Computer Crime Research Center


First university course of hacking

Date: June 22, 2006

The first university course of its sort is to be launched in the UK by the University of Abertay, Dundee. The course will comprise of lessons teaching students methods to break into the most sophisticated computer networks across the World; and thus how they can protect the networks of their own companies from such attacks.

The premise behind this course is that to catch a thief one must become a thief; obviously this is not to be taken to literally. For this reason all applicants to the government-accredited "ethical hacker" course will be thoroughly vetted by the Home Office and Foreign Office, to ensure that anyone who may be tempted to put their skills to criminal use is weeded out. The students will also be closely monitored to ensure that they stay the correct side of the law.

Last year hacking accounted for 10 billion of damage to British firms, and there is scope for it to be used as part of a terrorist attack. This could be seen as enough evidence that training a small proportion of Britain's students in the art of computer hacking and thus preventative techniques is a worthwhile pursuit.

Professor Lachlan MacKinnon, head of Abertay's school of computing and creative technologies commented that "The technology exists to allow the things that happened to Will Smith in Enemy of the State to happen to you." He later added that if a hacker could acquire passwords and personal information even systems run by the military, banks and other high-profile organisations were at high risk of being exploited.
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2006-06-26 08:28:10 - Not the first such course by a long way.... Fred Cohen
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