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A Course In Computer Security For Criminal Justice Majors

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Technological Literacy for Non-Technical Majors

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.33.1 - 8.33.6



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Paper Authors

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John Sokol

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1661

A Course In Computer Security For Criminal Justice Majors

John Sokol General Engineering Penn State Fayette Uniontown, PA 15601


Computers have grown as a crime factor in the worlds of both public security and private security. In recent remarks, John Ashcroft, Attorney General, stated: “Although there are no exact figures on the costs of cybercrime in America, estimates run into the billions of dollars each year. And unlike more traditional crimes, cybercrime is especially difficult to investigate.1” Computers are used to facilitate traditional crimes, such as child pornography, and are also used to attack networks in a business which, in turn, shuts down the business2.

Dr. Richard Ball, a Professor of Administration Of Justice at Penn State Fayette, is also a member of the Advisory Board for the Training and Research Institute of the National White-Collar Crime Conference. Dr. Ball, emerging from the White-Collar Conference meetings, encouraged the development of a computer security course tailored for non- technical students majoring in criminal justice.

Since 1992, we have offered a course at Penn State Fayette using the topic of alarm systems to cover topics in analog and digital electronics3. This earlier course includes a short module on computer security. We are not training electronic specialists, but security professionals who are consumers of these electronic services. In the case of computer security, the objective is to give criminal justice students a broad background in computer security and to enhance their understanding of computer crime and computer security.

For example, computer forensics is “the process of unearthing data of probative value from computer and information systems4”. A course in computer forensics is suitable for computer science students, but computer forensics in-depth is not suitable for criminal justice students. Instead, this new course will train the criminal justice major to become an intelligent consumer of the computer forensics services provided by technical experts.

“Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003 American Society for Engineering Education”

Sokol, J. (2003, June), A Course In Computer Security For Criminal Justice Majors Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12351

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