Have you often wondered how design information or knowledge can be extracted from a man-made machine like computers? The process that aids in this type of extraction is called reverse engineering. Today, it is more often applied to extraction of malware or reversing a suspected malware attack. This is done primarily to facilitate the identification as well as removal of malware or any virus that can cause damage to information or lead to data loss. If this area of specialized work interests you then the Certified Reverse Engineering Analyst (CREA) program is the perfect way for you to advance your professional career.
Although, reverse engineering is currently being employed in the IT industry, the origins can be traced back to analysis of special hardware built for military or commercial advantage. The important thing to understand is that the process of reverse engineering is not about removing a malware or changing an artifact or program but about analysis of the situation, for example a virus or malware attack. Some other uses of reverse engineering include cracking or removal of copy protection, security auditing, customizing embedded systems like engine management systems, circumvention of access restrictions, and enabling specific features on low-cost or crippled hardware like graphics card chip set among others.
Why CREA is so popular
The CREA is a certified program that focuses on the reverse engineering of malware. The highlight of the Certified Reverse Engineering Analyst program is that it helps in building strong practical skills and imparts conceptual knowledge regarding the various facets of reverse engineering. It provides in-depth knowledge in areas including performing behavioral analysis of malicious Windows executables, malware reversing, IA-32 assembly language, OllyDbg, IDA Pro, Dumpbin, HiEW, repair of compacted and packed binaries, PE File header, and using system level reversing among others. CREA certification plays an important role when it comes to getting hired as the certification demonstrates the fact that you possess expert skills and theoretical knowledge in reverse engineering.
Average Pay after CREA Certification
Once you have successfully completed the Certified Reverse Engineering Analyst (CREA) program, you will be able to draw an average annual salary of $84,000.
Those who have successfully completed the Certified Reverse Engineering Analyst (CREA) program typically earn an average salary of around $84,000 as you can see from the graph below. The national salary trend for CREA professionals took a bit of a dive in April of 2013, but has since been on the rise, peaking in April 2014.
The entry level job titles for a Certified Reverse Engineering Analyst include Malware analyst, reverse engineer, cyber security research engineer, and threat analysis engineer among others. The mid and senior level designations for CREA certified professionals include senior malware reverse engineer, high assurance enclave analyst, incident response malware analyst, binary research analyst, and senior information security analyst among others.
What sets CREA certification apart from other reverse engineering certifications?
The Certified Reverse Engineering Analyst (CREA) created by the Information Assurance Certification Review Board (IACRB) focuses on ensuring that professionals have the necessary hands-on skills required to perform their job. It is one of the most popular programs for malware reverse engineer certification. Some of the key areas that CREA program focuses on include:
- In-depth understanding of the behavioural patterns of malware
- Theoretical knowledge of general function as well as functionality of a malware
- Creation, modification, and access to files and registry keys
- Local system interaction
- Focus on Network behaviour including access to domains, hosts, and IP addresses
- Emphasis on the means and method of communication
- Local system and time dependant features
- Propagation methodology and original infection vector
- Practical skills of working with encryption for communication and storage
- Learning to use encrypted or self modifying code
- Compiling and analyzing information related to development of malware like country of origin, compiler type, handles and much more.
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