Computer Security-Focused Programming Assignments in Foundational CS Courses

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Executive Summary

While the emphasis on computer security education within specialized courses is easy to justify and achieve, it is much more challenging to introduce these concepts across the computer science curriculum to begin to "Change the culture" of computer science students in order to create a foundational appreciation for and understanding of computer security issues. This paper describes some techniques that have been applied in early computer science programming courses at the University of Alaska Fairbanks to facilitate computer security education among beginning programming students through the use of computer security-focused programming assignments. This provides a mechanism for strengthening computer security skills within the scope of the traditional course content to foster an awareness of information assurance concepts.

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