Pupils Receive SQA Cyber Security Award

In our second year of running the SQA’s Award in Cyber Security Fundamentals we are delighted that 37 S3 pupils received the award.

After spending two months learning about cyber security threats and how to defend against them, pupils sat an exam that covered both the theory and practical elements of the course. During the two months pupils set up their own Pi-Top devices (miniature computers running a Linux operating system) and secured them against multiple security threats. 

Last year pupils hacked the school smart board and this year we decided to take things further and “hack” a teddy. Mr Aitken said, “with the rise in internet connected devices, such as smart speakers, watches, vacuum cleaners and kids’ toys I was looking for a way that  would not only pique pupils’ interest but also generate a discussion and reflection on the pervasive nature of these devices. It’s quite difficult to buy toys with known security vulnerabilities for obvious reasons so I decided to build my own. I fitted a teddy with a camera, speaker and Raspberry Pi computer and configured it with various vulnerabilities that could be exploited by pupils and this turned out to be a huge success with pupils not only managing to hack into it but also surreptitiously get it to take a photo email email it to themselves. Some even managed to get the teddy to say phrases they’d recorded”.

The successful students with their awards, flanked by Dr Grant, Rector, Miss Orr and Mr Aitken.

Digital industries in Scotland are growing and as such we should be preparing students to enter this sector, not only as cyber security experts but just as importantly, an awareness of security issues that can affect everyone. 

Well done to everyone who gained their award.