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Stolen Tests Threaten IT Certifications

If you've scoped out storage IT certifications lately and are ready to take action in getting one or two, think about this: That certification could cost you your job.

In response to our recent feature on IT certification, a range of sources emerged with alarming news: A number of Websites are coming under fire for reportedly snaring customers into certification training that isn't authorized. As a result, some of these sites have been disgraced, and the certifications they offered revoked.

Called "braindumps," these sites are active businesses that often guarantee candidates a passing grade on certification tests on the first try. Trouble is, their materials are based on copies of tests or test answers stolen from vendors like EMC, HP, IBM, Microsoft, and VMware. Even SNIA certification materials are for sale on braindump sites.

In other, even shadier instances, so-called gunmen or hired hands will take tests for a fee simply in order to get the questions. Others, called cheaters, will sell test answers on eBay, or they'll volunteer as proxy test takers to take tests in place of a candidate seeking certification.

"Certification vendors, such as those you also mention in your article, have become increasingly aware of the problems those braindump sites are causing in the industry. Because of the problems caused, the vendors have started taking serious action against those illicit sites and are working towards having their content removed," wrote Robert Williams, CEO of CertGuard, in an email to Byte and Switch this week.

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