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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  • Download 18 video lectures to your computer or mobile app
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
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  • Download 18 audio lectures to your computer or mobile app
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE audio streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
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DVD Includes:
  • 18 lectures on 3 DVDs
  • 160-page printed course guidebook
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps

What Does The Course Guidebook Include?

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Course Guidebook Details:
  • 160-page printed course guidebook
  • Photos & illustrations
  • Suggested readings
  • Questions to consider

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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 84.
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Complicated course not easy to follow I don't consider myself to be computer literate or knowledgeable so I had difficulty understanding this course. The Professor spelled things out in great detail but I found little of it useful. He tended to focus too much on the problems facing Governments more than the personal user and so his ideas were always much bigger than I had anticipated. And he tended to lecture as if he was presenting a case to congress rather than a home viewer. This wasn't a bad course concerning how the internet works and the problems it has created but I found no real answers in the lectures. It is more a history of cybercrime than a manual on how to fix any problems that I may incur.
Date published: 2020-11-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very informative, but... This is a surprisingly thorough introduction to the world of Cybersecurity. The professor is knowledgeable and presents the material very effectively. All in all, I'm very satisfied. However, and this is a big however, this is a rapidly evolving field of technology and law and the course materials are already noticeably dated. Writing this review in the summer of 2020 I note that all of the examples of cyber crime, cyber laws, terrorist attacks, supreme court decisions, and everything else in this course date to no later than 2012, most are from 2010 or before. That's a lifetime ago in terms of the cyber world. In fact, where the professor mentions during the lectures that, "the Supreme Court hasn't looked at this issue yet," in the intervening eight years they have done so repeatedly. Great course, great presenter, great value, but it's way past time for a re-fresh.
Date published: 2020-07-27
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointing. More opinion than real insight Lots of repetition, personal opinions of presenter and less detail on specifics of cybersecurity and how to implement changes. I've listened to dozens of Great Courses that I really enjoyed. Not so much this one.
Date published: 2019-09-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cybercrime I had very little knowledge about the subject of cyberspace. The scope of this new awareness made me think about the potential dangers that can lead to cyber war are beyond scary. I am more vigilant about my own use of cyberspace. The professor was excellent and his expertise was obviously deep, and committed to educating the public on cyberspace security. In addition, his perspective and expertise should be taken seriously in our world today. I was definitely educated on this subject.
Date published: 2019-06-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from For the Initiate Professor Rosenzweig is no dynamic university professor. He articulates like an American lawyer. I had a difficult time on audio, and found the course difficult to ingest, personally, being hard of hearing. However, I started with zero knowledge and came away with a complete picture, no matter how long ago the horrified Iranians discovered Stuxnet. And Professor Rosenzweig no doubt makes for great conversation at a cocktail party. He seems to specialize in international law and offers some highly nutritious perspectives, beginning with the Peace of Westphalia. I would recommend this course to somebody who has no knowledge of how the Internet works at all, and use it as a basis to learn more. (This way the course will never go out of date.) If you know what a server farm is, though, this course is probably not for you.
Date published: 2019-03-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Good Information Cybersecurity is a complex/contemporary topic. Professor Rosenzweig presented the material in a manner that was clear and understandable to a person with an intermediate knowledge of computers (me). He clearly explained new processes and reviewed them before building on them in future lectures. I learned a lot and have a much better understanding of cyber space and some of it's issues. My only negative to offer is the age of the course. A supplement should be issued to purchasers of the course explaining the changes/developments of the last six years.
Date published: 2019-02-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Overview This is a great overview of the internet, cyberspace and its risks. I had hoped for more detailed technical information, but the lectures are still very much worth the time investment. I only wish the lecturer stood still and didn’t flit from camera to camera.
Date published: 2018-10-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thinking About Cybersecurity As a user and consumer of data via my laptop and smartphone, I feel as if I had only witnessed the tip of the iceberg. Having since listened to Professor Rosensweig's lecture series, I realize now there is so much more beneath the surface as he authoritatively discusses the Internet, Big Data, malware, and other relevant topics. Rosensweig also provides invaluable advice (in Chapter 16) how to protect yourself in cyberspace. I highly recommend this lecture series.
Date published: 2018-08-21
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