Cybercrime From OU and BBC
Written by Sue Gee   
Saturday, 01 November 2014

The Open University and the BBC have teamed up in a 6-part TV series about cybercrime. It starts today, Saturday, November 1 (repeated tomorrow) and can be viewed worldwide on BBC World News.

It's always annoying to discover details of a TV program just after its now longer available so the timings (for the next 6 weeks) are:

In the UK
BBC News Channel: Saturdays at 16:30Sundays at 16:30.

Also available on iPlayer for 7 days.

Outside UK (all times GMT)

BBC World News: Saturdays at 02:30 & 15:30
                       AND Sundays at 09:30 & 21:30

 

OpenLearn, the Open University's online site for its free content, says of the series:

Cybercrimes with Ben Hammersley delves into the dark world of hacking, now home to a new generation of highly organised cybercriminals running complex commercial enterprises, involving leaders, planners, engineers, infantry and hired money mules.

This trailer tells you more

 

 

More info comes from BoingBoing's Cory Doctorow 

The series was filmed around the world this summer with access to interviewees from all sides of stories about Silk Road, credit card fraud, Nigerian scams, the Pirate Bay, Stuxnet and mass surveillance.

It probably should be required viewing for all politicians before they talk about about security and privacy.

He also points out that the series is an excellent companion to the ongoing OU cybersecuity MOOC which he, in his capacity as a visiting professor in computer science at the Open University, is currently presenting. 

Introduction to Cyber Security is on the Future Learn Platform and although it started on October 13th there is still time to join and to catch up. Indeed with the burst of publicity its currently receiving it late joiners are unlikely to be alone. Once you have joined you will have access to the materials beyond the end of the course.

Courses on Future Learn, which is an international consortium of institutions led by the Open University, are free, although if you want a certificate to prove completion this has to be purchased. This one lasts 8 weeks and follows the typical pattern of the week's content consisting of around a dozen short sections, either video or text, interspersed with questions to be researched and discussed with fellow students on the forum. Assessment takes the form of end of week quizzes with 5 questions, each of which is worth 3 points. You can have 3 attempts at each answer but a point is deducted for each incorrect attempt.

So what does Cory Doctorow's course cover? 

The introduction states it:

will help you to understand online security and start to protect your digital life, whether at home or work. You will learn how to recognise the threats that could harm you online and the steps you can take to reduce the chances that they will happen to you.

The topics are:

WEEK 1: THREAT LANDSCAPE

WEEK 2: AUTHENTICATION

WEEK 3: MALWARE

WEEK 4: NETWORKING AND COMMUNICATIONS

WEEK 5: CRYPTOGRAPHY

WEEK 6: NETWORK SECURITY

WEEK 7: WHEN YOUR DEFENCES FAIL

WEEK 8: MANAGING SECURITY RISKS

All this seems designed for end users rather than developers - but then we are also computer users and other people generally expect us to know all about cybercrime and have ready answers.  So if you are not up to speed on this issue, this combination of TV program and MOOC seems like a painless way to catch up.

 

More Information

OU on the BBC: Cybercrimes with Ben Hammersley

Free cybersecurity MOOC

Future Learn

Introduction to Cyber Security

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 01 November 2014 )