Current Events assignment

For this assignment, your task is to find a current event in (cyber)security and discuss its human connection. You will present your event to the class.

Due

Please visit this spreadsheet and sign up for the class period during which you want to present. This will be your due date.

The in-class presentation is due, as its name suggests, in class. The write-up (described below) is due at 23:59 the day of your presentation.

Collaboration

This assignment must be completed individually.

Assignment

Find a news article describing a security or privacy incident or event, such as a data breach. The event must have happened in 2023 or 2024. You should not present on an event that someone else has already talked about.

Prepare answers to each of the following questions:

  1. What happened?
  2. What was the root cause of the event?
  3. What role did human response play in the event?
  4. What human factors may have contributed to the decisions made by the people?
  5. How could the system in question be modified to avoid (or minimize the possibility) of similar incidents in the future? Be creative!

Presentation

Prepare an approximately 5-minute presentation with your answers to the questions above.

Write-up

Write up your answers to the questions above in approximately one page (500 words).

Be sure to include a link to the news article(s) reporting the event you’re describing.

What to turn in

Submit your write-up in the form of a PDF created using LaTeX to Canvas.

Why am I making you do this?

Human factors are often involved in security incidents, but news coverage and discussions don’t always center them — or discuss how we can do better. This assignment is meant to help all of us notice these overlooked details.

Late policy

If you want to change the day of your presentation, you can swap with another student or change to any open date. However, if there are no available dates left, there will be no option to make up the presentation. There will be only one presentation per class period.

For the written portion, each day late will incur a 10 percentage-point penalty (for example, 42% becomes 32%).