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UCS8012 Social Engineering Cyber Attacks

8W Teaching Period 3, 2022 Online
Units : 0.25
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Business
Grading basis : Graded
Course fee schedule : https://www.unisq.edu.au/current-students/administration/fees/fee-schedules


Examiner: Scott Sorley


Social engineering is a common technique employed by cyber criminals. It uses deception to manipulate people into divulging information or taking action that can be exploited by cyber attackers for nefarious purposes. This minicourse provides a deep dive into what social engineering is, how it is executed, and why it is effective.

The minicourse applies a people-centred lens on social engineering to help students understand how human behaviour and psychological patterns can be exploited by cyber attackers. Students will learn about the structure of social engineering attacks - in particular, phishing and spear phishing attacks - and how these attacks can be interrupted. Understanding the threat, why it is so effective and how it can be mitigated is critical to reducing and managing risk. Real world examples from multiple industries are used to illustrate key principles.

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. critically analyse, reflect on and synthesize complex issues and specialized knowledge related to the role that people play in social engineering (CIS8710 LO1; LO2; LO4)
  2. interpret, articulate and communicate complex issues relating to human factors in cyber security to achieve targeted outcomes (CIS8710 LO5).


Description Weighting(%)
1. Social engineering: This topic gives students a foundational knowledge of social engineering, its different types and why it works 25.00
2. Structure of social engineering attacks: This topic explores the structure of a social engineering attack, particularly through a specific social engineering framework 25.00
3. Phishing: This topic focuses on one specific social engineering attack, phishing, which is one of the most common types of social engineering attacks 25.00
4. Spear phishing: This topic focuses on one specific social engineering attack, spear phishing, which is one of the most common types of social engineering attacks 25.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

All resources can be downloaded from the learning platform.

Assessment details

Description Weighting (%)
Date printed 10 February 2023