In Hacker Highschool, students learn to redesign the future
It might sound strange, but every industry and profession could benefit from an employee as creative, resourceful, and motivated as a hacker. Hackers can teach themselves how things work and how groups of things work together. Hackers know how to modify things—to adjust, personalize, and even improve them. And it is the hacker whose skillset is diverse, unique, and powerful enough to be dangerous in the hands of the wrong person. Enter ISECOM—a non-profit, open source research group focused on next-generation security and professional security development and accreditation—and its popular project, Hacker Highschool.
Studies have shown that an amateur in any particular field is most likely to entertain the self-delusion that he knows enough to master it. But once he gets some professional training, he begins to understand that learning is a continuous process and no one ever "knows it all." A similar but more targeted study by ISECOM and the United Nations UNICRI, called the Hacker Profiling Project, shows it's amateur hackers who do the most damage out of carelessness.
We know how important it is to show teen hackers how to gain knowledge and skills so as to move beyond the amateur level. We need to get teens to realize how small they are in the bigger world of hacking. We just need a way to do it responsibly. We figured if we could properly introduce the world of hacking to teenagers we could make them safer online, as well as open up new ways of thinking and the resourcefulness necessary to enhance any profession they find themselves in some day.