Jan 042013
 

boardgame

[d0x3d] is a boardgame designed for informal security education, this is an incredibly fun game that proactively teaches about network integrity and the security of information.

Inspired by Forbidden Island, d0x3d! and is released under an open source license.

It requires only a small number of people but packs a very powerful lesson. Incorporating it into internet security curriculum provides an enjoyable lesson for sure. This game has proven to be an invaluable teaching tool since people tend to learn better when shown by example, and it’s proven that a real hand on approach has a lasting impression.


Even the most skeptical of instructors have discovered remarkable results when utilizing this game in addition to a solid lesson plan. Being able to visualize real security threats to data and information is the step needed to fully understanding how to protect that same data. It can be a day of classroom fun by placing everyone into small groups and having them compete for top security group of the day.

How to Play

To play [d0x3d!], you need up to three additional players that assume the role of a hacker syndicate that infiltrates a network to reclaim valuable digital assets that were previously stolen. What are the assets- Financial data, personally identifiable information, authentication credentials, and intellectual property? The exact representations of these are your secrets Embarrassing and compromising photos or a guarded recipe for the best BBQ in the world. You get to decide.

While you seek these valuable digital assets, the network administrators respond by patching all compromised machines, raising an alarm and sometimes changing the very topology to derail your movements. You and your team work together diligently, checking and raiding machines on the network, trying to not alert the network administrators to your presence. If the administrators feel threatened by any of the activity they see on a network, they’ll take your stolen personal data and release it to the internet. In other words, you’ll get d0x3d!

It’s an all-win or all-lose proposition. Hold fast to the network and protect all of your data!

Not only is it a new option to add to game nights that are steeped in reality, its fun and introduces people to network security terminology. It presents a golden opportunity to introduce people to the basic security construction and good old attack and defend techniques.

The Aftermath

Some of the most difficult terms and concepts of protecting information and data on networks become easy to comprehend when used in a game type environment. Not only will you find your students grasping the concepts easier, but the techniques of data security start to become second nature.

It’s rare to find a game that provides such a positive learning experience with little effort or cost expended. You’ll find students and colleagues wanting to play over and over again. It reinforces the concept that information security is constantly changing and is a very competitive field. If you want to hone your skills, then it takes real practice. A firm basis of the general concepts introduced by this game will last in the minds of all who participate. It’s the best return on an investment you’ll ever receive as an instructor.

Although it’s simple, versatility allows it to be played either by you or with up to four players. It comes in two editions: the Standard version with everything you need to play in a fancy box, or the Basic version that comes with everything you need to play, minus the organized box and instruction manuals, the full version cost 25$ and you can buy it from here.

The game is released as open source so there is also a version available for free downloading on the Github that contains all the materials required to play.

Author Bio: Davis Miller is a freelance guest writer and a father of two. His twin sons love playing video games and Davis spent his New Year holiday playing video games with them on Sniper Games 365.

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