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Course 2022-2023 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

EMIT (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 ac-tors, creating grave implications for international security and contributing to the changing definitions of war. These new threats and opportunities require immediate policy and operational responses, which are inevitably delayed by a poor understand-ing of the scientific and strategic complexity of this issue. This course will assess the current cyber conflict strategies and capabilities of se-lected nations and the potential impact of cyber warfare on future international con-flicts. The course will also examine tactical government approaches to responding to evolving cyberthreats, from rulemaking 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 and politics

  • 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 
  • 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; 

-     explain multiple new governance approaches, operational tools or methods to address government cyber security threats; 

-     present a well-reasoned proposal for a new government cybersecurity tool or method; 


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, guest speaker talks and case studies. 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:

  • present an analysis of a particular country’s cyber offensive and defensive strategy to the class
  • 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 four main components:

    • In-class case study discussion (30% of the final grade) to assess the student’s ability to apply class concepts to novel situations and express verbal opinions clearly and thoughtfully in a multicultural environment. There will four graded in-class discussions throughout the semester, based on an article and questions provided in advance.  
    • Group presentations (20% of the final grade). To assess the student’s ability to research and explain a state’s approach to cyber offense and defense; present a well-reasoned proposal for a new government cybersecurity tool or method to meet one of those threats. There will be two presentations, as described above.
    • Group presentation days attendance and questions (10% of the final grade). Students will receive this portion of their gradebased on whether they attend both presentation days, and whether they ask questions at each one. 
    • A written, individual exam with both multiple choice and open-ended questions (30% of the final grade). The exam will assess the student’s ability to: Explain possible state approaches to cyber conflict; suggest a range 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. 80% of the exam will be multiple choice questions. A single “open-ended” question will comprise the other 20%.
    NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS
    • 4 two-page reflection papers (30% of the final grade) to assess the student’s ability to apply class concepts to novel situations and express verbal opinions clearly and thoughtfully in a multicultural environment. Each reflection paper must answer the same questions that attending students do during their discussion.
    • 2 recorded individual presentations (35% of the final grade). To assess the student’s ability to research and explain a state’s approach to cyber offense and defense; present a well-reasoned proposal for a new government cybersecurity tool or method to meet one of those threats. These presentations will cover the same content (and be of the same duration) as the attending students presentations.
    • A written, individual exam with both multiple choice and open-ended questions (30% of the final grade). The exam will assess the student’s ability to: Explain possible state approaches to cyber conflict; suggest a range 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. 80% of the exam will be multiple choice questions. A single “open-ended” question will comprise the other 20%.

    Teaching materials
    ATTENDING AND NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    To be provided on the eLearning platform.

    Last change 07/06/2022 20:58