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Last Updated: Monday, 14 April, 2003, 09:44 GMT 10:44 UK
Students learn art of computer hacking
Computer virus
The I Love You computer virus struck in May 2000
Undergraduates can now learn the art of computer hacking through a new course being set up at the University of Leeds.

In conjunction with Microsoft, the course is designed to teach students how to write security code.

They will be taught how to identify potential weaknesses in programs that can be exploited by hackers and virus writers, such as the I Love You virus unleashed in May 2000 which clogged computers worldwide.

The Trustworthy Computer course will be available to students from January 2004.

Business world

Microsoft UK Chief Security Officer Stuart Okin said: "Security is one of the key issues in the IT industry and the wider business world today.

"Regardless of which vendor's product you use, or which industry you are in, computer security and privacy is probably today's top concern."

Professor Tony Cohn, head of the university's School of Computing, said: "We strongly believe that providing our students with skills in Trustworthy Computing will not only give them a significant edge in achieving fulfilling employment at the end of their study, but will also position them to add real value to tomorrow's businesses and IT development.

"Taking into account feedback from the IT industry, this new course will fulfil a much-needed requirement for software developers with skills in security engineering."

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