Summer Cybersecurity Course for High School Students

Cybersecurity and Hacking: doing what wasn’t expected

Discover the summer course in cybersecurity and hacking devoted to secondary school students (from the second year on). Understand and develop a hacker mentality in order to block cyber attacks. Understand how technologies work in order to exploit them in a way their designers had never imagined.

Based on the experience of professors at the Politecnico di Milano, an innovative course in cybersecurity and hacking has been created as part of TechCamp@PoliMI.

Why a course in cybersecurity and hacking?

The world around us is filled with technology, and computers in particular. The systems we use every day, those we depend on, are complicated, and it is just as complicated to make them work correctly. In addition, extremely powerful and versatile systems are not often exploited fully, or they hold untapped potential.

Contrary to what is often communicated by the media, hacking is the ability (and art) of making technological systems (and others) do things they were not designed to do. In a certain sense, it implies the capacity to understand them ‘better’ than those who designed them.

To successfully hack complex systems, two basic elements are needed: in-depth knowledge of and a passion for technology, and the ability to think creatively and outside the box. Understanding how to hack these systems is the first step in learning how to protect them using cybersecurity techniques.

In particular, this course will include examples related to the security of systems and applications. In modern systems, it often happens that small errors or oversights can become major security problems that are difficult to manage. Together we will look at practical examples of such errors, and how it is possible, with the right mentality, to understand the real implications of these problems.

Making systems secure is a complex undertaking. It requires not only the analysis of risks and costs, but above all an understanding of what the threats might be. Understanding what errors there are and how they cause the most damage is therefore fundamental in concentrating and optimising efforts to solve the most serious problems.

Course contents

  • Introduction to Internet technologies
  • Reading and understanding applications written by others (reverse engineering)
  • Vulnerabilities of Web services
  • Introduction to cryptography

Like all TechCamp@PoliMI summer courses, the approach effectively combines theory and practice, providing a genuine STEM experience (an acronym used to indicate scientific-technological disciplines such as science, technology, engineering, mathematics and other related study programmes).

Technical requirements

To participate in the course, you will need to bring your laptop computer. Under no circumstances may you use a tablet. The necessary software would not be properly supported.
You will need one of the following operating systems with Office installed:

  • Windows 7 (or later) or Windows Server (2012 R2+)
  • MacOS 10.10 (or later)
  • Linux (deb and rpm format)

Before the start of the course, you will have to download:

If you have any doubts you can write an email to or join the Telegram group.

Video presentation