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Need Everyone's Feedback!!

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don

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Post Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:40 pm

Need Everyone's Feedback!!

This topic has come up several times, so I thought I would get the feedback of everyone before making a decision dealing with exam questions. And as most of you know, I truly value the opinion of the members.

In this thread a member posts some questions from the Actual Tests practice exam for CEH. We could debate the legality of how they get their questions and answers, but the real question lies in whether to allow this. Another member was quite adament in his thoughts in not allowing this. My response in that post was:

3 thoughts on this:

1. Members are responsible and liable for their own posts not the owners of the site.
2. This was from ActualTests. He didn't claim it was from the real CEH exam. We could debate where they get their questions and answers, but I won't do that now. So as far as we know, this is simply a practice exam which is legal. He also didn't just ask for the answers. He gave what he thought the answer should be and why he thought it was wrong. So if anything, this once again proves that, although the legality of such products is debatable, they often have wrong answers, so the decision to use them is considered unwise.
3. Oyle has every right to question the validity of the post and warn against possible backlash from the cert org.


It would be different if he said that he had the following questions on the exam and wasn't sure of the answer. That would break the agreement between the cert org and the exam taker.

We're here to educate, so helping on a practice exam should be encouraged. This is a free and open forum that usually does well moderating itself. Perfect example is when another member posted questions from a different exam's practice test but simply asked for the answers with no mention on what he thought the answers might be. Negrita and a few other members were quick to reply that we at least need a little effort on their part before continuing the discussion. I thought that was a well handle situation.

We're here to help, but we're mostly here to teach. This method requires contributions from the person asking the questions. That's how a mentor/mentee student/teacher relationship is supposed to work. So my initial reaction is to allow it.

What is everyone's feeling on this?

Don
CISSP, MCSE, CSTA, Security+ SME
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Kev

Post Fri Oct 20, 2006 2:09 pm

Re: Need Everyone's Feedback!!

  My feeling is that this is an educational forum so openly discussing several questions from a practice exam should not be an issue.  This is not the same thing as hacking the EC-Council site and stealing all their questions and posting them on a web page, lol! To me this is the same thing as printing a few lines from a published book in order to review it, which is considered a proper practice. On the other hand, posting the entire TestKing or other practice exams would be completely different and unethical.  Lets not water this site down!  We all need a place to review whats  offered out there.
Last edited by Kev on Sat Oct 21, 2006 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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oyle

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Post Fri Oct 20, 2006 4:14 pm

Re: Need Everyone's Feedback!!

OK, so answer this for me, then?

I'm aware of "Testkillers", where you buy actual test questions and answers. Assuming "Actual Tests" is the same thing, and they bought the practice exam from "Actual Tests", what is the difference there?

Testkillers comes out and says they are actual test questions and answers. I'm not familiar with "Actual Tests", but I take it they are the same thing. In the same vein as Transcenders, and Boson. Your'e buying these as well, so the people at Actual Tests probably wouldn't appreciate their questions and answers being posted here, either. A lawsuit is a lawsuit, wehter you're being sued by Actual Tests,Trancenders, Boson, or Testkillers.

I still maintain maybe they should do this via email or PM. Understanding the idea of teaching; Don, is it possible to perhaps set up an agreement with EC-council to have our own version here of a practice test with a bank of questions that randomize so each time it is a different test? Could we have this done WITH the permission of EC-Council? Is something like this possible? If it is, that would be great; why stop with the CEH? We could have it for the CHFI, and the CNDA, as well.

Just a thought.... ;D
Last edited by oyle on Fri Oct 20, 2006 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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"hackers are like jedi, crackers are like the sith: do not fall prey to the dark side".

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oyle

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Post Fri Oct 20, 2006 4:32 pm

Re: Need Everyone's Feedback!!

From the ActualTests website Terms of Use:

PDFs are made available for downloading solely for use by end users according to the terms of the License Agreement. Any unauthorized use, and any reproduction or redistribution of the material (except in strict compliance with the License Agreement) is expressly prohibited by law, and may result in civil lawsuits. Violators will be prosecuted to the maximum extent possible. WITHOUT LIMITING THE FOREGOING IN ANY WAY, COPYING OR REPRODUCTION OF ANY SOFTWARE, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, TO ANY OTHER SERVER OR LOCATION FOR FURTHER REPRODUCTION OR REDISTRIBUTION IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED.

Any material that is on this site is created with the good faith that it is free from compilation, reverse engineering and does not violate any third party's copyrights. Any claims about infringement can only be investigated with the provision of the original material. Notice of such will be treated in accordance with the Civil Penal code of Pakistan and UAE, where the original material for this sites is created and owned.

According to this, the test material is CREATED in Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates!! Not to get all political, but that's even less reason to consider them credible, as far as I'm concerned. At least Testkillers (Now known as Troytec) is in America. Testkillers and it's admin were sued by Microsoft, and by the skin of their teeth, they won the lawsuit, but it was because Microsoft didn't have enough proof. And it DID take a long time.

I just don't want DON getting in trouble for allowing it, and I don't want to see EH-Net fold up and blow away.

Actual Tests website:  http://www.actualtests.com

End of my soapbox.
Last edited by oyle on Fri Oct 20, 2006 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
MCP, MCP+I, MCSA, MCSE(NT4/W2K), CCNA, CCA, NWCCC, VH-PIRTS, CEH
--------------------
"hackers are like jedi, crackers are like the sith: do not fall prey to the dark side".

From 1337 h4x0r h4ndb00k: "the ten laws of geek", law x
                  -Tapeworm
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Negrita

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Post Fri Oct 20, 2006 7:35 pm

Re: Need Everyone's Feedback!!

Well I find myself obligated to reply to this thread. Firstly before I start out I must make a disclaimer; I am a moderator at the forums at http://bb.mcsebraindumps.com/. I am not an employee at that site and any opinions stated by me in this thread are my own.  8)

While the things stated by Oyle are factually correct, I must disagree with his opinion. I feel that practice questions (regardless of there source) are a valuable study aid if used correctly and in conjunction with a variety of other study methods too such as taking a course/bootcamp, reading a book, hands-on experience, watching CBT's, etc. I highly discourage using practice questions as a sole study source for an exam. Doing this wil only get you a "paper cert" and you'll be weeded out in job interviews or shortly after starting work very quickly.

Regarding legal issues

Oyle has provided us with a partial quote from the ActualTests website Terms of Use. If you however follow the link and continue reading beyond the place where Oyle has cut his quote short, you will notice that Actualtests have a copyright for the produce, and they legally own the intelectual rights to that produce. If Microsoft/Cisco/EC-Council etc. where to sue Actualtests/Testking etc, for breach of the NDA, a student who has bought a product from Actualtests/Testking is only an innocent 3rd party and cannot be considered as cheating. BTW seeing as I've mentioned them, Testking also have a similar legal disclaimer here. What's more, the student only signs the NDA when he does the exam and it usually deals with disclosure of the exam content from that moment on, and not with the students behaviour retrospectively, so any claims that a student has cheated by using that produce are null and void.

BTW, further on they also disclaim the accuracy of their produce and provide it "as is", so you can only blame yourself if you trust their answers (or questions for that matter) blindly;

THIS WEB SITE AND THE INFORMATION, CONTENTS, GRAPHICS, DOCUMENTS AND OTHER ELEMENTS INCLUDED HEREIN (COLLECTIVELY THE "CONTENTS") ARE PROVIDED ON AN "AS IS" BASIS WITH ALL FAULTS AND WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.


Regarding Oyles' opinion

Oyle wrote:According to this, the test material is CREATED in Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates!! Not to get all political, but that's even less reason to consider them credible, as far as I'm concerned. At least Testkillers (Now known as Troytec) is in America.


This statement is defamatory, and I object to it.  >:( While I appreciate your patriotism Oyle, I feel that Pakistanis and Arabs have the same right to own copyrights and intellectual property as anyone else, and the fact that they do is not "even less reason to consider them credible". I find it strange that after slamming Troytec, you suddenly are willing to stand by them for patriotic reasons.

Regarding posting of questions on this site

I agree with Kev on this.

Posting a question saying "I got this question on my exam and I wasn't sure what the answer is" should be moderated as a breach of the NDA. Furthermore I feel that we're not here to do other peoples homework for them. If someone posts a question, they should at least say which answer they think is correct and why, or why they think that the given answer is wrong. Posting of questions should be limited to only those questions that the poster is unsure of. Don't forget that Actualtests, Testking and others also have a copyright, and posting their entire Q&A here without their prior consent would be a breach of their copyright.

I think that the abscence of any posting guidelines on this site is a major factor, hindering both the posters who don't know if what they're posting is allowed and also the Moderators/Admin who need some guiding as to what should be allowed, edited or deleted. Kudos to don who has untill now done a great job using his discretion when moderating. you're welcome to look through the posting guidelines at mcsebraindumps.com for something to use and build upon.
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LSOChris

Post Fri Oct 20, 2006 10:41 pm

Re: Need Everyone's Feedback!!

wow heated...

i think we should encourage people not to use those types of "study guides"

we are definitely not helping anyone by giving them the answers to actual test questions, if you are going to cheat, at least look up the answers to the questions  you think are wrong yourself to actually learn something.

it helps keep people that dont want to use the "study guides" stay honest which is very hard to do in general especially if the questions are posted on your favorite forum  ;)
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pcsneaker

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Post Sat Oct 21, 2006 3:28 am

Re: Need Everyone's Feedback!!

I mostly agree with Negrita and Kev and I'd like to add another reason to use those kind of "study guides":

I've taken a number of different kind of tests so far (M$, Comptia, Mile2, Guidance) and found that the content - what was asked for - is somewhat questionable in a lot of these tests.

On one hand there are a lot of questions where the whole content (the question and the proposed answers) has nothing to do with real world or at least comprehensible  scenarios, on the other hand on some of these exams there are outdated and poor worded questions where even the meaning is hard to understand (not only on these study guides, I've seen this kind of questions on live exams too).

Even if you really know your business sometimes it's really hard to guess what answer they want to see - and that can make it sometimes hard to pass an exam without having the possibility to prepare yourself by the means of these "Study Guides".

The point is that the questions in these guides are often worded as bad as they are in the real exams - so without posting a question exactly as it is printed sometimes it is not possible to find the wanted (not necessarily the right) answer...
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Kev

Post Sat Oct 21, 2006 1:20 pm

Re: Need Everyone's Feedback!!

  I don’t believe in trying to memorize answers on test cheats before an examine either.  However, I believe the question posed here is if the forum admin should censor a post that has a few questions from a company that claims to be offering the actual Q&A from the CEH examine test.  Not test preps.  Is this correct? 

  IMHO there is nothing wrong with tests preps.  When I was in college, test preps were always given before an important and difficult examine.  These examines almost never had the same questions you would find on the actual test, but were to test your general level of knowledge. The theory was, if you could make it through those practice questions, you must know the material well enough to actually pass the real examine.  If you failed the prep test, well you obviously didn’t know the material well enough, so you better hit the books!  Prep tests  in this spirit, I see nothing wrong with and can be a useful gage for your level of knowledge.
   
  Again, I feel there is nothing wrong with posting a few questions from such things. Even posting several questions from Actual Test is valuable to the community because in my opinion it exposes them.  If anyone thinks they can actually purchase the authentic “current” CEH Q&A is extremely naïve to put it nicely.  My hopes from this forum are for it to be educational. That not only means discussing tech material but also discussing the best material available out there. Who is a rip off and who is offering  quality training. If the poster appears to be really trying to improve his understanding, then I think he should be helped. If it appears he is just trying to memorize answers because he foolishly is thinking this will make him a “hacker” or get an easy certification, then his post should be ignored.  But unless something is obscene or clearly  illegal, censorship should not happen. Moving posts around or locking forums is more about editing. Censorship is deleting posts so they can’t be seen. 

  I fear that randomly censoring material will hurt this forum in the long run.
Last edited by Kev on Sat Oct 21, 2006 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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skel

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Post Mon Oct 23, 2006 6:05 am

Re: Need Everyone's Feedback!!

Hi

I feel inclined to respond to this discussion as I have posted some questions from TK in search of answers and I was a primary contributor for the thread in question.

My primary feeling is most new users are attacted to this site are potetial CEH exam takers (I know I was). Therefore the group should help the members to get through the exams.

I know that the TK helped me alot to focus on the areas I should concentrate.

IMHO Dons approach is correct. We should allow (and encourage) people to discuss the exap prep questions.

About legality  of the content - I wouldnt know. The TOS of TK ,AT and such is actually BS IMO. Most questions are reproductions of the real exam. So who is actually violating the copyright ? The poster ? the Exam Prep site ? -- I event dont want to think about it.

Regards
Skel
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skel

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Post Mon Oct 23, 2006 6:26 am

Re: Need Everyone's Feedback!!

I have to thank Negrita for standing up for the Racist comments. I am a too a  Asian (not from any of the countried specified and a not a Muslim (Islamist) either). But racisim is not required here.

I guess this is why you guys are still newbies.


newbie is what you see under the screen name. Doesnt mean that we are new to IT or IT security. Please dont judge the member by the little text appearing under the screen name.

Regards

Skel
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LSOChris

Post Wed Oct 25, 2006 10:21 pm

Re: Need Everyone's Feedback!!

skel wrote:
IMHO Dons approach is correct. We should allow (and encourage) people to discuss the exap prep questions.

About legality  of the content - I wouldnt know. The TOS of TK ,AT and such is actually BS IMO. Most questions are reproductions of the real exam. So who is actually violating the copyright ? The poster ? the Exam Prep site ? -- I event dont want to think about it.



yep, sure, whatever you say, its not the wrong thing if i dont think about it...
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skel

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Post Wed Oct 25, 2006 11:23 pm

Re: Need Everyone's Feedback!!

Hi ChrisG

If CEH claims the copyright for the questions and if AT created questions almost identical ( sometimes matching word to word) and they claim the rights to the questions and if a potential exam taker reproduce the AT questions in a forum like this in search of correct answers who is breaking the law? who can sue who?

I am layman to law and my opinion of who is breaking the law is not worth two cents for anybody. So that’s why I would not rather think about it.  :) I would let somebody who knows the system analyze the problem.

I am a IT guy, if somebody pose a question on my field I will try to help to my ability. If somebody ask a legal question, I will not put a legal hat and try to find (probably incorrect) answers.

I am sure that some guys who have written in this thread have a law background. So I will accept their analysis and stay in the background.  :-X

But I standby the comment that I  agree with Don, Kev and Negrita that the practice test questions should be allowed to discuss (provided that there are no legal implications). I have also seen these questions create interesting discussions (not just “a” is the answer) which go way beyond the question.


Cheers
Skel
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LSOChris

Post Thu Oct 26, 2006 4:18 am

Re: Need Everyone's Feedback!!

skel wrote:
If CEH claims the copyright for the questions and if AT created questions almost identical ( sometimes matching word to word) and they claim the rights to the questions and if a potential exam taker reproduce the AT questions in a forum like this in search of correct answers who is breaking the law? who can sue who?

I am layman to law and my opinion of who is breaking the law is not worth two cents for anybody. So that’s why I would not rather think about it.  :) I would let somebody who knows the system analyze the problem.

I am a IT guy, if somebody pose a question on my field I will try to help to my ability. If somebody ask a legal question, I will not put a legal hat and try to find (probably incorrect) answers.

I am sure that some guys who have written in this thread have a law background. So I will accept their analysis and stay in the background.  :-X

But I standby the comment that I  agree with Don, Kev and Negrita that the practice test questions should be allowed to discuss (provided that there are no legal implications). I have also seen these questions create interesting discussions (not just “a” is the answer) which go way beyond the question.



i'm not saying we shouldnt discuss a question or two (that's how we learn), but to take the attitude that I'm an IT guy i wont worry about the legality of things things is probably not the ethically correct road to go down. 

I'm gonna standy by my statement and you can stand by yours that the beauty of being your own person (and the internet), but sometimes you gotta call a spade a spade and go from there...(and that's not a racist comment)

me personally (and it just my opinion which doesnt mean anything to anyone but me), wouldnt take too much stock in anyone's certification if they came and told me that ALL THEY used was cheat exams to get it. 
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slimjim100

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Post Fri Nov 10, 2006 11:47 am

Re: Need Everyone's Feedback!!

Wow this thread is on fire! I agree with a little from each post but I think if you use the Cheat Sheets or other papers like them as your sole resource for perpetration you are just fooling yourself and will not last to long in IT. I do see a use for them as a small part of a study program if you have never taken a certification for a cretin vendor. I was a Cisco Instructor (Cisco Academy) and I did not support my students in using the cheat sheets as it dose not teach you anything but answers and some of the time the answer on them are not correct. In a forum I do believe you should be able to post questions and discuss them but you should not depend on others to answer questions for you. I guess it all comes down to how the question is posted and if the poster is trying to get help or free answers.

My 3.5 cents on this...


Slimjim100
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ethnet

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Post Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:21 pm

Re: Need Everyone's Feedback!!

IMHO, there will be no a breach of agreement if posted question was based on (possible official) study guide for the exam.

In case the question truly can be found in the real exam, authorized person should/can contact forum administrator any time and ask to exclude the question from the view.
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