In the interest of full disclosure, I would obviously state that I, too, work for 7Safe. Though Lewis did not exactly pretend to be a third party, either, I would think. And as he himself already said, we are actually interested in advertising on this site, so that shall get sorted out. Quoting the rather long litany of things not permitted on this forum after exactly *one* post regarding a course - in a forum section that invites discussion of certification programs not mentioned elsewhere, no less! - does seem a bit harsh to me, but I leave that to your judgement, of course. As with the "guerrilla marketing" comment - guerrilla marketing would have seen us creating usernames not actually related to our real ones (to make the lookup in LinkedIn more difficult) and then posting comments along the lines of "I've just heard of this brilliant new course, you need to see this".
A couple of other things worth commenting on were brought up as well, and so I shall.
I shall start with the pass mark of 50%. That was agreed a number of years ago, first with the University of Glamorgan (who until recently had five of our training courses as modules on their Postgraduate Certificate in IT Security), later with the University of Bedfordshire who are now offering an MSc in Computer Security and Forensics which uses seven of our training courses (three hacking related, one of which is the one this thread is all about, three computer forensics related, one about ISO27001) as modules. In each case, passing the exam is the beginning, not the end of the process - as that is required in order to then be admitted to the module's assignment. Both of these universities are real-world, brick-and-mortar institutions, not paper mills. Easy enough to check out, if you care.
As to your other puzzlement, the unknown entity 7Safe - well, Lewis answered most of that by stating that we offer our training only in the UK - we have a few partners in other European countries, but I doubt this would make us known any more to you. The other reason you won't know us yet, is: We are a pen testing and computer forensics company first, a training company second and a marketing outfit least of all. There are certifications out there where the exact opposite is the case - and thus you will know them. As to their actual value, well, recognition is often confused with reputation.
If you would like to judge some certifications you may have received yourself in the past - consider how much of the material was original content. How much of it appeared to be straight copy/paste from publicly available sources. No editing, just collecting to amass fictitious weight. Ours is ours. Who are we? Well, we are on a (generally rather short) list of companies VISA accepts as credit card breach investigators. http://www.visaeurope.com/documents/ais ... t_list.pdf
We pen test banks, web hosting companies and government organisations. We are in the process of becoming the UK training provider for Core Impact (first training to run in April), we are in the process of becoming an authorised training provider for X-Ways Forensics (I used to work for X-Ways - easily checked thanks to Google - and will be delivering their official training several times this year). We also employ people like Jordan Hrycaj (nessus) or Sumit "Sid" Siddarth (www.notsosecure.com
), who quite recently published a widely quoted paper on extracting data from Oracle databases via WebApps:http://7safe.com/resources/paper_oracle ... g_web.html
We are also a training provider. Training that receives excellent feedback from our customers. Training we send our own new staff through. As it happens, we routinely have staff from our competitors (in pen testing or computer forensics) on our courses.
Feel free to mock training courses based on a single snippet of information or judge the value of the training provided based on the people behind it. Start googling some of the other, rather more... famous certifications out there and once you've found a few pages beyond the standard marketing blurb, start thinking. Look at some of the training materials you undoubtedly have from certifications you've attended in the past and see them with fresh eyes.
And, lastly, while this might not matter to those who are mainly attracted by collecting acronyms, it does to me: Our training is not about the certificate. It is about the training. If you prefer it the other way around, our courses are not for you.