That Blue Square Thing

Syllabus content:
PDF iconUnit 6 content – PDF doc to download
Note: this syllabus content is a slightly amended version of the one published freely on the web by AQA. I have made very minor adjustments to remove some content less suitable for students to use and it is presented here simply to allow the children I teach to download a usable copy of the syllabus content. It is copyright AQA and reproduced here simply to make access easier for students. No attempt to claim copyright is being made, although I could have copied the text into my own interpretation...

AQA Computer Science GCSE

This page is up to date for the AQA 8525 syllabus for exams from 2022.

Cyber Security

Cyber security is a major issue. It's all about how we protect computer systems and our data from attack and damage.

In a modern world that's increasingly dependent on computer systems and the data they store and process, it's vital that we're able to use those systems whenever we need to. But there are all sorts of reasons why they might be under attack and ways we might lose control of our data.

Part 1 – What is Cyber Security?

PDF iconCyber Security Definitions and Purposes

Part 2 – Cyber Security Threats

There are seven classic cyber security threats that you need to understand about.

Threats 1 (social engineering) and 2 (malware) are things we need to go into detail on, so leave these for now.

PDF iconCyber Security Threats – slides from class

PDF iconCyber Security Textbook Spread – notes with more details and activities

Part 3 – Penetration Testing

PDF iconPenetration Testing – summary slides

This is also covered in the textbook Spread above.

Note that on old exams (pre-2024), the exam board used the terms "white box" and "black box" testing. They don't use those anymore, but you might still see them in old resources or on old exam questions. The new versions of each term are "malicious insider" and "external attack".

Some detail...

You might want a little more detail on some of the threats:

PDF iconCyber Security Headlines – mostly from 2019 (created 27 March 2019)

PDF iconPassword Security – slides from class

NatWest ‐ pharming guidewiki link