Using Science Fiction to Teach Computer Security
Interesting paper: “Science Fiction Prototyping and Security Education: Cultivating Contextual and Societal Thinking in Computer Security Education and Beyond,” by Tadayoshi Kohno and Brian David Johnson.
Abstract: Computer security courses typically cover a breadth of technical topics, including threat modeling, applied cryptography, software security, and Web security. The technical artifacts of computer systems—and their associated computer security risks and defenses—do not exist in isolation, however; rather, these systems interact intimately with the needs, beliefs, and values of people. This is especially true as computers become more pervasive, embedding themselves not only into laptops, desktops, and the Web, but also into our cars, medical devices, and toys. Therefore, in addition to the standard technical material, we argue that students would benefit from developing a mindset focused on the broader societal and contextual issues surrounding computer security systems and risks. We used science fiction (SF) prototyping to facilitate such societal and contextual thinking in a recent undergraduate computer security course. We report on our approach and experiences here, as well as our recommendations for future computer security and other computer science courses.