Singapore College Teaches Students How To Hack Into School Computer Network

The course teaches students how hackers work and how to fix computer networks that have been broken into, said Steven Chew, a lecturer in computer and networking technology at Singapore Polytechnic.

``To catch a thief, you need to know how a thief operates,'' Chew told his class.

Asia has been the root of some of the worst attacks by hackers in recent years.

In May 2000, the so-called Love Bug virus, released in the Philippines, overwhelmed e-mail systems worldwide and caused tens of millions of dollars in damage.

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The students are expected to break into the school's Network Operations Center _ partly sponsored by U.S. computer giants IBM and Cisco Systems _ within a half hour. But Chew does not expect any of his disciples to turn into hackers.

``We also educate students on the ethics and law on hacking in Singapore,'' he said.

Hackers can be jailed for up to three years or fined up to S$10,000 under the city-state's Computer Misuse Act.

Close to 80 percent of Singapore's 4 million citizens own personal computers and the island is largely considered to be the most technologically advanced in Southeast Asia.

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