Open source game, [d0x3d!], teaches security concepts and is fun to play

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Inspired by Forbidden Island, [d0x3d!] is a board game designed for informal security education and released under an open source license.

This is an incredibly fun game and invaluable teaching tool that proactively teaches network integrity and the security of information. It requires only a small number of people, and packs a powerful lesson—internet security. People tend to learn better when shown by example, and it’s proven that a real hands on approach can have a more lasting impression.

Instructors have seen positive results, when playing the game and in a solid lesson plan. Being able to visualize real security threats to data and information is important in order to fully understanding how to protect data. It can be a day of classroom fun: place everyone into small groups and have them compete for top security group of the day.

How to Play

To play [d0x3d!], you need up to three additional players that assume the role of a hacker syndicate that infiltrates a network to reclaim previously stolen, valuable digital assets: financial data, personally identifiable information, authentication credentials, or intellectual property. Representations of these assets are secret, compromising photos or a guarded recipe for the best BBQ in the world. You choose.

While you seek these valuable digital assets, the network administrators respond by patching all compromised machines, raising an alarm, and sometimes changing the very topology to derail your movements. You and your team work together diligently, checking and raiding machines on the network, trying to not alert the network administrators of your presence. If the administrators feel threatened by any of the activity they see on a network, they’ll take your stolen personal data and release it to the Internet. In other words, you’ll get d0x3d!!

It’s an all-win or all-lose proposition. Hold fast to the network and protect all of your data!

Additionally, not only is it a new option for game nights that are steeped in reality, it's fun and introduces people to network security terminology. It presents a golden opportunity to introduce people to basic security construction and good old attack-and-defend techniques.

The Aftermath

Some of the most difficult terms and concepts of protecting information and data on networks become easy to comprehend when used in a game environment. Not only will you find your students grasping the concepts easier, but the techniques of data security start to become second nature. And it’s rare to find a game that provides such a positive learning experience with such little effort or cost.

The game reinforces the concept that information security is constantly changing and is a very competitive field. If you want to hone your skills, then it takes real practice.

It comes in two editions: the Standard version with everything you need to play in a fancy box, or the Basic version that comes with everything you need to play, minus the organized box and instruction manuals, the full version cost is $25 and you can buy it here.

The game is released as open source so there is also a version available for free downloading on Github that contains all the materials required to play.

This article was originally posted on Linuxaria and is reposted under Creative Commons.

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5 Comments

Unidentified's picture

cc-BY-NC-SA isn't an open source license. Game sounds neat but it isn't open source.

Unidentified's picture

Of course it's open source: the source materials are available for viewing.

While cc-by-nc-sa license restricts use to non-commercial purposes, it doesn't change the fact that the source code is available for all to see: the real meaning of 'open'.

Now if you went to the source site and discovered that little of the source materials are openly available, that would be a different story.

jbicha's picture
Community Member

CC-BY-NC doesn't comply with point 6 of the Open Source Definition.

Ilan's picture

If you want to see the game in person join us at SCALE in LA next month. We'll have it available to play during our game night!

Pekka Tuomo's picture

This game is very intuitive and I've used it to introduced network security concepts on my team. Many thanks for such a useful and fun game! -vnet