ACM Hex is the cybersecurity-focused Special Interest Group at ACM BPDC. Cybersecurity is the practice of defending computers, servers, mobile devices, electronic systems, networks, and data from malicious attacks. Some common categories are:

  • Network security

  • Application security

  • Endpoint security

  • Data security

  • Identity management

  • Database and infrastructure security

  • Cloud security

  • Mobile security

  • Disaster recovery/business continuity planning

At ACM Hex, we take workshops to introduce students to basic concepts in cybersecurity and penetration testing and prevention from attacks like:

  • Malware: One of the most common cyber threats, malware is software that a cybercriminal or hacker has created to disrupt or damage a legitimate user’s computer. Often spread via an unsolicited email attachment or legitimate-looking download, malware may be used by cybercriminals to make money or in politically motivated cyber-attacks.

  • SQL Injection: An SQL (structured language query) injection is a type of cyber-attack used to take control of and steal data from a database. Cybercriminals exploit vulnerabilities in data-driven applications to insert malicious code into a database via a malicious SQL statement. This gives them access to the sensitive information contained in the database.


  • Phishing: Phishing is when cybercriminals target victims with emails that appear to be from a legitimate company asking for sensitive information. Phishing attacks are often used to dupe people into handing over credit card data and other personal information.


  • Man-in-the-middle attack: A man-in-the-middle attack is a type of cyber threat where a cybercriminal intercepts communication between two individuals in order to steal data. For example, on an unsecured WiFi network, an attacker could intercept data being passed from the victim’s device and the network.


  • Denial-of-service attack: A denial-of-service attack is where cybercriminals prevent a computer system from fulfilling legitimate requests by overwhelming the networks and servers with traffic. This renders the system unusable, preventing an organization from carrying out vital functions.

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