Cracking down on braindumps and leaks

Tess Sluijter

Well-known member
Apr 1, 2020
264
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378
the Netherlands
www.kilala.nl
So... Braindump sites are everywhere. And then there's videos like these...


Where the creator specifically goes over the question and confirms that the question is on the exam.

Can CompTIA confirm that:
  • They are protecting the value of our certifications by cracking down on dump sites like ExamTopics?
  • They are protecting the value of our certification by revoking certification status for know NDA breakers?
I dislike pointing to specific people like Selena, but this stuff is really blatant.
 
It's got to be difficult to constantly shut down braindumps. It's like cutting the head off a hydra. Two more grow back in it's place.

I can remember teaching Security+ at a military base so they could fulfill their 8570 requirements. After the last day of class, their commanding officer came in and handed each of them a burned disc with the name of a rather well known brain dump on it. He told them to memorize the information on the disc and they would pass the exam. I was furious, but I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. If let it slide, every one in class was going to cheat and get a paper certification they didn't earn. If I reported it, none of them would ever get certified which would cause them to lose their jobs and I'd get blacklisted and not work for the military ever again.

Make all the exam questions VM environment questions. Get rid of the multiple choice questions. See if they can actually apply their knowledge.
 

Tess Sluijter

Well-known member
Apr 1, 2020
264
1
378
the Netherlands
www.kilala.nl
If I reported it, none of them would ever get certified which would cause them to lose their jobs and I'd get blacklisted and not work for the military ever again.
I feel your pain.

The dilemma isn't about ethics anymore, regardless of what we might tell ourselves. At some point in time it will flip into "how valuable is this certification, if everybody's already cheating and CompTIA isn't following up on their own NDA and code of ethics".

The dilemma now becomes "how much do I truly buy into the vendor's spiel, compared to how much I need my income"? And well, if the vendor's own posture is lacking, that needle's gonna swing more and more to the "income" side.

Make all the exam questions VM environment questions. Get rid of the multiple choice questions. See if they can actually apply their knowledge

That would be an interesting situation. But to be blunt, I do not believe that CompTIA can make that work. One the one hand I don't think they can make it work in a technical sense, but more importantly because the curriculum for their exams just doesn't lend itself to that. The objectives documents for most of their exams are "a mile wide and an inch deep". Either they would need to severely limit the objectives, or the exams would all bump up from entry-level to medior level difficulty.

Then again, I love to be proven wrong! Plus, ECC have made a similar switch with their C|EH which now consists of both a theoretical exam and a practical hands-on exam. That changed the value of the exam for the better.
 
Last edited:

MonaS

Well-known member
Nov 14, 2019
9
3
So... Braindump sites are everywhere. And then there's videos like these...


Where the creator specifically goes over the question and confirms that the question is on the exam.

Can CompTIA confirm that:
  • They are protecting the value of our certifications by cracking down on dump sites like ExamTopics?
  • They are protecting the value of our certification by revoking certification status for know NDA breakers?
I dislike pointing to specific people like Selena, but this stuff is really blatant.
If CompTIA ran behind all these people they would need to hire an entire team and charge more for the certifications. It’s every where and some companies that are well known and have been around for 30 or more years do it.

CompTIA and other vendors try to contain this but thanks to the advancements in the WWW…there is only so much they can do. Some people just lack integrity.
 

MonaS

Well-known member
Nov 14, 2019
9
3
It's got to be difficult to constantly shut down braindumps. It's like cutting the head off a hydra. Two more grow back in it's place.

I can remember teaching Security+ at a military base so they could fulfill their 8570 requirements. After the last day of class, their commanding officer came in and handed each of them a burned disc with the name of a rather well known brain dump on it. He told them to memorize the information on the disc and they would pass the exam. I was furious, but I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. If let it slide, every one in class was going to cheat and get a paper certification they didn't earn. If I reported it, none of them would ever get certified which would cause them to lose their jobs and I'd get blacklisted and not work for the military ever again.

Make all the exam questions VM environment questions. Get rid of the multiple choice questions. See if they can actually apply their knowledge.
😂😂😂😂😂You could have turned them in. Don’t recommend making the exam harder for everyone bcuz you “turned a blind eye”. You had a choice 🤷‍♀️😂
The exams are already proctored that’s enough. If there were no multiple choice questions if would probably take 2-3 hours.
 
If CompTIA ran behind all these people they would need to hire an entire team and charge more for the certifications. It’s every where and some companies that are well known and have been around for 30 or more years do it.

CompTIA and other vendors try to contain this but thanks to the advancements in the WWW…there is only so much they can do. Some people just lack integrity.
Well, that's something that the CIN is able to do to positively help the community. Keep an eye open and let CompTIA know. If they follow it up, that's on them, but I'm not at all opposed to pointing these things out.

Can CompTIA confirm that:
  • They are protecting the value of our certifications by cracking down on dump sites like ExamTopics?
  • They are protecting the value of our certification by revoking certification status for know NDA breakers?
I dislike pointing to specific people like Selena, but this stuff is really blatant.
Recently, I stumbled across a YouTube channel out there that was freely downloading and playing the TTT series videos. Perhaps they didn't think there was anything wrong with what they were doing, but in my view, it lessened the value of the TTT series and CIN in general. And this rang in my mind...

sidious.gif

/r
 
😂😂😂😂😂You could have turned them in. Don’t recommend making the exam harder for everyone bcuz you “turned a blind eye”. You had a choice 🤷‍♀️😂
The exams are already proctored that’s enough. If there were no multiple choice questions if would probably take 2-3 hours.

The exams should be harder. A person can literally memorize their way to a certification for A+/Net+/Sec+ already.

And I resent your implication. I spent the entire week running the students through exercises to ensure they not only knew the information, but also that they understood it well enough to apply it in real world scenarios as part of their work.

It's called picking your battles. I suggest you pick a different one.
 

MonaS

Well-known member
Nov 14, 2019
9
3
The exams should be harder. A person can literally memorize their way to a certification for A+/Net+/Sec+ already.

And I resent your implication. I spent the entire week running the students through exercises to ensure they not only knew the information, but also that they understood it well enough to apply it in real world scenarios as part of their work.

It's called picking your battles. I suggest you pick a different one.
I choose integrity over everything. See something…say something!

You literally admitted to watching people cheat and said nothing. Code of conduct🤷‍♀️
In addition, you just devalued A+, Net+, and Sec+ certifications?
Does not sound like much of an advocate for CompTIA A+, Net+, or Sec+? ..why would you teach them if you feel they have no value? ….sooo easy people can just memorize and pass?
 

MonaS

Well-known member
Nov 14, 2019
9
3
Well, that's something that the CIN is able to do to positively help the community. Keep an eye open and let CompTIA know. If they follow it up, that's on them, but I'm not at all opposed to pointing these things out.


Recently, I stumbled across a YouTube channel out there that was freely downloading and playing the TTT series videos. Perhaps they didn't think there was anything wrong with what they were doing, but in my view, it lessened the value of the TTT series and CIN in general. And this rang in my mind...

View attachment 824

/r
Absolutely Rick….my point was “not assuming” CompTIA doesn’t take this seriously. Some of us have been around long enough to know that they do. This is not a perfect world so they won’t be able to stop everyone. I tend focus on what I can do to make the world a better place…not complaining about the bad guys and what they are doing.

“One positive action in your life has the potential to change the world” - Steven Aitchison.
 
I choose integrity over everything. See something…say something!

You literally admitted to watching people cheat and said nothing. Code of conduct🤷‍♀️
In addition, you just devalued A+, Net+, and Sec+ certifications?
Does not sound like much of an advocate for CompTIA A+, Net+, or Sec+? ..why would you teach them if you feel they have no value? ….sooo easy people can just memorize and pass?

Everyone who has been around longer than a few years has seen something. People could report 50 web sites a day rather easily but it doesn't happen all the time. It's easy for you to pontificate about integrity when you haven't been faced with a complicated scenario. Not everything is black and white.

Honestly, I've always thought that A+, Net+, and Security+ had a lot of value as far as the content was concerned. I have always thought the exams aren't stringent enough for evaluating competence in the subjects. Yes, people can memorize and pass the exams. I saw a high school student pass both parts of the A+ exam with perfect 900 scores. While it's entirely possible that they legitimately had the prerequisite knowledge, the probability of two perfect scores is extremely low.
 
Absolutely Rick….my point was “not assuming” CompTIA doesn’t take this seriously. Some of us have been around long enough to know that they do. This is not a perfect world so they won’t be able to stop everyone. I tend focus on what I can do to make the world a better place…not complaining about the bad guys and what they are doing.
Oh I know they take it seriously - but many times, you gotta be very sure, before you go yoinking someone's credential because of cheating. I'm sure there is someone out here who got dinged like that, but I have never heard of a cert getting pulled for ethics violations or the like. CompTIA isn't likely to announce that to the world; nor should they.

But I do think there is an investment to be made by helping CompTIA police the field, where possible. I don't advocate tattling on every Tom, Pete, or Stanley who breaks the rules, but obvious and egregious violations of ethics should be addressed. CompTIA can't do it all, themselves. It takes us that work in the field to hold the line, because it's also our credentials.

In fact, my own daughter came to me one time and said, "Dad, I got handed these VCE and ETE files - that they'd help me pass an exam. Do you know anything about them?" I told her they were trash and using them could put her certs at risk. She promptly trashed them and hit the books. Proud of her for that, because she's told others. It's that kind of thing that helps keep the integrity of the exam.

/r
 

Tess Sluijter

Well-known member
Apr 1, 2020
264
1
378
the Netherlands
www.kilala.nl
Worth the time reading:
It most certainly is! The article has made me understand CompTIA's approach, for those scenario-based questions.

The best way to combat exam cheaters, though, is in the design of the exam. This means creating scenario-based questions. These are much harder to create, but also substantially harder to cheat on. One cannot effectively memorize them and — combined with the randomized order of the questions as well as the answers — this makes life very difficult for the cheater.
Fair point. If you mix and mash multiple, similar scenarios into your pool with similar-but-not-really answers, that could be of help. Then again, just rewriting "definition" questions into "Steve wants to do X, they should buy a Y" is still a form that's easily memorized. So, writing these kinds of questions really does take a special set of requirements.
 

PETER HANWITH HORDEN

Well-known member
Mar 11, 2022
22
21
that little lady with her brain dumps was taken off on you tube I did report to CompTIA there is guys I told and its gone now.
Great a few years ago I got my MCSE by time I certified it was not worth the paper its was printed after spending 30K plus. So I did not want the same with CompTIA .
These guys think they help the cheapen the Certs.
 

PETER HANWITH HORDEN

Well-known member
Mar 11, 2022
22
21
So... Braindump sites are everywhere. And then there's videos like these...


Where the creator specifically goes over the question and confirms that the question is on the exam.

Can CompTIA confirm that:
  • They are protecting the value of our certifications by cracking down on dump sites like ExamTopics?
  • They are protecting the value of our certification by revoking certification status for know NDA breakers?
I dislike pointing to specific people like Selena, but this stuff is really blatant.
that little lady with her brain dumps was taken off on you tube I did report to CompTIA there is guys I told and its gone now.
Great a few years ago I got my MCSE by time I certified it was not worth the paper its was printed after spending 30K plus. So I did not want the same with CompTIA .
These guys think they help the cheapen the Certs.
 
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I heard about that, it was all over the r/CompTIA reddit sub last week. Sad story for that one - looks like a gal who was trying to break out of the insurance business to further her career in IT. Maybe she didn't realize what she was doing was wrong, hard to say.

I'm also one of these MCSE's that got blanded out because of all the paper MCSE types and brain dump types that cheapened the exams down. I'm proud of getting it (it was long ago, mind you), but when I started seeing job ads, followed by colleges running ads "Get your MCSE and make $65000", well, there was a very large carrot to draw people into doing the wrong thing.