Final Project

The climax of this course is its final project. Among the goals for this project are to apply lessons learned to (relatively) current events in the real world and to ensure that you are now conversant in the same.

When to Do It

By 2024-12-31T23:59:00-05:00

What to Do

This project asks you to:

  1. Find an article or blog post from the last 24 months–as via Google News, The Hacker News, Security Week, any of the cybersecurity attack databases we’ve discussed or others, etc–about some real-world failure to preserve privacy or to secure some software, systems, data, or accounts (or one that was caught before it manifested, as via an announcement from a bug bounty program or ethical hacker). Feel free to visit the course’s communities to both make suggestions for fellow students or solicit ideas from fellow students!
  2. Ensure that you yourself understand the failure and any technology involved, as by reviewing the course’s own material or researching the same via Google, ChatGPT, or the like. (Note that use of ChatGPT or generative AI tools more generally in this way, as a research supplement and tool, is considered reasonable by the course).
  3. Ultimately, record a 7–10-minute video or screencast presentation report in which you not only discuss but explain the failure and any technology involved, concluding with recommendations of how others might avoid the same outcome. You should assume the target audience for this video will be the course’s staff, rather than someone without prior understanding of some of the lower-level strategies that may have been employed to bring this threat to bear.

A few notes follow for your video. They must be fully complied with; failure to follow any of these requirements is grounds for your submission to be rejected.

  • The topic for the final project must explicitly relate to at least one of the topics discussed in the course.
  • You do not need to appear on camera yourself (you could, for example, only show slides), but you do minimially need to include a voiceover. If uncomfortable presenting, you may use an automated voiceover tool, but this project should in general be considered an oral presentation.
  • A slideshow is required.
  • This course is taught in English, and while we appreciate that we have students from all over the world, this presentation (much like the expectation for all answers on the assignments) must be delivered in English.
  • At the beginning of your video (and on the very first slide of your presentation), you must:
    • Introduce yourself verbally, including both your name (and, if desired, location) and your edX and GitHub usernames. This information must also be written on your first slide.
    • State the date the video is being recorded. This information must also be written on your first slide.
    • State why you wanted to pick this topic and how it relates to the course. This may be done verbally only, and does not need to be written out.
  • A slideshow video only without verbal narration does not comply with the project’s requirements.
  • The time boundaries on the video are strict.
  • Your video must have been recorded and uploaded within one month of having submitted the project form.

Your final project video should be uploaded to YouTube as Unlisted (not Public, and certainly not Private, else we won’t be able to view it!).

Ready to Submit?

  1. Submit Final Project.