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Scott Cowie | University of Sunderland

Computer Forensics BSc (Hons)

Little Hackers and Placement Update

Little Hackers

Hello everyone. So, yesterday as I went to shop at my local Sainsbury’s (the one where I work), I happened to notice something odd about the sound coming from the display TV’s. The basic use of the TV’s is to display them to the public, but to also run little advertisements and promotions, and it seemed a little strange that, for some reason, after the CD advert had stopped there was still music playing. As I was stood contemplating why such a thing would happen, I realised that there was a small group of lads giggling about next to the iPad display. Putting together loud and  annoying “New Monkey”(Noise) music and the way they were dressed told it was likely to be their handy work. Then it clicked: they were using the Bluetooth function on the device to connect one of their devices, likely a smart phone, to play the music through. Obviously, as the music is offensive to hearing but to most young children, I went to speak to security to get something done, but it made me think about Computer Forensics and how unsafe the device must be to be so easily manipulated like that. Although there is no actual hack, they are using a Bluetooth device to send their music across and play it publicly. This could quite easily be exploited by others.

This incident also made me think about how young children can easily do these things, and it only takes a small leap from this kind of activity to online hacking of some sort. As part of my CET206 research ( we are creating a code learning system for key stage 2 children), children are being taught code in schools in a small, primitive way, but as most languages are similar in some way, it wouldn’t take much learning to evolve their skills and become black hats. This begs the question as to whether they are taught about ethics and morality in the schools to do with computing. As part of the Computer Forensics course, we are constantly asked about these issues and learn the theory behind it. Just a thought…



Placement Update

I have heard back from some of my placement applications and it’s looking good so far although I must admit in my mind I am weighing up the benefits of each as I need to make sure I can still pay my University fees and live at the same time. It is definitely a big decision but I’m still adamant that a Placement is essential to my learning and skill progression.


Here is the update:

  • Clicksco applied through email from a contact at the University for Software DevelopmentReceived an email today inviting me to an interview
  • HP (Hewlett Packard) applied through their website for Software Development –Awaiting Reply
  • GE (General Electric) applied through their website for Software Engineering I received an email inviting me to a phone interview to be conducted in February
  • Microsoft applied through their website for Software Development  I received an email stating I had passed the Video Interview and awaiting the next step (Supposedly a Skype interview 😮 )
  • Accenture applied via email through University for Software DevelopmentAwaiting Reply
  • HMRC applied through contact at University as it isn’t online anywhere for Software Development Awaiting Reply (extended application date)


Remember feel free to ask me any questions!!!

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  • Name: Scott Cowie
  • Age: 25
  • Studying: Computer Forensics BSc (Hons)
  • Hometown: Birtley, UK
  • Ambitions: I want to go far in the Computer Forensics Industry and help create a world with a safe computer environment for everyone.

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