Credit points: 15

Subject outline

This subject explores the motivations, mindset and techniques used by hackers. Although their activities are illicit and illegal, hackers have a finely attuned understanding of computer networks and systems and how users/customers behave in online environments. If nothing else, they have developed new - albeit illegal and unethical business models that exploit vulnerabilities in computer networks and systems. By looking at systems and practices through the eyes of a hacker, you can better identify weaknesses, emerging threats and develop more effective defences.

SchoolEngineering and Mathematical Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorNalin Gamagedara Arachchilage

Available to Study Abroad/Exchange StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 5 - Masters

Available as ElectiveYes

Learning ActivitiesN/A

Capstone subjectNo

Subject particulars

Subject rules



Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Quota Management StrategyN/A

Quota-conditions or rulesN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Minimum credit point requirementN/A

Assumed knowledgeN/A

Career Ready


Work-based learningNo

Self sourced or Uni sourcedN/A

Entire subject or partial subjectN/A

Total hours/days requiredN/A

Location of WBL activity (region)N/A

WBL addtional requirementsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

Graduate Capabilities

Intended Learning Outcomes

01. Critically analyse typologies of hackers, their mindsets and the motivations behind hacking.
02. Critically analyse the various tactics that hackers use in breaching communication networks.
03. Deconstruct and critically analyse the profit models and value chain behind hackers' activities.
04. Critically evaluate standard business security practices from the viewpoint of a hacker.
05. Recommend processes and practices to reduce the likelihood of data breaches.

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne (Bundoora), 2021, Semester 1, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorNalin Gamagedara Arachchilage

Class requirements

LectureWeek: 10 - 22
One 2.00 hours lecture per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.

TutorialWeek: 10 - 22
One 2.00 hours tutorial per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.


Assessment elementCommentsCategoryContributionHurdle% ILO*

6 Short Quizzes (500 words equivalent)

N/AQuizzesIndividualNo10 SILO1, SILO2, SILO3, SILO4, SILO5

Profile Audit (1000 words equivalent)

N/AAssignmentIndividualNo20 SILO1, SILO2

Offensive Security Audit (1500 words equivalent)

N/AAssignmentIndividualNo30 SILO3, SILO4

Defensive Audit (2000 words equivalent)

N/AAssignmentIndividualNo40 SILO3, SILO4, SILO5