. My offer letter got released with good CTC. This opportunity will definitely help me to master a few concepts like Linux and networking. I am super excited about this. The process was very quick. Jigsaw did something beyond my expectations and imagination. The FireEye team is so responsive and prompt in this virtual interviews and onboarding.

Your degree doesn’t matter, knowledge, and skills matter. Read it again.

This was shared by Jigsaw Academy in one of their newsletters.
This was shared by Jigsaw Academy in one of their newsletters.

Expected Questions

Who can take this training?

Anybody who has the desire to learn Cyber Security. If you are here just for the sake, this is not for you.

Any pre-requisite for this course?

Yes, there are few pre-requisites for this course

  • You should be able to operate a computer
  • The desire to learn the subject
  • Ability research by own and practice a lot.
  • You must be a graduate to be eligible for placements

What about Job Guarantee? Do we get placed immediately?

Just because you completed this course, you won’t get a job for sure. Nobody on this planet can assure you a job if you don’t have self-confidence, subject knowledge and communication skills.

A person who is an OSCP will have good knowledge, that’s the reason Jigsaw offering Guaranteed Placements for OSCP candidates. Don’t worry about the job, learn the skills, the job will search for you.

If you are looking for a specific role after this course, it’s a little bit difficult. The minimum package offer by companies to date is 6 lakhs per annum, which is not bad for freshers and people who have 1–2 years experience.

One thing, all I would want to say is, placement assistance is their responsibility. Don’t fight for placements unless you are confident enough that you can crack the interview.

Think in this way, if they get one company for interviews and you are not able to perform well, you lost an opportunity. Don’t take me wrong, I’m not saying you’re not supposed to ask, you can and you have asked but before that make yourself prepared for everything.

Don’t always depend on Jigsaw Academy for placements. Sometimes things can go wrong like the #CoronaVirus. So start searching on your own as well. Keep on attending interviews, so that you can understand and improve yourself.

Will they teach all the concepts in-depth?

I would say No, nobody can teach everything about a concept. It depends on the requirement, we can have both one word and one-page answer for a single question.

90% of the course will be as scheduled in the course curriculum. Sometimes the instructor may change the schedule due to infrastructure unavailability or the importance of the concept. However they will touch all the concepts in the course curriculum, sometimes they will show real-world examples that are not mentioned in the curriculum.

If you research on your own, you will be able to understand the whole concept. In the classroom, they can only teach what they can teach not everything. So be prepared for self-learning also.

I don’t have technical education/experience so far, Will I be able to sustain in this domain?

You don’t need to have a B.Tech, M.Tech, MS, MCA to sustain and succeed in this domain. You can be from any background and you can be a fresher also, this field is open for you. As said above you should have skills, that’s it. Many companies give opportunities for skilled professionals irrespective of their background.

In my case, I shortlisted for two companies that are offering good CTC. Shortlisting will put you in an interview. Now it’s your turn to impress the employer with your skills and expertise.

Show them why you’re unique among others, let them know what you can do for their company. Share your achievements, success no matter whether it’s small or big.

One small achievement will put you aside as a special candidate among all. A degree doesn’t matter for you to succeed in this domain, not just in this domain in most of the domains.

Will they train from scratch?

Yes, this training will be from scratch as per the topics mentioned in the website and brochure. But, It would help if you have already knowledge in Linux/Networking/Programming/Scripting (Optional)

You’re on the right path, don’t miss the opportunity, later becomes never. All the best for your career.

Click here to see the frequently asked questions about this course.


Personal Suggestions

  • Speak up — The best way to clear your doubts and questions is to speak to the responsible person.
  • Practice — The only way to get experience in technical concepts or programming is by practice.
  • Be Unique — If you do only what others are doing, you can’t be unique. Do something extra, prove to everyone that you are different. Help others how you did and be a part of their success as well.
  • Be positive — Always be positive then only you can concentrate on course, you can’t learn the subject with a negative mindset.
  • Be respectful — Respect everyone in the class, no matter what they did and what they are doing.
  • Be prepared — Always be prepared for everything, especially for interviews. You may have short notice.
  • Take feedback — Take feedback from instructors, friends and other students about yourself, your progress and work on the feedback so that you can improve yourself

I suggest you have the following on or before completion of course. Having doesn’t mean creating and keeping it aside. Spend some time on them, keep working on them, and share your knowledge. It helps to create a good portfolio.

  • GitHub
  • A personal blog
  • AWS Account

All the best for your career, feel free to share your failures and success with me.

If you have any additional questions which are not mentioned here, you can contact me by clicking here.

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