Visible to the public Gathering Insights from Teenagers’ Hacking Experience with Authentic Cybersecurity Tools

TitleGathering Insights from Teenagers’ Hacking Experience with Authentic Cybersecurity Tools
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsŠvábenský, V., Vykopal, J.
Conference Name2018 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE)
Date PublishedOct. 2018
ISBN Number978-1-5386-1174-6
Keywordsactive learning, authentic cybersecurity, computer aided instruction, Computer crime, Conferences, cyber physical systems, cybersecurity education, cybersecurity game, cybersecurity tools, Education, further education, Games, Hacking, Penetration Testing, privacy, professional game, program testing, pubcrawl, realistic virtual network infrastructure, science-popularizing program, serious games (computing), Tools

This Work-In-Progress Paper for the Innovative Practice Category presents a novel experiment in active learning of cybersecurity. We introduced a new workshop on hacking for an existing science-popularizing program at our university. The workshop participants, 28 teenagers, played a cybersecurity game designed for training undergraduates and professionals in penetration testing. Unlike in learning environments that are simplified for young learners, the game features a realistic virtual network infrastructure. This allows exploring security tools in an authentic scenario, which is complemented by a background story. Our research aim is to examine how young players approach using cybersecurity tools by interacting with the professional game. A preliminary analysis of the game session showed several challenges that the workshop participants faced. Nevertheless, they reported learning about security tools and exploits, and 61% of them reported wanting to learn more about cybersecurity after the workshop. Our results support the notion that young learners should be allowed more hands-on experience with security topics, both in formal education and informal extracurricular events.

Citation Keysvabensky_gathering_2018