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Alabama University Teaches Students to ‘Hack for America’

One Alabama university’s students can enroll in the first “Hacking for Defense (H4D)” cybersecurity class, which begins in the state during the upcoming spring semester, aiming to help bolster cybersecurity expertise.

(TNS) — Hacking for America? One Alabama university’s students can do that next Spring when the first “Hacking for Defense (H4D)” cybersecurity class begins in the state.

The University of Alabama in Huntsville announced the class sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense today. The course teaches students to work with defense and intelligence agencies to solve unique problems provided by the Defense Department. One problem has already been proposed for UAH by the Missile Defense Agency at Huntsville’s Redstone Arsenal.

“The world is moving forward and new adversaries are being born every day, and threats to national security are ever changing in nature,” course instructor Dr. Tathagata Mukherjee said in a statement. “There is a need to understand the challenges and appreciate them on one end and to be able to solve these challenges on the other.

“Cyber security is one of the major threat areas, as is shown by the existence of the cyber command,” Mukherjee said, “and there is a need for qualified people to serve in this domain and apply their minds to the challenges that are at the forefront of national security in the cyber domain.”

Students in the class will form five-member teams to solve a problem with guidance from a Defense Department agency mentor. They will interview dozens of DOD personnel and create an initial solution. Course requirements will be spelled out in the UAH course catalog.

The course was created for the National Security Innovation Network by the Palo Alto, Calif., software company BMNT Inc. and the Common Mission Project. It started at Stanford University before spreading to major universities.

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