Cyber Security Certification: GCUX

Cyber Security Certification: GCUX

The GIAC Certified Unix System Administrator (GCUX) certification validates a practitioner's knowledge of hardening Linux/Unix systems, Linux application security, and Linux/Unix digital forensics. GCUX certification holders have the knowledge, skills and abilities to secure and audit UNIX and Linux systems, and are able to use multiple tools to handle security issues, including SSH, AIDE, sudo, lsof, and many others.

Areas Covered

Who is GCUX for?



GIAC reserves the right to change the specifications for each certification without notice. Based on a scientific passing point study, the passing point for the GCUX exam has been determined to be 68% for all candidates receiving access to their certification attempts on or after October 9th, 2017. To verify the format and passing point of your specific certification attempt, read the Certification Information found in your account at


NOTE: All GIAC exams are delivered through proctored test centers and must be scheduled in advance.
GIAC certification attempts will be activated in your GIAC account after your application has been approved and according to the terms of your purchase. Details on delivery will be provided along with your registration confirmation upon payment. You will receive an email notification when your certification attempt has been activated in your account. You will have 120 days from the date of activation to complete your certification attempt. GIAC exams must be proctored through Pearson VUE. Please click the following link for instructions on How to Schedule Your GIAC Proctored Exam GIAC exams are delivered online through a standard web browser.

Exam Certification Objectives & Outcome Statements

The topic areas for each exam part follow:

The candidate will be able to demonstrate an understanding of how to securely setup and configure an Apache server
Best Practices for Kernel Tuning and Warning Banners
The candidate will demonstrate the ability to implement best-practice configurations for kernel parameters and warning banners.
Boot Services
The candidate will be able to demonstrate an understanding of disabling unnecessary services at boot time
The candidate will understand chroot() strengths and weaknesses, how to configure services in a chroot() environment and how to configure scponly with chroot().
The candidate will understand DNS and be able to implement best practices for secure BIND configuration.
The candidate will demonstrate a fundamental understanding of DNSSec and how it provides increased security over DNS.
Evidence Collection and Preservation
The candidate will demonstrate the ability to collect evidence from compromised hosts and maintain the chain of custody in a forensically sound manner.
Forensic Analysis
The candidate will demonstrate the ability to conduct rudimentary forensic analysis on images of compromised systems.
Forensic Preparation and Incident Handling
The candidate will demonstrate understanding of the IR process as well as preparations and planning especially where forensics is concerned.
Host Based Firewalls - iptables
The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of firewall configuration in general and basic iptables commands used to create a host based firewall.
OS Install and Patching
The candidate will demonstrate an under standing of secure OS installation options and patching techniques.
Physical, User Account, and Password Access Control
The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of physical security issues and fundamental user account/password security with respect to Linux/Unix systems.
Post-Exploitation and AIDE
The candidate will demonstrate the ability to configure AIDE and utilize it to detect post-exploitation activities and intrusions.
Se Linux
The candidate will demonstrate the ability to use basic SELinux commands understand how SELinux can be used to create and enforce a security policy
The candidate will be able to securely configure SSH to perform numerous Unix security/sysadmin tasks
Stack Smashing
The candidate will understand how traditional memory based attacks work.
The candidate will demonstrate the ability to configure sudo for access control in Linux/Unix environments.
The candidate will demonstrate the ability to configure a centralized logging server using syslog-ng.
Unix Logging
The candidate will understand how to configure logging features native to Unix environments.
Unix System Forensics
The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of the forensic process and fundamental forensic concepts as they apply to Unix systems.

*No Specific training is required for any GIAC certification. There are many sources of information available regarding the certification objectives' knowledge areas. Practical experience is an option; there are also numerous books on the market covering Computer Information Security. Another option is any relevant courses from training providers, including SANS.*

Other Resources