HacKnowledge Course Helps High School Students Build Cybersecurity Skills

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Senior Geri Madanguit works with high school students during the HacKnowledge Summer College program.

High school students in the HacKnowledge Summer College program at the School of Information Studies (iSchool) spent the past two weeks learning about current issues in the cybersecurity world, and how to defend against them.

Led by iSchool assistant professor of practice Bahram Attaie, the course included a mix of lectures, hands-on lessons, and input from student members of the iSchool’s own Information Security Club. All of the classroom learning led to an end-of-session hackathon on Friday, July 28, where students put their knowledge to the test and participated in a challenge similar to one that college and university students compete in when they attend a Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC).

“We fashioned the hackathon after a college competition that we have brought iSchool students to for the past several years,” explained Attaie. “CCDC is a defensive competition, where the teams defend their systems against hackers who are trying to interrupt or break in. 

“They’re going to take the skills that they learned in the two weeks that we’ve been teaching them,” said Geri Madanguit, a senior in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, who served as a teaching assistant for the course. “Skills around cybersecurity, ethical hacking, malware, viruses, digital forensics, and social engineering, and applying what they learned to defend their systems.”

“We’re trying to essentially create the next generation of cybersecurity warriors,” Attaie emphasized.

Video: HacKnowledge Builds Cybersecurity Skills