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Welcome to Common Cybersecurity Attacks, Malware and Defense Strategies


Over the next four weeks, you will learn more about cybersecurity attacks related to phishing, several types of social engineering attacks as well as various types of malicious applications.

The goal is to raise your awareness so that you can recognize and prevent various types of attacks against yourself and your organization.

Meet Your Educators

Week 1 & 2

During the first two weeks, Lisa Gilbert will be presenting the videos as you move through your learning journey.

Lisa is a Cybersecurity Compliance Engineer with Motorola Solutions. Previously she was an instructor for the United States Air Force defensive cyber weapon, teaching network management, vulnerability assessment, and remediation. Being a volunteer at the Defcon Conference’s Biohacking Village has been a recent highlight.

Lisa holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and has certifications in CISP, Security+ and ITIL

Week 3 & 4

Skylar Simmons will be guiding you through the world of malware content in Week 3 and 4.

Skylar describes himself as a Red Team guy. Red teams typically help organizations to improve themselves by staging outside attacks. He has been in security for over 13 years, starting in physical security before getting into voluntary management and Penetration Testing Red Team Operations.

For the last six years, Skylar has focused on penetration testing assessments, covering everything from physical reviews to wireless network assessments, corporate network assessments, web applications, and social engineering. And in Red Team engagements, Skylar is typically tasked with combining all these various techniques and emulating real-world adversaries against our client networks. In addition to that, he holds several IT and security certifications.

You can follow Skylar @SecurityWard.

Course Requirements

To be successful in this course, all you will need are basic computer skills and the desire to learn how to protect yourself and your organization from cybersecurity attacks and malicious applications.

This course does not require coding experience. We will not be reverse engineering any viruses; all you’ll need is an interest in malware and cybersecurity. We will be exploring some free tools available to detect viruses and more. However, the best way to learn is by trying these tools and best practices out for yourself.

Course roadmap

Here is an overview of the weekly topics that will be covered each week. Week 1: Phishing; Spear-phishing; Whaling; Smishing; Vishing. Week 2: Dumpster Diving; Tailgaiting; Baiting; Impersonation. Week 3: Malware in the Media and Real World; Introduction to Viruses; Worms; Trojan; Ransomware. Week 4: Adware; Spyware; File-less Malware; The Hybrid Attack; Course Conclusion.

In Week 1, we start by looking at the different types of phishing-related cybersecurity attacks. Real-life examples are discussed where the, sometimes very creative, tactics of attackers are highlighted.

In Week 2 we move on to social engineering attacks which are more targeted and not only implemented in the online realm but also in the physical environment. We will discuss who is at risk, and what you can do to defend against these attacks.

In Week 3 we look at viruses. What is a virus, what is malware, and what is the difference between them? We’ll then consider the behavioral characteristic of worms, and from there move on to Trojans. These are pieces of malware that disguise themselves as something good and useful, but when it gets onto your system, it performs maliciously. Then we’ll move on to ransomware. We’ll look at NotPetya. Just a few years ago, NotPetya caused billions and billions of dollars worth of damages.

In Week 4, we will move on to Adware. Not to be confused with those annoying pop-ups that you get on your machine after you install something that you’re not supposed to, adware can have far more negative consequences. We will look at Spyware, which refers to applications that try to steal information. Then we’re going to talk about file-less malware. File-less malware is malware that doesn’t write to your hard drive; it stays in memory. We’ll wrap it up by talking about hybrid malware.

When you’re ready, mark this step as complete and move on to the next step to learn more about how assessments will work during this course.

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Cyber Security Foundations: Common Malware Attacks and Defense Strategies

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