Getting Started

Teachers, Home-schoolers, and parents looking for help in using HHS can take a look below for guidance. Additionally they can find help in the ISECOM training courses which teach the concepts of the lessons and how to best assist the students learning the lessons:

SAI - The Security Awareness Instructor certification course is based on the research from the ISECOM Security Awareness Learning Tactics project and is focused on creating security awareness programs. It is ideal for the focus on cybersafety and creating a security awareness program.

CHAT - The Certified Hacker Analyst Trainer course is a technical, knowlege-based certification designed to accredit teachers teaching cybersecurity training such as the Certified Hacker Analyst and Hacker Highschool. It is ideal for teaching the hacker mindset and cybersecurity.

HHST - The Hacker Highschool Teacher certification course is an entry level class for teachers who have little IT or Cybersecurity experience. It provides an overview of the HHS program, preperation methods for the class, and the best methods for teaching general (not cybersecurity focused) teen students. It is ideal for teaching cybersafety in the classroom environment.

You can get all the information on the certification trainings here at ISECOM.

Additionally, you can kick off your Hacker Highschool program with a live edutainment seminar at your school or community center. This is ISECOM's professional hackers and security researchers talking to parents and students about the online threats to teens and families today. 

Specific help available here for:

Teachers & Homeschoolers

How do we get started in a classroom?

It's easy! Visit the Lessons section and preview the PDF samples of the lessons. If you like what you see get the full Workbooks. The Hacker Highscool Workbooks are designed for self-learning so all you need to do is organize the students to do the reading and complete the exercises. We recommend you arrange the students to do the readings on their own and work on exercises in teams of two. The teams share their findings with each other within the class. At the most basic level, the teacher maintains the order of the class, assures they use their internet connected computers properly, and facilitates discussion. Teachers can also supplement with presentations, explanations, local cybersecurity guest speakers, and projects.

It may also be good to start with a larger assembly or conference to kick-off and prepare the students for what they'll be learning and how cybersafety affects them. We can help you prepare to do this internally or we can provide a seasoned HHS teacher to do this for you.

Is a License required?

Hacker Highschool lessons are free to use for public and private high schools, homeschoolers, and personal use. While there is no cost or license required for high schools, we do ask that you let us know which school you are with and any feedback. If you want to teach or reuse these lessons anywhere else then yes, you need to buy a license.

Do I need to get certified to teach Hacker Highschool?

The lessons are designed for the students to self-learn but as any great teacher knows, you need to guide a student to knowing. To do this, you should be familiar with the concepts in these lessons as well as how teens should be introduced to hacking. ISECOM provides the Security Awareness Instructor and Certified Hacker Analyst Trainer certifications which covers these things. You can get all the information on the certification trainings here at ISECOM.

What equipment is needed?

The students should have a PC or laptop with a bootable Linux. You can use a USB key and boot off of that or just install Linux straight on. If you are unsure how to do that please search online for "How to make a live linux usb" and you'll have many answers. Additionally there are a variety of Security Linux distributions specifically for testing and hacking that may be of interest. If you don't know which one or are new to Linux I recommend you pick one of the ones made specifically for testing security. Just search online for Security Live Linux Distros and follow the instructions for install or bootable USB.

Once it's installed and you are connected to the network you need something to throw packets at. Yes, it's usually not recommended to scan and probe random targets on your network or on the Internet. If you don't have access to a local test lab, we have one for purchase. The ISECOM test lab is designed for classrooms and requires a license to use.

If you need help with the technical set-up of the classroom we recommend you reach out to us and we'll see if we have someone in your area to provide help with setting up your classroom, prepare an appropriate Linux distro on USB sticks, set up computers to boot up in Kali, or installing a more secure and robust wifi or switches for connecting to either the HHS test network or your own, local test network which they can also make.


How do I get help with the lessons?

If you need help please feel free to post questions to the HHS mailing list. To join the list please click HERE

How do I get the HHS project in my school?

Many requests come straight from students for HHS. If you want to know what you can you do to bring this to your school or what you need to do to get started, then please try these 3 things: 

1 Tell you teachers. 

The first step is to let them know about the HHS program and how it can fit into their curriculum or as an after-school club. With a teacher or administrator's help, you can quickly get started. Have your teach visit this website or contact us directly.

2. Start a club.

After school clubs are generally very flexible and most administrators will allow students classroom and computer access if they find a teacher or administration personnel to support it and be there. It also shows there are enough students interested for this type of learning activity. If this still doesn't work, at least you have a big enough group to approach other schools or colleges outside your school.

3. Take it outside the school.

If your school cannot or will not support the HHS program then you have other options. With a group of students you can appeal to local trade schools, colleges, universities, internet security businesses, local ISPs, the PTA (parents-teachers association), and even to other schools in other school districts.

Hacker Highschool in Hawaii

by Bob Monroe, HHS Project Manager & Ambassador

Mililani High School is located in the center of Oahu in Hawaii. A middle-class town, known more for their athletic department than anything else beyond the hundreds of additional camps, afterschool groups, and school affiliated programs. This school happens to be located within four miles of Kunia Listening Post, Wheeler Army Airfield, Schofield Barracks and kilometers of Pineapple crops. The school was literally built on Pineapple fields. And Mililani High School is a powerhouse of talent.

If you were to think of places that have amazing cyber security education programs, Hawaii ranks as an afterthought. The local National Security Agency (NSA) coupled with the strategic location of Hawaii, makes the islands of Hawaii a perfect location to raise homegrown talent. Many students have parents with either a military or intelligence background, while many more are just curious and incredibly smart teens. There are two major industries in Hawaii, tourism is one and defense is the other. The defense sector has always relied on using outsourced contractors, third party vendors, and outside suppliers for help in filling most of their cyber security needs in Hawaii. This had been due to the shortage of local talent.

Hacker Highschool has been working with Mililani Highschool and several other local schools to increase cyber security talent. This work includes weekly classes for 2 different high schools taught by Bob Monroe on a voluntary basis, Mililani and Leilehua High School. Even President Obama’s Alma Mata, Punahou High School, uses Hacker Highschool’s lessons to teach their cyber security teens. All classes revolve around the concepts in the Open Source Security Testing Methodology Manual (OSSTMM). The basic concepts for each course teach the students what the security issue is, how the issue works, and how to protect assets against the security issue. Currently, Mililani has 20 students and Leilehua High School has 15 students in each security class.

Many states, like the state of Hawaii, use Cyber Patriot as a steppingstone to security for all public and charter schools across the islands. However the program does not include the cybersecurity resources and knowledge that students need to be successful in cyberscurity. This leaves many schools turning to Hacker Highschool to fill that gap. Hacker Highschool provides the curriculum and the resources students need to fulfill the cybersecurity know-how that does not come with being part of Cyber Patriot. 

Additionally, Hacker Highschool in Hawaii attends security and IT conferences to share what we know. We provide two different booths depending on the type of event. The first is the “Microcomputer Village” and it shows various IoT devices, how they work, and what security challenges they possess to an organization. The second is the “Hacking Hardware” display. The idea behind this is to show attendees the types of tools attackers use to gain access to assets or disrupt network communication. This display highlights equipment such as the HackRF One, r00tabega, deauther, WiFi Pineapple, Rubber Ducky, Bad USB, frequency counters, ESP8266 Development board, and Raspberry Pi running hacker versions of Linux. Most defensive security and IT professionals have never seen this type of equipment before even though it is used on a regular basis by criminals and penetration testers.

This is how we are leading the way in Hawaii. HHS' primary goal is to teach the next generation to know cybersecurity, which happen to be teens. If we teach a few cybersecurity professionals along the way, even better. 

Hacker Highschool

Cybersecurity for Teens