Majoring in cyberwar

It had to happen: now you can major in cyberwarfare.  As reported in today’s Los Angeles Times, “stalking is part of the curriculum in the Cyber Corps, an unusual two-year program at the University of Tulsa that teaches students how to spy in cyberspace, the latest frontier in espionage.

“Students learn not only how to rifle through trash, sneak a tracking device on cars and plant false information on Facebook. They also are taught to write computer viruses, hack digital networks, crack passwords, plant listening devices and mine data from broken cellphones and flash drives.

“It may sound like a Jason Bourne movie, but the little-known program has funneled most of its graduates to the CIA and the Pentagon’s National Security Agency, which conducts America’s digital spying. Other graduates have taken positions with the FBI, NASA and the Department of Homeland Security.

“The need for stronger cyber-defense — and offense — was highlighted when Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta warned in an Oct. 11 speech that a “a cyber-terrorist attack could paralyze the nation,” and that America needs experts to tackle the growing threat.

“’An aggressor nation or extremist group could gain control of critical switches and derail passenger trains, or trains loaded with lethal chemicals,’’ Panetta said. ‘They could contaminate the water supply in major cities, or shut down the power grid across large parts of the country.’

“Panetta said the Pentagon spends more than $3 billion annually for cyber-security. ‘Our most important investment is in skilled cyber-warriors needed to conduct operations in cyberspace,’ he said.


See full story in the Los Angeles Times, “Cyber Corps program trains spies for the digital age.

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