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Students to hack hardware, software and data to build security skills

Come fall, students at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland State University will begin hacking computers—for credit.

Each university is offering the first of three courses in a new curriculum in which engineering and computer science students will learn how to break into — and then protect — hardware, software and data. The goal is for students to understand how they can then protect their own, or their employer’s, computers from viruses, phishing attacks, so-called Trojan horses and other cyber attacks.

“We’re doing a lot of computer security research, but we’ve failed in the need to educate and train students — the future users, developers and controllers of these systems,” said Swarup Bhunia, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Case Western Reserve, who will teach the hardware security class here.

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