Teaching Viruses and Worms
Over two years ago, George Ledin wrote an essay in Communications of the ACM, where he advocated teaching worms and viruses to computer science majors:
Computer science students should learn to recognize, analyze, disable, and remove malware. To do so, they must study currently circulating viruses and worms, and program their own. Programming is to computer science what field training is to police work and clinical experience is to surgery. Reading a book is not enough. Why does industry hire convicted hackers as security consultants? Because we have failed to educate our majors.
This spring semester, he taught the course at Sonoma State University. It got a lot of press coverage.
No one wrote a virus for a class project. No new malware got into the wild. No new breed of supervillian graduated.
Teaching this stuff is just plain smart.
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