Students will be introduced to computer network basics and the function and importance of existing security features. Dangers prevailing in local networks or in the internet will be pointed out, emphasizing the necessity of proactive security measures. Not least, the course provides ethic orientation for young people overly excited by hacking adventures, and may help directing their skillful activities towards more constructive goals.
Using laptop computers, network hardware and network simulation software, the structure and function of local networks as well as their interaction with the internet are studied. Topics include:
- Function of various hardware components
- Communication structures and transfer protocols from physical to software layers (OSI model)
- Typical services such as DHCP or DNS
Within XLAB‘s experimental network, participants examine and compare secure and insecure communication methods in the World Wide Web, e.g. the https protocol, which replaces the well-known and unencrypted http in home banking and other sensitive areas. Exercises in password security: client-server logon requires exchange of authentication information. In any school network, hundreds or thousands of passwords are used. Authentication information is admittedly encrypted before transfer, but if user passwords are not sufficiently complex, they can be attacked by just anyone with easy-to-use software found in the internet. Those who have studied such a scenario in an experimental situation, which includes the deciphering of a “real” password within a few minutes, will probably select their passwords more carefully in the future.
Duration: 3-8 hours
Recommended: grade 10-13