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A Cyber Attack Simulation for Teaching Cybersecurity

12 pagesPublished: May 26, 2023


With the rising number of cyberattacks, such as ransomware attacks and cyber espionage, educating non-cybersecurity professionals to recognize threats has become more important than ever before. However, traditional training methods, such as phishing awareness campaigns, training videos and assessments have proven to be less effective over time. Therefore, it is time to rethink the approach on how to train cyber awareness. In this paper we suggest an alternative approach – a serious game – to educate awareness for common cyberattacks. While many serious games for cybersecurity education exist, all follow a very similar approach: showing people the effects of a cyber attack on their own system or company network. For example, one of the main tasks in these games is to sort out phishing mails. We developed and evaluated a new type of cybersecurity game: an attack simulator, which shows the entire setting from a different perspective. Instead of sorting out phishing mails the players should write phishing mails to trick potential victims and use other forms of cyberattacks. Our game explains the intention of each attack and shows the consequences of a successful attack. This way, we hope, players will get a better understanding on how to detect cyberattacks.

Keyphrases: Awareness, Cyber Security, Education, Phishing, serious game

In: Aurona Gerber and Knut Hinkelmann (editors). Proceedings of Society 5.0 Conference 2023, vol 93, pages 129--140

BibTeX entry
  author    = {Christopher Scherb and Luc Bryan Heitz and Frank Grimberg and Hermann Grieder and Marcel Maurer},
  title     = {A Cyber Attack Simulation for Teaching Cybersecurity},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of Society 5.0 Conference 2023},
  editor    = {Aurona Gerber and Knut Hinkelmann},
  series    = {EPiC Series in Computing},
  volume    = {93},
  pages     = {129--140},
  year      = {2023},
  publisher = {EasyChair},
  bibsource = {EasyChair,},
  issn      = {2398-7340},
  url       = {},
  doi       = {10.29007/dkdw}}
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