Introduction to Defensive Hacking

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**Filling quickly! Register soon to secure a spot in the program.**


$249; Payment is due upon registration

Date & Time

June 21 - 24 (Tuesday - Friday), 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. CST

Program Registration


Registration is open until filled. Please view our policies and resources page before registration. 



Workshop Overview

This course provides students with the concepts and skills for defensive hacking. Students practice hands-on cybersecurity defensive hacking techniques while in a lab environment. Topics covered will include:

  • The concept of “blue teams”
  • Setup of a virtualization environment for threat assessment testing
  • An overview of attack vectors, including brute force, denial of service, scans, backdoor attacks, and more
  • Concepts and methods for mitigation of risk, including firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and intrusion prevention systems
  • Using scanning tools like Nmap, Wireshark, Dig, NSlookup, and others to protect your network

How You Will Benefit

We will cover the fundamentals of information security from a defensive hacking perspective in this course.

Workshop Objectives

Topics covered include the concept of “blue teams,” setup of the virtualization environment for threat assessments testing, understanding different attack vectors, brute force, denial of service, scans, backdoor attacks, and other topics. Additionally, we will cover concepts and methods for mitigation of risk, firewalls, intrusion detection systems, intrusion prevention systems, using snort, Security Onion, and tools for scanning your network for threats

Eligibility and Program Requirements

This cybersecurity course is open to any high school sophomore, junior, or senior (ages 14-17) worldwide, as well as those technically advanced incoming freshmen who receive Illinois Tech staff approval. No prerequisite knowledge is required; however, It is recommended that students have some technical knowledge. Students practice hands-on basic techniques and continue into advanced techniques while building small project-based websites and web applications.

Upon registration, students must submit the following in order to confirm enrollment in the program:

  • Program fee
  • Parental consent form, which will be sent by email via DocuSign

In order for the program to be as interactive as possible, students are encouraged to use their webcam during the synchronous sessions. Students participating in Illinois Tech online summer programs must be at least 14 years of age to participate. View Zoom privacy policy.

Technology Requirements

This program will require the download and installation of software and the use of video conferencing. To participate, students should plan to use a laptop or desktop computer with the minimum specifications:

  • Access to High-Speed Internet
  • 4 GB minimum and 8 GB recommended of RAM
  • 60-100 GB of hard drive space or larger
  • Webcam and speakers/headset and microphone recommended
  • Windows/Mac OS preferred

Please note that students will not be able to participate fully in the program with Chromebooks, tablets, or cell phones, and their use is not advised. 


This program will be taught by Don Nelson, an adjunct industry professor of information technology and management at Illinois Tech. He is also a senior validation manager, application enablement and was an information security architect, systems engineer, and product manager-IP multimedia subsystem for Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia.