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Course 2021-2022 a.y.

20764 - STATE COMPETITION AND CONFLICTS IN THE CYBER SPACE

Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31

CLMG (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - M (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - IM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - MM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - AFC (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - CLELI (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - ACME (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - DES-ESS (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - EMIT (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - GIO (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - DSBA (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - PPA (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - FIN (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07)

Classes: 31 (I sem.)
Instructors:
Class 31: COLIN PRESCOTT MacARTHUR


Mission & Content Summary
MISSION

Cyberspace can serve as a target and source of conflict for state and non-state actors, creating grave implications for international security and contributing to changing definitions of war. These new threats and opportunities require immediate policy and operational responses, which are inevitably delayed by a poor understanding of the scientific and strategic complexity of this issues. This course will assess the current cyber conflict strategies and capabilities of selected nations. The course will also examine tactical government approaches to responding to evolving cyberthreats, from governance to operations. It will address the methods and tools governments can adopt and deploy to design and implement policies to govern the cyber domain.

CONTENT SUMMARY

Part 1: Cyber warfare, politics, and digital activism 

-     The technical side of state-level cyber weapons 

-     Recent history of state-targeted cyber attacks 

-     The role of laws, norms, attribution and deterrence in cyber conflict 

-     Digital activism and government responses to it 

-     European, American, Russian, Chinese and smaller actor initiatives and responses to cyber conflict 

 

Part 2: Government cybersecurity operations

-     European and American government cyber teams

-     Incident response tactics

-     Cyber risk management processes

-     Up-and-coming tools and methods for ensuring security

-     The next generation of threats to governments from artificial intelligence

-     Effective security advocacy within government


Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...

-     describe the key attributes of modern cyber conflict and warfare

-     offer examples of cyber conflict from selected countries

APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...

-     identify, research and explain a state’s approach to cyber offense and defense

-     identify new governance, tools, or methods to address government cyber security threats

-     draft convincing, government-style proposals for cybersecurity tool or method

-     communicate the above in writing and presentation in a clear, concise, jargon-free style


Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Group assignments
  • Interactive class activities (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)
DETAILS

Students will learn foundational concepts of cyber conflict and government operations through lectures and guest speaker talks. They will apply learnings during in-class exercises and simulations. Students will practice developing and expressing opinions on state cybersecurity issues during in-class discussion. 

 

During a semester-long group project, students will:

  • draft a written analysis of a particular country’s cyber offensive and defensive strategy,
  • present it to the class for assessment and discussion,
  • develop a proposal for a tool or method for addressing a common challenge of government cybersecurity operations 
  • and present it to the class for assessment and discussion.

 

Attendance: As the teaching methodology is heavily based on in-class discussion, exercises and presentations, attendance is recommended. 


Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  •     x
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • x    
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)
  • x    
    ATTENDING STUDENTS

    To measure student’s acquisition of the above learning outcomes, student assessment is based on three main components:

    1. In-class case discussion and participation (25% of the final grade). To assess the student’s ability to express verbal opinions clearly and thoughtfully in a multicultural environment.
    2. Group project assignments (35% of the final grade). To assess the student’s ability to research and explain a state’s approach to cyber offense and defense; draft a well-reasoned proposal for a new government cybersecurity tool or method; and to communicate the above in writing and presentation in a clear, concise, jargon-free style.
    3. A written, individual exam with open-ended questions based on a novel case study, provided during the exam (40% of the final grade). The exam will assess the student’s ability to: Explain possible state approaches to cyber conflict; suggest a range of possible relevant new governance approaches, operational tools or methods to address that might meet that government’s challenges; and to communicate the above in writing and presentation in a clear, concise, jargon-free style.
    NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    A written, individual exam (100% of the final grade) of open-ended questions about the class’ readings and applying them to case studies. The exam will assess the student’s basic understanding of the key attributes of modern cyber conflict, and current government strategies and operational responses to it. It will then assess the student’s ability to apply that knowledge to: identify and explain possible several countries' cyber offensive and defensive strategies; identify multiple, possible new governance approaches, tools or methods to address a government cyber security challenge; draft a well-reasoned proposal for a particular new approach; and to communicate the above clearly and concisely in writing.


    Teaching materials
    ATTENDING AND NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    To be provided on the eLearning platform.

    Last change 22/06/2021 23:43