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June 19, 2014

CSU, Case offer first hacking classes for protection

By Dan Levindofske

Cleveland State University and Case Western Reserve University will begin offering cybersecurity courses this fall as part of a new cybersecurity curriculum for undergraduates.

The first course offered will teach engineering and computer science students to hack into computer hardware, software and data as a means to protect them.
By learning hacking skills, students will be able to create new threats and learn how to protect computers against them.

The cybersecurity curriculum is one of the first cybersecurity education programs available for undergraduates in the country.

There are also graduate cybersecurity courses being devised as well.
In the meantime, graduate students will be able to enroll in the undergraduate course as a 400 and 500-level course.

The courses being offered were developed by Dr. Sanchita Mal-Sarkar, an associate lecturer of computer and information science at Cleveland State.

Dr. Chansu Yu, Cleveland State chair of electrical and computer engineering and Dr. Swarup Bhunia, Case Western Reserve associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science, helped Mal-Sarkar develop these courses.

Researchers were awarded $200,000 in grants from the National Science Foundation to create and support the cybersecurity courses.

The joint project between Cleveland State and Case will be available to both Engineering and Computer and Information Sciences (CIS) students.

The students will team up into separate groups to work on the projects, learning to either hack or protect computers through hands-on experience.

“The curriculum is comprehensive and uses a hands-on teaching approach,” said Mal-Sarkar.

Cleveland State will determine whether or not it will continue to offer the cybersecurity course in the future based on its success in the fall.