UNIT 04 - Big Data

EXPECTATIONS: Before we start this unit you should be comfortable with the following:

  • Data is stored in structures
  • Encrypted data is not casually viewable
  • "Nefarious actors" are present throughout the web
  • Massive data files exist on citizens and consumers

LEARNING GOALS -- At the conclusion of this unit, I will be able to :

      1. Accurately descrie "Big Data"
      2. Analyze my personal Google archive
      3. Study the implications of a Big Data breach
      4. Explain why encryption is an important need for everyday life on the Internet
      5. Crack a message encrypted with a Caesar cipher using a Caesar Cipher Widget
      6. Crack a message encrypted with random substitution using Frequency Analysis
      7. Explain the weaknesses and security flaws of substitution ciphers
      8. Describe RSA encryption to a casual user
      9. Create an encryption key, send an encrypted message and have a colleague decrypt my message with that key
      10. Explain the characteristics of a phishing attack
      11. Analyze various hacking schemes and suggest whether having encrypted data would be beneficial in each case
      12. Explain how a DDoS attack works
      13. Describe how one computer virus works
      14. Research and describe a cyber attack found in the news
      15. Reason about the threats posed by, and methods of recourse for, various types of cyber attacks
      16. Describe plausible storage, security, or privacy concerns for particular pieces of data

CODE.ORG Lesson Plans (we *mostly* follow those)

Lesson 1: What is Big Data?

Lesson 2: Finding Trends with Visualizations

Lesson 3: Check Your Assumptions

Lesson 4: Rapid Research - Data Innovations

Lesson 5: Identifying People with Data

Lesson 6: The Cost of Free

Lesson 7: Simple Encryption

Lesson 8: Encryption with Keys and Passwords

Lesson 9: Public Key Crypto

Lesson 10: Rapid Research - Cybercrime


  • Big Data - a broad term for datasets so large or complex that traditional data processing applications are inadequate.
  • Moore's Law - a predication made by Gordon Moore in 1965 that computing power will double every 1.5-2 years, it has remained more or less true ever since.
  • Caesar Cipher - a technique for encryption that shifts the alphabet by some number of characters
  • Cipher - the generic term for a technique (or algorithm) that performs encryption
  • Cracking encryption - When you attempt to decode a secret message without knowing all the specifics of the cipher, you are trying to "crack" the encryption.
  • Decryption - a process that reverses encryption, taking a secret message and reproducing the original plain text
  • Encryption - a process of encoding messages to keep them secret, so only "authorized" parties can read it.
  • Random Substitution Cipher - an encryption technique that maps each letter of the alphabet to a randomly chosen other letters of the alphabet.
  • Symetric Key Cipher
  • Asymetric Key Cipher
  • Antivirus Software - usually keeps big lists of known viruses and scans your computer looking for the virus programs in order to get rid of them.
  • DDoS Attack - Distributed Denial of Service Attack. Typically a virus installed on many computers (thousands) activate at the same time and flood a target with traffic to the point the server becomes overwhelmed.
  • Firewall - software that runs on servers (often routers) that only allows traffic through according to some set of security rules.
  • Phishing Scam - a thief trying to trick you into sending them sensitive information. Typically these include emails about system updates asking you send your username and password, social security number or other things.
  • SSL/TLS - Secure Sockets layer / Transport Layer Security - An encryption layer of HTTP that uses public key cryptography to establish a secure connection.
  • Virus - a program that runs on a computer to do something the owner of the computer does not intend.

Little Bo Peep Has Lost Her Sheep

and Radar Cannot Find Them

They'll all (face to face)

Meet in parallel Space

Preceding Their Leaders Behind them