Security Education

In our online courses, for example on OpenHPI, the security team led by Prof. Dr. Christoph Meinel regularly provides new Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on the topic of IT security. Partly with a different focus, the different courses have in common that they are aimed at "normal people" without much prior technical knowledge, so that no one has to feel excluded here due to a lack of prior knowledge.

Many of our learners successfully complete the courses. A core feature of our online courses are still the forums in which learners and teaching team actively discuss and thus contribute to the exchange of knowledge!


The Identity Leak Checker

The Identity Leak Checker (ILC) is one of the oldest and probably best known research projects of the Security Engineering Group. On the Internet, digital identities are stolen, misused and resold by cyber criminals every day. Such identity data sets are used on the Internet to collect more and more information about users. Complete data sets can be resold more expensively, or used to improve future attacks. 

With the ILC, we provide an infrastructure to collect and make available this identity data that is stolen from service providers and then published ("leaked"). You can therefore request a check of the leaked data for your e-mail address at the ILC. Upon verification, you will receive an email from us stating what types of data, such as username, password, or address and credit card information, are contained in the publicly available records. Based on this, you can take appropriate precautions and, for example, update your passwords. 

On the website of the ILC you will also find some hints on how to handle accounts and passwords

Teaching-Activities for Security Education

For students of the Hasso Plattner Institute we offer two Bachelor courses in the area of general security awareness:

Internet Security: The lecture offers an introduction to cyber security. Historical events and developments are related to current knowledge, technologies and developments. Lab scenarios allow students to try and perform hands-on some practical examples. Especially in security teaching, the inclusion of hands-on components is essential to solidify understanding.

Cops and Robbers: The in-depth seminar is used to give particularly committed and motivated students the opportunity to view and carry out the security process as it is lived in companies from all facets. In the first step, the students have to set up a productive infrastructure according to certain specifications. In the next step, the student teams must then attack precisely this infrastructure and uncover any security gaps. 

Research on IT-Security Education

While one could simply teach according to old standards, we believe that this - especially for our security area - does not offer much added value. Many renowned researchers have already identified that in today's world, the topic of "Security" is not a subject for a classroom and a theoretical consideration alone. Therefore, since mid-2021, our team has been dedicated to researching new teaching & learning methods for the Security field and incorporating them into our courses.

These new forms include ideas such as podcasts instead of "traditional" instructional videos, in-depth conversations, and more interactive exercises. While we can't provide all of this in every course, we plan to use these methodologies more in future courses. We welcome you to OpenHPI for this as well



  • Consuming Security: Evalu... - Download
    Koehler, D., Serth, S., Meinel, C.: Consuming Security: Evaluating Podcasts to Promote Online Learning Integrated with Everyday Life. Proceedings of the World Engineering Education Forum (2021).