A ‘Breeding Ground’ for Next-Gen Hackers, Hacktivists and Cyber-Criminals makes for Nervous Academics?
By Martin Roots
The latest development on the BSc Information Security and Forensic Computing (ISFC) degree at Anglia Ruskin University Cambridge has academics and others feeling just a bit nervous! ISFC students are forming a SIG which will be used as a platform for some very up-to-date ‘subject research’. Topics introduced so far include TOR and steganography.
Although I joined Incoming Thought in September I am still lecturing part time. It’s fun, the students are great, the subjects and research I deal with are in my ‘passion list’ plus I don’t get bogged down in the box-ticking anymore. As part of my lecturing role I have encouraged my students (from all three years) to start up what’s best described as a ‘White Hat’ Society. They’ve embraced the idea fully and are already ‘informally’ sharing stuff they find (the latest being a steganography tool you only need DOS to develop!)
I’m really excited by the idea of this Society, it will be really good fun, will supplement the ‘learning’ and bring yet more ‘real world’ to the classroom. BUT I have several very concerned colleagues.
The idea of developing a hornets’ nest of bright young minds, all assumed to be bent on criminal and technological destruction of the modern world is making them nervous.
Personally I expect these students to be just what the IT security world will want to employ. They will not only have the technological foundation of the subject but will have real insight into current weaknesses being exploited and future trends. I also add here knowledge of the Computer Misuse Act as well as professional and social Issues (just to allay any early ethical comments).
I’d be interested to hear people’s views, have suggestions of topics, software, case studies etc. Also, I’m looking for informed people who would like to come along and meet the students, bring in their own expertise and contribute to our industry’s future employment pool.
Happy to consider offers of all sorts from anyone who believes they have something to give.