February 10th, 2013
pejmanyousefzadeh

How Go Might Help Anticipate and Counter Cyber Threats

I am as fascinated with Go as I am with chess, so this story caught my eye:

As the United States faces increasing cyber and physical threats, both foreign and domestic, intelligence analysts must be able to predict their adversaries’ moves and defeat them at their own games. At Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), Stan Aungst is employing the ancient Chinese game of Go to help students gain new insight and new methods for countering attacks and to hone new cognitive skills for the 21st century.

"We’re using the game as a training ground to think strategically and tactically," said Aungst, a senior lecturer for security and risk analysis (SRA) and senior research associate for the Network-Centric Cognition and Information Fusion Center.

The course that Aungst is teaching, “Using Serious Games to Promote Strategic Thinking and Analysis,” introduces students to thinking visually about attacks, attack patterns, spatial analysis with individual performance evaluation via interactive virtual scenarios/missions and gaming.

Go is a board game for two players that originated in China more than 2,500 years ago and spread to Korea and Japan in about the 5th and 7th centuries CE, respectively. The two players alternately place black and white playing pieces, called “stones,” on the vacant intersections (called “points”) of a grid of 19X19 lines. The object of the game is to use one’s stones to surround a larger total area of the board than the opponent. Once placed on the board, stones may not be moved, but stones are removed from the board if captured. When a game concludes, the controlled points (territory) are counted along with captured stones to determine who has more points. Games may also be won by resignation.

I dedicate this blog post to Benjamin Wittes, who is also a Go fan, and who just happens to be the editor-in-chief of this blog.

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