I just started my new classes yesterday. Although different instructors were listed when I first registered, I actually have two of the same professors from last time. I am really excited about the Risk Management class since we are using the newest edition of Hacking Exposed as our text. The book for my Countermeasures class isn't as interesting, but the last chapter is about "Computer-based Espionage and Terrorism", so that definitely makes it worth it to me. The book for the OS Hardening class focuses more on Linux than Windows, so hopefully I will learn something new there.

Since I don't have access to a school computer security lab like students at a traditional school would, I am thinking about installing a version of Linux as a secondary OS just to get some practice. I don't want to run it as a virtual machine - I was going to actually dual boot. Any recommendations? I'd be running it on a MacBook for the time being, although I will probably get a MacBook Pro sometime next year.

We do not have to do a paper for the Risk Management class since most of our assignments end up being essay-length for sake of detail. For the Countermeasures class, we have to do a paper on "any topic related to the course and write about the latest developments and issues", so I am thinking about using the information warfare stuff again but taking a different angle and focusing on something more specific - maybe threats to SCADA or a case study of a specific type of attack and how it can be used or has been used for "hacktivism", espionage, etc. I have to pick something by next week for approval - hopefully she will let me do the paper on that. In my OS Hardening class, we can write a paper on anything relevant. I'm still not sure what topic I will pick for that. I'd love to do a paper comparing Windows to Swiss cheese, but... Lol any suggestions on that one?