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About this Course

A course in Penetration Testing has existed at NYU:Poly as far back as 2002, in large part because of a NSA Center of Excellence in Education certification requirement. Professors for the course have come and gone and the course content has changed with them, sometimes for the better, but mostly for the worse <insert sad face/>. In the Summer of 2008, with no instructor in sight for the coming semester and the course material seriously neglected, I offered to teach it and rewrite it from scratch.

I had a vision for a student's course, a practical course, a course that would frighten the CS department. But writing a course is hard! And I didn't have practical experience in a few major topics I wanted to cover. Luckily, I have a few great friends that thought this would be a fun experiment. Less than a month before the class was scheduled to start Stephen Ridley, Dino Dai Zovi, Mike Zusman, Dean De Beer, Erik Cabetas and myself laid out the foundations for the course each taking one major topic for ourselves.

This could have easily turned into a disorganized trainwreck but I guess when you have rockstars like the guys above helping you out, it's hard for things to go wrong! We had close to 30 students in the Fall of 2008, all of whom said it was the best unversity course they had ever taken. Success!

After seeing my updates about the course on Twitter, Chris Eng convinced me to submit a CFP for SOURCE Boston about it. I was accepted and gave my presentation early on in the first day of the conference which, I have to say, was one of the best conferences I've been to. My presentation documented the lessons learned teaching the course so that others might be able to reproduce our success.