Using Minecraft to Teach Information Security and Threat Management

Most parents and educators who are aware of Minecraft as a way to teach programming, critical thinking, design thinking and other skills, and that it is something many students love to use. I came across a presentation by Jarred White that he has delivered at security conferences on "Threat Modeling the Minecraft Way."

He talks about this unusual application of Minecraft as a tool for threat modeling and the parallels between information security and Minecraft's game mechanics, for example, asset protection. 

There is a video online and at about 14 minutes he compares Minecraft's "threat agents" to real-world security attacks: creeper monsters are very similar to denial-of-service attacks; skeletons shooting arrows are similar to remote code execution; zombies are similar to viruses. 

That means that players can also design passive security measures, such as architectural feature that can block spiders from climbing up walls.

Not only is this approach an interesting one for younger students to examine, and perhaps will be an introduction to the next generation of security workers. It can be also used at higher levels and ages to model the basics of cybersecurity, work in 3D spaces in a real-time simulator. 

This is Jarred's presentation from the Bsides 2016 information security conference 


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