WSU students use phishing to learn about cybersecurity

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Learning how to stop hackers by first learning how to hack, some Wichita State students are getting some invaluable cybersecurity experience.

In the WSU Engineering department, the Intermediate Design Project is helping build the next generation of cybersecurity experts.

“There’s so much you can learn and so much you can branch-off of even from cybersecurity,” explained Ethan Hanks, WSU senior. “I mean, cybersecurity branches off into so many different things. I mean you could be someone who protects someone’s firewall, installing servers, stopping some people from clicking on phishing emails.”

To help teach how to prevent phishing attacks in the future, they’re learning how to create them first.

“They phished the college of engineering,” explained Joe Jabara, project instructor and WSU’s director of Hub for Cybersecurity Education and Awareness. “The big news was, out of the 128, we actually had eight who clicked on a link and four that entered their credentials.”

“All you have to do is find their interests so once you do that it’ll make them want to find out why someone maybe is trying to get into their email,” added Hanks.

Next semester, Jabara is hoping this group will do phishing tests with a partnering company and then help teach that company how to avoid being a victim in the future.

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