Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Iran Wants to Teach Hacking

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

Iran has announced that courses in computer hacking will be added to their senior high school curriculum. The Iranians want to enlist high school students to hack foreign drones. I kid you not.

The announcement came from FARS, a semi official media outlet that is the voice of the Iranian Republican Guard Corp (IRGC).

General Ali Fazali the acting commander of the Basij militia gave the course a name. He explained that the new study is to be called Defensive Readiness.

A major component of the curriculum already exists. It is called civil defense training and is taught through a manual. The manual will now have to be updated to incorporate the hacking.

"This year," said General Fazali, "we will witness changes in the contents, teachers and teaching hours of the defensive preparedness lesson."

This is a brilliant plan by the Iranians. But it will most certainly backfire.
Once you give students the skills to hack they will not stop at drones - they will attack anything and everything that they dislike. And they probably dislike the government more than they dislike drones.

In the end, only a handful of students will gain the skills.

Hacking cannot be taught. Actually, the opposite. Hacking is about turning everything you were taught upside down. Hacking is about knowing a computer system inside and out and then finding its flaws. Hacking is about finding holes and backdoors that give you access. Hacking is about ingenuity, it is about combining linear and circular reasoning and thought and trial and error. Hacking requires patience, a lot of patience.

Some talented youthful Iranians will be able to hack - but not from a manual and not from a teacher in a class in an Iranian high school.


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