Security Corner

Jul 16 2009   8:28PM GMT

Hacker HighSchool is a Great Idea!

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

Steve Gibson of Spinrite and Security Now! podcast fame talked about Hacker HighSchool in his most recent Security Now! episode 204. What a great idea! I checked out the site and here’s what I found:

The Hacker Highschool project is the development of license-free security and privacy awareness teaching materials and back-end support for teachers of elementary, junior high, and high school students.

Today’s kids and teens are in a world with major communication and productivity channels open to them and they don’t have the knowledge to defend themselves against the fraud, identity theft, privacy leaks and other attacks made against them just for using the Internet. This is the reason for Hacker Highschool.

In HHS, you will find lessons on utilizing Internet resources safely such as web privacy, chat protection, viruses and trojans (malware), and the over-all focus on how to recognize security problems on your computer. All lessons work with a free “live linux” CD which will boot off any PC with a CD-rom drive to perform the lessons. HHS is a great supplement to student course work or as part of after-school and club activities.

I checked out some of the lesson transcripts and I have to say that I plan to do them all myself. This is great stuff and while I’m no slacker at being a hacker, there’s a lot of great information to be had. Not only that, but I think it’ll be fun to pretend that I’m 16 in this day and age.

The first lesson (they’re in PDF format on the website) is aptly titled “Being A Hacker” and the first paragraph of the lesson starts out with this:

This lesson is about how to learn – a critical skill for a hacker.  Hacking, in reality, is a creative process that is based more on lifestyle than lesson. We can’t teach you everything that you need to know, but we can  help you recognize what you need to learn.  This is also true due to the constant advances in the computer sciences.

They go on to say that hacking is a life skill that can be applied to other fields, too.

I suggest you check it out for yourself and if you have teenagers still at home, get them going on these things ASAP.

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