40,000 Scottish School Children Taught How to Hack

School Pupils Ethical Hacking

This year’s online lessons will see children role-play a cybersecurity consultant tasked with protecting a fictional pizza restaurant chain.

About 40,000 school pupils are learning about ethical hacking and digital forensics as part of an online challenge designed to find the country’s next generation of cyber superheroes.

As well as learning about the ins and outs of cyber defence, the youngsters have been discovering more about the exciting career opportunities available in cybersecurity – one of Scotland’s fastest-growing industries.

The training, delivered by Skills Development Scotland, is entering its third and penultimate year on a high after smashing its launch targets.

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Organisers initially hoped that 4,000 students would complete the course by the end of its four-year run, yet after just two years almost 40,000 have joined in with the computer-based fun – both online and through real-world events held across Scotland.

In previous years, pupils gained hands-on experience of cracking password encryptions, hacking a bank and defending a hospital from a cyber-attack. All challenges were designed to get the message across about the importance of online security for both personal safety reasons and as a career option.

This year’s online lessons will see children role-play a cybersecurity consultant tasked with protecting a fictional pizza restaurant chain, as well as being introduced to a range of digital forensic techniques as they try to solve a murder case.

Claire Gillespie, sector manager for digital technologies at SDS, said: “The fact this programme has been so successful shows the message is getting through about the amazing career opportunities in Scotland’s digital technology sector.

“It also shows that these lessons are a very welcome addition to the school curriculum, which is brilliant to see.”

The lessons are free, with no previous computer experience or skills needed, and the most popular challenge will be rerun during Cyber Scotland Week on 17th-23rd February 2020.



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