For McAfee Labs the New Year will start with a lot of excitement. During the next 10 weeks, several of us researchers will teach a master class at Oregon State University. During this class, “Defending against the Dark Arts,” more than 60 students will be served a diversity of topics, including malware, forensics, memory analysis, exploits, rootkits, and mobile threats.
The master class is part of the Multiple Engineering Cooperative Program (MECOP). The program began in 1978 as collaboration between OSU and Oregon-based manufacturing companies that hired engineering graduates. Its purpose is to provide the highest level of engineering graduate, and bridge academic theory with industrial reality. Since 2013, Intel Security Group (McAfee) has been a member. Both classroom instruction and internships are part of the program. More than 70 percent of the students end up with a job offering from the more than 120 participating MECOP companies.
Personally, I’m really looking forward to teaching the first two weeks of classes: malware basics and incident response/forensics. In these two weeks we will build a foundation of terminology, tools, and practices. During malware basics, students will start to interact with real malware samples, to understand how they work and how to conduct basic analysis. In the second week, we will spend a few hours as an incident responder and forensic investigator. We will end that week with a great challenge in which the students will compete with each other.
It is fulfilling to inspire young people who are about to graduate and choose a career path. We hope we can share some of the passion for the areas we work in. As John Wesley said, “When you set yourself on fire, people love to come and see you burn.”
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