Roadmap of an interconnected system of universities specializing in computer science and cyber security. This system originated in India with funding provided by the USSR. The campus consists of over 500 buildings on 500 acres.
Several faculty from the USSR were assigned to the campus, and faculty from the India university attended universities in the USSR. Major international corporations provided their hardware and software under contract for updating and distribution by students and faculty. This may have led to graduates with significant knowledge and experience on accessing and manipulating these resources, thereby compromising the international digital communications network.
Given the knowledge and experience of graduates, they are highly sought after, and are employed in organizations worldwide.
Horizon scanning without a specific agenda. Refer to the "About" link on the Online Education website. Additional postings are listed in the Research Category.
Computer science and associated professional fields are the roadmaps and gateways to communications for social, business, government, medical, logistics, industry, space, military communications, and more.
Cyber security is a necessary component of a digital communications network. Aggressors, be they competitors, enemy states, or the curious and mischievous hacker, need to be prevented from accessing digital communications and information. Cyber Security is a growing field of study and employment.
Note: For a broad discussion on the subject refer to the ink and embedded video titled NATO Cyber Defense Center launches cyber threats 2030 overview, a discussion on digital, social, cyber, conventional, AI, and international cyber warfare at the bottom of this posting.
The following examples demonstrate the results of applying horizon scanning to interconnected and independent events. Observation research can be initiated by the information presented on TV, radio, printed media, conferences, or other sources. Rarely, does an observation represent a single state of a single issue. Often they are complex, complicated, or confusing issues.
Keep in mind that findings do not reflect decision-making outcomes, and are considered a null hypothesis until agreed on by at least three independent researchers, or documented and verified information sources.
After initiation of research, there is no contact between the researcher and the organization or persons under study. Organizations and persons under study tend to change strategies and tactics frequently in response to changing environments. Therefore, revisiting initial outcomes prior to publication is necessary.
In addition to understanding the event under observation, information may indicate changes occurring in the future, and impact other events.
Observation Research Event I - Initiation
While attending a conference on higher education, attendees introduced themselves and exchanged business cards. In addition to administrators and faculty in attendance, members of commercial organizations providing services to K-12 and higher education schools participated with the intent of acquiring new business relationships.
Discussion concerning course preparation and support services provided to universities, an expanding field of business, was presented by an attendee. Information printed on the attendee's business card was researched on the internet with positive results. Further research of the attendee revealed that in addition to working as a representative of the company, was an active member of a local school board. Such relationships are not uncommon in education.
The company identified on the card is an organization listed on the page of the previous support services link. CEO of the company was a previous member of a top international internet search firm. Activities of the commercial support services organization were researched revealing it is a recent startup. CEO of the organization has academic roots in the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, India.
Observation Research Event II - IIT Bombay of India
IIT Bombay: English is the language of instruction.
Wikipedia: Provides an overview of the university.
As stated on the page for IIT Bombay, it was established in 1958 under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), with funds provided by the then Soviet Union. Vision and Mission of IIT Bombay (Staff Handbook, page 10-11 the .pdf)
The Institute received substantial assistance in the form of equipment and expert services from the USSR through UNESCO from 1956 to 1973. It also received serval experts (59) and technicians (14) from several reputed institutions in the USSR. The UNESCO also offered a number of fellowships (27) for the training of Indian faculty members in the USSR. (page 10-11 of the .pdf)
The campus is a fully residential institute, comprised of several hundred buildings on several hundred acres. All students and most faculty for all programs live on the campus. Students are accommodated in its 15 hostels with in-house dining. The campus also provides individual homes for families and excellent amenities for sports and other recreational facilities. Included are medical services for the entire family, and stores for shopping.
Freshmen study in an open classroom environment.
Sophomores assist as teaching assistants for the freshmen class and are encouraged to work with commercial organizations as interns during the year.
During the junior and senior years, students begin researching and contracting with the largest international organizations that provide current hardware and software for student projects.
Graduates of IIT Bombay are highly prized by international corporations. International students are limited to no more than ten percent, with the traditional number around one percent. The number of employers desiring to hire graduates is restricted by invitation as demand for graduates far exceeds availability.
There is limited coursework in the humanities and social sciences. The tight focus on the program of study produces highly qualified and effective graduates. This approach is also common outside of the United States making it difficult for U.S. students to compete. Computer Science faculty in the U.S. are highly populated by graduates from outside the country.
It is common among institutions of higher education to have collaborative student transfer and research agreements.
IIT Bombay has partnerships for the doctoral program with the Monash University of Australia and the National University of Singapore.
Observation Research Event III - Monash University of Australia
Monash University of Melbourne Australia: English is the language of instruction.
Wikipedia: Provides an overview of the university.
Monash University is Australia’s largest university with extensive courses and study options, research projects, and international exchanges. This combination of assets provides an education that sets graduates apart from their peers.
Monash provides students with all the tools, support, and resources needed to study online, on-campus, and everything in-between as part of the course of study.
Prior to entry to the university, students must complete a “Diploma” which is a combination of technical courses including science, math, and information systems. As with IIT Bombay, there are few requirements in the areas of humanities and social sciences at the degree level.
Students from over 170 countries attend the university. Monash has an international campus presence and cooperative programs in Italy, Malaysia, India, South Africa, and the Peoples Republic of China at the Suzhou Dushu Lake Higher Education Town, inside the Suzhou Industrial Park, home to several thousand foreign companies and research institutes.
Observation Research Event IV - National University of Singapore
National University of Singapore: English is the language of instruction.
Wikipedia: Provides an overview of the university.
The National University of Singapore (NUS) is the oldest higher education institution in Singapore. According to most rankings, it is considered to be one of the best universities in the Asia-Pacific region, and in the world. NUS adopts features of the British system, such as small group teaching tutorials on top of regular two-hour lectures, and the American system of course credits.
In September 1904, Tan Jiak Kim led a group of representatives of the Chinese and other non-European communities to petition the Governor of the Straits Settlements, Sir John Anderson, to establish a medical school in Singapore. The school has grown over the years and now consists of Duke-NUS Medical School, a postgraduate medical school jointly established with Duke University.
The School of Computing (SoC), established in 1998, has two departments – Computer Science and Information Systems and Analytics.
The department of Computer Science offers two undergraduate degree programs – Computer Science and Information Security. As with IIT Bombay, graduates of this program are highly sought by international companies and universities. Refer to the bottom of the linked-to page for commercial and academic organizations cited.
The department of Information Systems and Analytics offers two other programs - Information Systems and Business Analytics.
NSU has the largest virtual supercomputing facilities in the region and uses Internet2 technology to make distance learning possible. Students from Singapore and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology can learn and interact with one another in one virtual classroom.
The international digital pathway between universities provides the ability for administrators, faculty, and students to share information, collaborate, and cooperate on projects in virtual cyberspace.
It has become routine for universities and independent international organizations to create opportunities for students and others to test and demonstrate knowledge and skills acquired in the computer science field of study. The intent of these opportunities is to enhance understanding and performance in cyber security.
Observation Research Event V - Cyber and Social Hacking
DEF CON Workshops is one of the popular independent organizations demonstrating real-world security and social engineering measures for physical sites and applications for cyber security. It may be considered productive or counterproductive. The intent is to determine threats and countermeasures to provide cyber security to sites. On the opposite side of the coin, participants may learn how to hack through the cyber security of sites to access or change the content of hacked sites.
The DEF CON category on YouTube provides a popular series of videos on hacking. It may not be what comes to mind when the term "hacking" is mentioned.
Summary Comments: Observation Research Events I-V
As stated in the opening, observation research is a method of horizon scanning to acquire information. It can be initiated by the information presented on TV, radio, printed media, conferences, or other sources.
Rarely, does an observation represent a single state of a single issue. It is a method of gaining insight into issues of the time and potentially offers a vision of the future. Upon initiation, no contact is made between the researcher and the organization or persons observed. Final conclusions regarding the outcome are seldom reached. It is a never-ending information-gathering process.
It appears from the information provided by the universities linked-to, that the education service industry is indeed global, and possibly covers every continent and culture. That there is a network of agreements between the universities that would provide a path for students to move freely between global universities and employers providing entrance and visa requirements are satisfied.
Computer engineering, in conjunction with electronic engineering and Computer science, are the hardware and network design components of the worldwide communication system. Computing and communication facilities are networked worldwide via telecommunication systems. Also, refer to Information and communications technology.
Communication between computers and peripherals internal to organizations is made possible with the application of local area networks (LANs). Communication between local LANs and external organizations is made possible with the application of wide-area networks (WANs).
Software Engineering is the design component for software that creates computer and peripheral operating systems, and application programs that create and manage information systems for commercial business and personal services.
Universities worldwide are developing large-scale interconnected campuses that resemble towns and factories. Examples of large-scale campuses are IIT Bombay, India, the National University of Singapore, and the Suzhou Dushu Lake Higher Education Town of the Peoples Republic of China. Refer to the links above.
Entrance requirements for degree programs indicate completion of science and mathematics requirements must be met before acceptance and entrance to degree programs. Humanities and social sciences are not a significant part of the degree programs as they are in the U.S., where students who graduate from high school in the U.S. score 37th among major competitors.
In the physical sciences, virtually everything that is created can be reverse-engineered. Students in the above-referenced programs learn how to do it.
International hardware and software companies provide academic organizations and students with their products to practice on and to make engineering changes under contract. Most cyber security breaches come from inside the organization. Sony Picture Studios Hacked.
The best security measures are provided by individual users. There are a large number of automated systems attempting to sell products and services or acquire users' personal and financial information.
Virtually everyone receives calls and emails from these systems daily. Commercial businesses and government entities routinely sell information of individual customers and citizens'.
It is best to assume anything can be hacked. Your phone, computer, car navigation, communication systems, and more can be hacked, and controlled by someone else with the tools and training to do so.
1). Typical example is an email is received with the logo of a bank on it. The email contains a form asking the recipient to verify their information by entering their user name and password in the form. Placing the mouse cursor on the link, not clicking on it, will provide the actual address of the server the email came from.
The domain name is shown on the lower left-hand corner of the web page. The domain name is entered into the search area on the web browser. And, in fact, it is not the bank! In fact, it is a website located in Beijing with images of a large international corporation. The domain is listed as registered at the same address as the Chinese communist army. The location of the webserver is in Texas.
Webservers can have services that track the Internet Protocol (IP) address of sites that visit a company or private website. Checking the server log for results of visitors revealed that twenty-four computers located in Beijing, and eight computers in North Korea were crawling the website weekly. Search Engine Watch provides a full discussion on the issues.
Tools located on the bottom of the COM CENTER page were used to research the real domain registrant, and enter the actual domain in the URL space on the web browser. The result of the search revealed the site sending the email request was chinatonga.com, a domain name that has now been deactivated.
2). A second case as in 1). above. An email was received with the image of a bank on it. Once again the email requested the User Name and Password for a bank account. Placing the mouse cursor over the link revealed it was a personal email address. An email from a private account does not redirect to a web page as above.
However, unseen to the viewer or originator of the email, there is an IP address hidden in the header of the email. This email was not associated with the organizations in 1). above. Using tools from the COM CENTER again, it revealed the physical location of the originator of the email. Results of tracing the IP address led to the home of a senior executive of a company that held the accounting information of outside vendors.
This posting could continue endlessly. Examples of cyber security breaches continue every day and night. An example: hacking school systems reveals such an example.
When viewing a Wikipedia page, read and test the reference links at the bottom of the page . . . there is a wealth of information to be revealed by doing so.
Example: Trade war and economic slowdown leave giant Chinese industrial estate scrambling to keep foreign companies.
Examples of Nation States Hacking:
U.S. Spy Agency Warns That Chinese Hackers Target Military, Defense Industry
Moving Against China's Military for Hacking U.S. Company.
North Korean hackers ramp up bank heists.
NATO Cyber Defense Center launches cyber threats 2030 overview. Web page and embed video. A lengthy cyber defense and horizon scanning presentation. (2:33.58)
Education is international commerce and has become a big business. With the advent of current and future communications technologies, each organization is seeking new and growing markets, and hopefully access and increasing profits. However, there is a point at which expansion, growth, and competition dilute profits and sustainability.
Communications technologies are an outgrowth of engineering principles and associated products. With Increasing speed, engineering principles and associated products outgrow the last version. Within this process, errors in cyber security occur as products and management are not keep up to date. New hacking products create the need for putting in place more stringent control features, frequently overlooked.
This results in a continuous flow of funds from government funding, student tuition, and endowments to purchase new communication products and keep up with the education market.
If history is a lesson, this process as with all growth processes will hit a plateau and stall. Marginal competitors and those that overreached and became heavily indebted will be forced out of the education market.
Bolstering current expansion is the current imbalance of import and export markets. Future posting of the Real status of the U.S. economy. This will demonstrate how the U.S. and western economies are funding China's education, business, industrial, commercial, military, and territorial expansion.
Information in this posting will be addressed in the SOTU: BACKDROP SUMMARY for 2022-2028.
End of posting.