Prototypes

CounterNet

2014 - Present
Project Leader: Ryan McAlinden

Download a PDF overview.

CounterNet is a single-player, web-based counter-terrorism game that teaches how to identify, track, counter and thwart online terrorist activity.

A player takes on the role of a government professional trying to prevent an attack by a fictional eco-terrorist group called Terala. The player must prevent Terala from utilizing platforms for social media (e.g. Twitter, Instagram, Vine), content creation and dissemination such as Youtube, payment systems (e.g. Paypal) and email. The game centers around 10 fundamental uses of the internet that cyber-terrorists can exploit to their advantage:
• Propaganda
• Financing
• Training
• Planning
• Execution
• Recruitment
• Incitement
• Radicalization
• Public Information
• Secret Communication

Learning Objectives include:
• Knowing when and how to take action and how to mobilize the broader society
• Understanding tradeoffs and costs (2nd and 3rd order effects) that need to be anticipated and managed
• Learning how to work alongside other government organizations, the private sector and the international community to keep one step ahead of cyber-terrorists

CounterNet is part of the Global Ecco suite of online games. (NPS). It was funded by funded by the Naval Postgraduate School and developed for the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies as part of their Program on Cyber Security Studies (PCSS) core curriculum. It has also has been used in two previous PCCS courses at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies and continues to be used by a broader audience of cyber-security professionals and students.