How to Think Like a Hacker: an anatomy of cyber attacks

CYB60001 12.5 Credit Points Online


  • One Semester or equivalent

Contact hours

  • 150 contact hours - Swinburne Online

On-campus unit delivery combines face-to-face and digital learning. For Online unit delivery, learning is conducted exclusively online.

2023 teaching periods

Swinburne Online

Teaching Period 3

6 Nov 23 - 11 Feb 24

5 Mar 24

Last self enrolment:
19 Nov 23

1 Dec 23

Last withdraw without fail:
29 Dec 23

Aims and objectives

Understanding the adversary is a first step to countering cybersecurity threats. This unit introduces the field of cybersecurity by focusing on the mindsets, methods and motivations of the key actors: hackers. Hackers often tap into basic social norms and mores, such as people’s desire to be helpful and friendly, as well as seeing gaps in processes - and having a willingness to exploit them. Their motivations for doing so can be from diverse range of reasons, from simple curiosity and intellectual challenge to financial gain, to political causes, whether it’s state-sponsored attacks and intelligence gathering to “hacktivism
Unit Learning Outcomes (ULO)
Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:
1.Critically review different forms of hacking behaviour and explain the mindsets and the motivations behind hacking
2. Identify and differentiate the various tactics that hackers use in breaching communication networks and information system
3. Explain and measure the profit models and value chain behind hackers' activities
4. Critically evaluate standard business security practices from the viewpoint of a hacker
5. Recommend processes and practices to reduce the likelihood of data breaches