In Berkeley’s ‘Cyberwar’ class, college students develop into hackers

A brand new class on the College of California, Berkeley, is coaching college students to hack.

The category, known as Cyberwar, teaches its 80 college students methods to discover safety flaws within the apps and web sites folks use on daily basis.

“I principally targeted on authorities web sites, particularly voter registration web sites,” stated Vy-An Phan, a junior finding out electrical engineering and pc science who’s enrolled within the class.

Throughout class assignments, she found vulnerabilities in no less than 5 websites that might doubtlessly be used to trick somebody into registering incorrectly.

“What I discovered was state web sites and native web sites had been normally extraordinarily poorly run,” she advised CNN Tech. “If I can discover [bugs], actually another person can.”

Twice every week, college students pour into Berkeley’s Hewlett Packard auditorium to find out how nation-state actors and cybercriminals hack into pc techniques. By studying their strategies, they will be taught to try to cease them.

Along with authorities websites, college students have additionally uncovered vulnerabilities in varied apps, together with from one a financial institution and buying websites. One scholar made $100 after reporting a bug to the corporate.

Related: Malware researcher helps teen hackers turn skills into careers

Doug Tygar, the pc science professor who teaches the category, calls it an experiment.

“The aim is to coach college students to construct tremendous safe techniques,” Tygar advised CNN Tech after a category. “However with the intention to try this, they’ve to have the ability to assume like a hacker.”

The category works with HackerOne, a hacker-for-hire platform. Each bug a scholar finds is reported to the corporate or group the place it was discovered. Firms on the HackerOne platform pay hackers who discover bugs of their techniques. Most college students goal the businesses that use the platform.

College students additionally hear lectures and attend occasions hosted in partnership with HackerOne to be taught from skilled hackers.

Related: Hackers will work with government, academia to make future elections secure

“Until you will have the talent of having the ability to assume like a hacker, you are not going to have the ability to construct safe techniques,” Tygar stated.

The Cyberwar class will not be supplied subsequent semester, however Tygar plans to show it once more sooner or later. And he intends to vary the title.

In the meantime, Ted Kramer, chief of employees at HackerOne, stated the corporate needs to carry this system to extra campuses.

The category may assist put together college students for future employment. In line with a report from Cybersecurity Ventures, there will likely be three.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs worldwide by 2021.

Phan in the end needs a job in safety testing to assist firms hold apps, web sites and infrastructure safe.

“I discover it far more rewarding than being a developer,” she stated.

CNNMoney (San Francisco) First revealed December 1, 2017: 1:51 PM ET

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