Thinking about Cybersecurity: From Cyber Crime to Cyber Warfare

Course No. 9523
Professor Paul Rosenzweig, JD
The George Washington University Law School
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Course No. 9523
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Course Overview

Cyberspace is the 21st century's greatest engine of change. And it's everywhere. Telecommunications, commercial and financial systems, government operations, food production - virtually every aspect of global civilization now depends on interconnected cyber systems to operate; systems that have helped advance medicine, streamline everyday commerce, and so much more. Which makes keeping these systems safe from threat one of the most pressing problems we face.

There are billions of Internet users connected to one another, and every minute, these parties create mind-boggling amounts of new information and data. Yet because cyberspace is so vast, flexible, and unregulated (and because it grows in leaps and bounds every year), all these users are highly vulnerable to dangers from cyber criminals, rogue nation-states, and other outside forces.

Just how important an issue is cybersecurity? Consider these points:

  • Every minute, individuals and organizations hack multiple websites around the world.
  • Each year, experts discover millions of new pieces of malware designed to illegally tamper with computer systems.
  • Yearly, cyber crime leads to astounding global monetary losses of billions and billions of dollars.
  • In just a single year, millions of people will find themselves the victims of cyber identity fraud.

Public policymakers and technology experts agree: Cybersecurity and the issues associated with it will affect everyone on the planet in some way. That means the more you know about this hot-button topic, the better prepared you'll be to protect yourself, to weigh in on the political and ethical issues involved, and to understand new threats (and new solutions) as they emerge.

Thinking about Cybersecurity: From Cyber Crime to Cyber Warfare is your guide to understanding the intricate nature of this pressing subject. Delivered by cybersecurity expert and professor Paul Rosenzweig of The George Washington University Law School, these 18 engaging lectures will open your eyes to the structure of the Internet, the unique dangers it breeds, and the ways we're learning how to understand, manage, and reduce these dangers. Combining an expert lecturer with a fascinating topic, this course is a riveting learning experience that immerses you in the invisible world of codes, computer viruses, and digital espionage, and offers an enthralling look at the high-stakes battles of tomorrow.

Explore the Range of Cyber Threats Out There

Thinking about Cybersecurity is laid out in a clear, systematic fashion so that you never feel overwhelmed by a topic that can seem mindboggling. Professor Rosenzweig starts by giving you a solid foundation of how the Internet and cyberspace are built, why cyber systems work the way they do, and how technical experts and scientists have attempted to "map" them out.

From there, you'll take a comprehensive look at the different types of viruses and vulnerabilities infecting the cyber domain and interfering with both technology and the real aspects of life that technology supports. You'll explore an entire cyber arsenal of threats both large and small, including:

  • spiders, automated programs that crawl around the Internet and harvest personal data;
  • keystroke loggers, programs that actually capture the keystrokes entered on a computer's keyboard; and
  • advanced persistent threats, which intrude into computer systems for long periods of time and make computers vulnerable to continuous monitoring.

And those are only a few. Using case studies drawn straight from contemporary headlines, Professor Rosenzweig gives you a solid grasp of who in cyberspace is using these and other weapons - individual hackers, "hacktivists," crime syndicates, and, increasingly, large nations - and what their motivations are for doing so.

Probe Intriguing Cybersecurity Issues

While we can never completely protect cyberspace from threat, we are far from helpless. Thinking about Cybersecurity focuses on some of the high-tech methods corporations and governments are developing and using to find cyber threats, protect themselves from future attacks, track down perpetrators, and stave off the threat of all-out cyber war.

But you'll also go deeper than that. You'll examine the intricate law and policy issues involved in dealing with these threats.

  • How do government constitutions both protect civil liberties and limit the ability of people to protect themselves?
  • How should privacy be defined in a modern world where personal data can now be tracked and shared?
  • Should cyber warfare follow the same rules of armed conflict that exist on the physical battlefield, or do we need to come up with new ethics and rules?

In addition, you'll get a chance to place everything you've learned about cybersecurity in the context of everyday life. Professor Rosenzweig offers sensible tips on how best to protect yourself, your network, or your business from attack or data loss.

Understand, Manage, and Reduce Your Risks

Central to Thinking about Cybersecurity is Professor Rosenzweig's expertise in this relatively new field. As a former deputy assistant secretary for policy in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, an author of noted books on cyberspace and national security, and a frequent lecturer on cybersecurity law and policy, he is the perfect guide for a journey deep into the heart of this all-important subject.

Accompanying his informative lectures are a wealth of dynamic green-screen effects, 3-D animations, and other visual tools that help you understand:

  • theoretical views of cyberspace,
  • how information spreads around the world,
  • how viruses attack computer systems, and
  • how special tools and programs block those attacks.

By actually immersing you in the cyber world, the green-screen sequences in particular make learning about cybersecurity more engaging and visually accessible than anything you could find in a textbook.

Professor Rosenzweig takes care to emphasize throughout Thinking about Cybersecurity that the situation is never hopeless, despite the seriousness of cybersecurity threats and the rapidly evolving challenges they present. "Internet openness brings risks and dangers that cannot be eliminated," he notes. "But they are risks that can be understood, managed, and reduced. By the end of this course, you'll have a greater appreciation for what governments and individuals are doing - and can do - to reduce these risks."

The views expressed in this course are those of the professor and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

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18 lectures
 |  Average 32 minutes each
  • 1
    Stuxnet—The First Cyber Guided Missile
    Your introduction to the fascinating—and fascinatingly dangerous—world of cybersecurity begins with the story of “Stuxnet.” Learn how this unique piece of malware, which shut down a uranium enrichment facility in Iran, signaled the dawn of a new age in which viruses and other cyber threats can manipulate the physical world. x
  • 2
    The Incredible Scope of Cyberspace
    What makes the Internet so vulnerable is its ability to connect, and to be connected to, anyone and almost anything. Here, explore how cyberspace works. You’ll learn what goes on behind the scenes of a simple Internet search, how a simple TCP/IP system functions, the five layers of connections that make up a conceptual “map” of cyberspace, and more. x
  • 3
    The Five Gateways of Internet Vulnerability
    Take a closer look at the cyber domain’s inherent vulnerability to cyber threats. Professor Rosenzweig explains the five key gateways to this vulnerability, including the Internet’s ability to destroy time and space; allow users to act in ways they can’t in the physical world; and operate without international boundaries. x
  • 4
    Of Viruses, Botnets, and Logic Bombs
    Learn about some of the most dangerous ways people can exploit the Internet’s vulnerabilities, including DDoS attacks (which flood websites with connection requests), “Trojans” (malware hidden inside an innocent piece of information), and “botnets” (which control computers like puppets). Then, investigate some common defense mechanisms that help pinpoint and capture these threats. x
  • 5
    The Problem of Identity on the Network
    Identification is perhaps the single most profound challenge for cybersecurity today. In this lecture, delve into the question of network anonymity and identity. Who maintains domain names? How can people obscure their identities for malicious purposes? How are network designers fighting back against this threat? What are the ethical problems involved in this issue? x
  • 6
    Cyber Fraud, Theft, and Organized Crime
    Professor Rosenzweig leads you on an examination of all-too-common instances of cybercrime that involve fraud and identity theft. You’ll encounter crimes that mimic real-world ones (with a computer as the “weapon”) and “computer crimes” that are only possible in the cyber world. Then, find out how law enforcement authorities are fighting back against organized, international cyber criminals. x
  • 7
    Hacktivists and Insurgency
    Enter the netherworld of hacktivism, or the use of computer hacking methods to stage protests and make political statements. In this lecture, learn to identify and distinguish the “good guys” from the “bad guys” by exploring real-world examples that illustrate the three major types of hacktivists: political activists, cyber insurgents, and mischief makers. x
  • 8
    Nations at Cyber War
    Turn now to the highest level of cyber conflict: a cyber war between nation-states. What is meant by the term “cyber war”? How does one fight a battle in cyberspace? What do the enemies look like? Do traditional international rules of armed conflict apply? How do we counter such an attack—and should we? x
  • 9
    Government Regulation of Cyberspace
    Join the debate about government regulation of cyberspace with this lecture that considers both sides of the issue. By looking at the debate in America over government oversight of cybersecurity (and whether we even need it at all), you’ll be better informed about a topic that has serious ramifications for how you use the Internet. x
  • 10
    International Governance and the Internet
    Continue exploring rules and regulations about the Internet, this time on the international level. First, Professor Rosenzweig discusses existing Internet governance and the dynamics leading to change. Then, he assesses some of the barriers to effective international governance of the Internet. Is the current structure, with all of its flaws, better than the alternatives? x
  • 11
    The Constitution and Cyberspace
    Return to American policies on cybersecurity, this time focusing on the idea of government monitoring of the Internet. Start by learning all about how on-network monitoring systems work. After that, step back and examine how government monitoring is enforced and limited—but not prohibited—by the Constitution. x
  • 12
    Big Data—“They” Know Everything about You
    In the first of two lectures on personal data tracking and privacy, ponder the problem of “Big Data”—where your Internet searches can be tracked, your cellphone can broadcast your geographical location instantly, and your online purchases can be catalogued. It’s a frightening aspect of cybersecurity, and one that, unfortunately, is here to stay. x
  • 13
    Privacy for the Cyber Age
    It appears our current conceptions of privacy in cyberspace will disappear. So what can we do about it? By exploring how the government and private sector use “Big Data”—and how “Big Data” can keep the government honest—you’ll discover insights into how we can evolve our privacy laws while embracing new technologies. x
  • 14
    Listening In and Going Dark
    Learn how encryption and wiretapping work in cyberspace, and how both methods are becoming increasingly frustrating for law enforcement and national security officials. This “going dark” phenomenon, as you’ll find in this eye-opening discussion, brings benefits and causes problems—and the solutions seem to bring problems of their own. x
  • 15
    The Devil in the Chips—Hardware Failures
    Hardware-based threats are one of the most vexing problems in the entire cybersecurity domain. How do we know that our machines will actually do what we tell them to do? Why is compromised hardware such a critical threat to cybersecurity? What are some possible solutions for dangers hidden in computer chips? x
  • 16
    Protecting Yourself in Cyberspace
    Get practical tips on how to reduce your own risk of danger online in your professional and personal life. You’ll find out how to choose the most effective passwords, how to set up the most effective personal computer security systems, how to encrypt and erase personal data and documents, and much more. x
  • 17
    Critical Infrastructure and Resiliency
    Take an alternate approach to cybersecurity, this time focusing on resiliency and recovery. There may be good reason to think that creating a system that isn’t immune to failure but is less likely to be attacked—and better able to operate even while under attack—is the best course of action. x
  • 18
    Looking Forward—What Does the Future Hold?
    Finish the course with a helpful summary of the main issues and arguments involved in the current state of cybersecurity throughout the world. Then, take an intriguing peek into the future to explore possible—and even radical—new developments that may shape this powerful and important topic for years to come. x

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  • 18 lectures on 3 DVDs
  • 160-page printed course guidebook
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Your professor

Paul Rosenzweig

About Your Professor

Paul Rosenzweig, JD
The George Washington University Law School
Paul Rosenzweig is a Professorial Lecturer in Law at The George Washington University Law School. He earned his JD from the University of Chicago Law School and then served as a law clerk to the Honorable R. Lanier Anderson III of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He was chosen as the 15th annual Sommerfeld Lecturer at The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School and was awarded a Carnegie...
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Thinking about Cybersecurity: From Cyber Crime to Cyber Warfare is rated 4.4 out of 5 by 82.
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Needs update Needs catching up with 2018. Should be removed for sale until that happens
Date published: 2018-02-14
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Ir is not a good idea I woold like to take a course to give me the tools to resolve problems and not only tell me something I all ready now.
Date published: 2018-02-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Review of Cyber Security Course Certainly this was a very professionally presented course, with excellent content and delivery. My only fault with it is that it’s five years old. I wasn’t aware of this when I purchased the course. While some of the content is not time sensitive, certain referenced codes are. I’m wondering if there are updates available on this course?
Date published: 2018-01-26
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Slick salesman trying to pormote other ventures This is the first great course that has truly disappointed. This felt more like a guy going on the talk show circuit promoting himself and his other ventures rather than an academic course at the undergraduate level.
Date published: 2018-01-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Enlightening Comprehensive, enlightening, well presented, clear easy to understand for such a technical topic
Date published: 2017-10-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Needs Update Some of the material, especially the specific defensive measures in lecture 16, is hopelessly out of date. Otherwise, there is plenty of food for thought in this course. Some treatment of electromagnetic pulse effects and defensive measures should be given, as that is a real threat that attacks our reliance on cyberspace. Cyberspace relies on a vulnerable physical infrastructure that is subject to physical attack from Pakistan, Iran, Democratic Korea, Israel, Russia, Europe, UK, China, India, Zimbabwe, and sub-state actors with nuclear weaponry and appropriate space launch capability.
Date published: 2017-10-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very informative! Showed me how vulnerable we are in cyberspace. Learn a lot. Beaucoup information about internet etc I will have to read it again
Date published: 2017-10-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great presenter; ludicrous sound effects I find this lecturer exceptional; his course on 'The Surveillance State' is really good. This one on cyber-security is also good but spoilt by a series of odd noises cause any time there is a heading presented to the screen. These ludicrous noises reminds me of a Presentation Course I did - there a point was made that just because a feature of the software is there does not necessarily mean it needs to be used, if it is overused it is a symptom of an 'amateur' or novice developer. This course is a supreme example of this where the feature is used to excess and becomes irritating. This course should really be 5 stars; with these intrusive noises it would have been. Remember the KISS (Keep It Simple) Principle.
Date published: 2017-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from this was great however, I bought other courses and was soon shut out. I am to say the least quite mad!!!!!!!!!!!
Date published: 2017-08-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This course is for all who use the internet The internet is the new world we live in. Whether one just uses the internet for simple email plus some commerce or if one includes the whole "social media dance", the predators are there looking for the distracted and/or the weak. To survive and thrive one must adapt to this new world. Prior to taking this course my goal was 100% protection for my ID and assets. I now know that is not possible. The best defense seems to be a low personal profile on the internet bolstered by assets that are distributed across separate accounts, each locked by a strong password. I guess my most vivid analogy of today's world is the plains in Africa where an antelope in its herd must disappear into the crowd and, above all else, must not display a weakness that singles it out from the herd and allows the predators to perceive and pursue a good meal. Excellent and timely course delivered by a professor who has been there.
Date published: 2017-08-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from OK For Information Purposes ! This course focusses on all the things that can go wrong with the use of public internet, while only giving a small sample of protective measures. If you are not a gifted hacker, this course will not help you much towards cybersecurity, it will only make you realize the mess you are in ! 'The great courses' does not seem to have any courses that would help increase your knowledge of computer sciences !!!
Date published: 2017-08-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An interesting overview of policy issues I expected this to be more technical. Instead, the course focused on an interesting range of governmental policy issues. I appreciated that as a less often seen approach to the topic. The presentation was exceptionally clear and structured, and concise.
Date published: 2017-07-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Introduction Course This was a great course for a beginner like me just learning the history and basics of cybersecurity. I did it all in a few days because I didn't want to stop. Well done! Can't wait for more.
Date published: 2017-05-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Needs Updating! Major topical events have occurred in recent years which are completely absent from this course published in 2013. Do not buy this course, but wait for a more inclusive, updated version. There is no discussion of major security breaches exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden nor the subsequent legislation that was enacted because of his revelations. There is no significant discussion of Wikileaks, Chelsea Manning, Bill Binney, violations of public trust and U.S. Constitution by government agencies such as the N.S.A. There is no mention of N.S.A. director James Clapper's lying under oath before Congress to protect clandestine, illegal operations. Collusion between private companies and government spying programs is given little to no attention, even though it undermines the privacy and security of millions. The issues Paul Rosenzweig raises are presented at the level of a PBS special that flatters the audience into thinking they now grasp an issue and can make up their own minds about it without providing substantial in-depth analysis or problem resolution. Granted, the presenter is a law professor, not a technologist, but even there you can expect only a glancing overview from this course rather than great or masterful applications of jurisprudence to new conditions. Short version: Wait for a better, more inclusive, up-to-date version of the course.
Date published: 2017-03-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Scary Professor Rosenzweig introduces the concept of security in the Internet and personal computing. He discusses various threats from nation-state intrusions to organized crime to phishing and even to commercial misuse. He discusses the vulnerabilities of the Internet including both browsing and other activities such as email, the vulnerability of both wireless and hard-wired telecommunications, and even the vulnerability of hardware such as microchips (which I found particularly chilling). I listened to The Surveillance State: Big Data, Freedom, and You (also by Professor Rosenzweig) before I listened to this course even through this course was produced first. There was a great deal of overlap. Not only did Professor Rosenzweig repeat a lot of anecdotes but he even seemed to cut and paste entire paragraphs virtually (pardon the expression) verbatim. I found this annoying but not a fatal flaw. One major difference between the two courses was Lecture 17 in this course, which addresses how each individual user (like you and me) can improve our own computer security posture. I highly recommend this lecture to all TGC customers. This course is useful for any person who uses computers for more than, say, email. Thus, it is a good course for just about every TGC customer. However, it may not be necessary to take both this course and also The Surveillance State course; the latter would provide additional value primarily for those interested in legal aspects of cyberspace. Professor Rosenzweig is an engaging speaker, easy to follow. This course works quite well in audio format.
Date published: 2017-03-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My Favorite Great Lecturer, Great Visuals, Great background sounds and music, GREAT COURSE. I love computers and the internet, so this course appeals to me greatly.
Date published: 2017-02-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perfect for a Cybersecurity Student I watched this entire course upon getting accepted into a graduate program to earn my masters in cybersecurity. I believe that because of this course I was able to better understand what I was being taught in school. Also because of this course, I was able to piece together concepts that I otherwise would not have connected. For example, when the Professor discusses algorithms by Google; was extremely helpful knowledge when I was researching development of algorithms to detect intrusions. I have shared this course with classmates and coworkers who say that this course has completely changed the way they do things. Obviously all of my friends are not about to graduate with a masters in cybersecurity, but what they took away from this course was just as valuable. Something as simple as removing the "save passwords" feature from your browsers on your computers to prevent easy access to cyberattackers is a recommendation from this course. So, I would recommend this course for the cybersecurity experts as well as the computer illiterate to learn how to travel through this cyberworld.
Date published: 2017-02-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the most important courses I've viewed This course informs the viewers of some serious situations with the U.S. infrastructure. Serious National Security issues. I feel it should be required of every Senator & congressman to view it. It demonstrates serious National Defense & Economic vulnerabilities. I believe every informed citizen would benefit from viewing this course.
Date published: 2017-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another 'Great Course' Professor Rosenzweig's broad knowledge of the technology and law involved in cyber security made this an extremely valuable course. As I watched the DVD, the international news was centered on alleged Russian hacking into the American election. "Ripped from the front page". My only 'complaint' comes with the subject matter. Although the lecture was only 3 years old when I watched it, some of the technical information was outdated. Impossible to avoid but perhaps a printed 'update' would be helpful.
Date published: 2017-01-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Mildly disappointing This seemed to be establishment gloss about what is an ever-increasing assault on our liberties... understandable given the professor's position within the system. After Snowden and Wikileaks I want real deep state knowledge, not this posturing. I do commend the professor on his professionalism though.
Date published: 2016-12-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Superb Presentation Professor Rosenzweig does a superb job in presenting the subject of Cybersecurity. I find the course to be especially informative, enlightening, and definitely intellectually stimulating.
Date published: 2016-12-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Didn't get a chance to view the second of 3 DVDs. The 2nd DVD was cracked around the hole used to secure the DVD to the jewel case. Unfortunately, I already knew most of the stuff he talked about.
Date published: 2016-12-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The best education With cyber security in the news, this course taught me a lot. The ABCs of the Internet., it's ease of use and thus its vulnerability, the ways one can take to be secure were all fully explained. I will listen to this course again and ask my friends to purchase and listen.
Date published: 2016-12-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating, frightened, and extremely well done. Excellent course. Lots of information which gave me a new way of seeing the cyber-world. It is frightening how subject we are to anyone who wants information about us to get it. Also, the amount of anonymity for any people who want to harm us. This is a course everyone needs to listen to.
Date published: 2016-11-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Protocol Definition Error In Lecture 5 Professor Rosenzweig refers to http:// as "http:backslash backslash" at time points 1:23 & 1:46. This is incorrect. It should be "http:slash slash". This mistake was common with reporters in the early days of the internet, but even there it was corrected many years ago.
Date published: 2016-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great course although beginning to be a bit dated A truly outstanding course. The professor's presentation is smooth and very professional. My only issues are the irritating "beep" that continually occurs when text pops up on the screen (whoever thought that would be a good idea should be fired) and perhaps more significant, the course is 4 years out of date and so much has happened in the cyber-security area in the last 4 years. That being said, it is still a worthwhile investment when on sale.
Date published: 2016-10-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well worth having This course presented many excellent points that covered the entire spectrum of cybersecurity for those of us who are not IT professionals. One of the presentations in particular was worth the cost of the entire course.
Date published: 2016-10-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This Was a Pretty Good Course I thought this was a pretty good course. I don't remember why I bought it, but I listened to the entire thing and I found it both informative and interesting. If someone had a lot of background in IT or in Computer Science, I can see how such a person might find this course a bit basic, but I don't know a thing about the Cyber world, so I ended up learning a lot. I bet a lot of people in my age demographic are in a similar position. I'm nearly 240 years old and I just started using the Internet. After this course, I'm using it much more intelligently. I was a bit surprised in lecture 11 when the Professor started using some very vulgar profanity. Then I realized it was actually my neighbor screaming at his award-winning flower beds and not the Professor. So, if you are concerned about the Professor using all sorts of "R-rated" words, don't be. My grandmother could listen to this. In fact, she did listen to it and then she hacked my computer to "teach me a lesson". She also liked the course, though. I listened to the audio version on this and found it more than adequate. I don't know what I would have gained if I had a video version....besides a splitting headache from the light of my computer screen. Overall, a very good course. The Professor's voice is clear and articulate and easy to listen to (unlike my neighbor -- see above). Also, the Professor had some very intriguing things to say about how and why authoritarian regimes might really like Cloud computing. I was very interested about encryption as well and why quantum computing might render supposedly un-breakable encryption a joke. I recommend this course and when I scrape together a few more bucks, I might by the other course buy this same Professor.
Date published: 2016-09-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Frightening... i came away with an excellent overview of the Cyber-Security elements,both currently, and historically. All of it excellently presented by the Professor. Unfortunately, I have had this course in my library for a long time, and have just now gotten around to completing it, in addition to absorbing the wrote material, I came away with the impression that the future of Cyber-Security is anyones game. Although we are running to stay ahead, those that would do us harm are working just as hard. This story doesn't end well...
Date published: 2016-05-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent course on Cyber Security I would like to thank Professor Rosenweig for this effort. This course will help anyone interested in understanding how to use, and how some people abuse, the Internet. Professor Rosenweig explains issues pertaining to Cyber Security in a clear, and concise manner. I liked this course so much I just purchased his Surveillance State course. Oh, and one more thing, I have over twenty years experience in computer, network, and cyber security. And I still found this course beneficial!! I do not believe there is a college or university in this country that offers a class on this subject for less than The Great Courses price. Thanks also to The Great Courses for offering such interesting topics.
Date published: 2016-03-24
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