If a computer science graduate is presented with a device that has a spyware which anti spywares cannot yet detect, can he find it?

  1. Or presented with website that is possibly malicious, can he prove whether it is safe or not?

If not then people of what computer field can do the the tasks mentioned above?

I am asking to get a better understanding of what computer science is about.

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to COMPUTER SCIENCE @SE. (What happened to 1.?) regarding 2., I take somebody to be kidding. $\endgroup$
    – greybeard
    Oct 11 '20 at 11:21

Well it depends. The task of identifying spyware/malware and analyzing it requires a lot of knowledge about the operating system you are working on, being able to deal with code in general (be it assembly, reverse engineering, etc.) and of course knowing protocols (be it https, http, and any other protocol) including how they work on the mathematical level.

Computer science students often know a lot about the os they are working with, coding in general etc., because they work with them every day and are nerdy in general, but not because of the content of computer science lectures. Computer science is more concerned with the science of computing. Meaning you learn e.g. how to compute things with algorithms on abstract models of machines (you actually don't care about the specifics like OS/ hardware etc.) and how to develop those algos and how to classify their performance. Of course the basics of programming and OS architecture are taught, but the focus is on abstract concepts. E.g. instead of learning HTTPS protocol you might learn about the math of cryptography which again would allow you to understand most secure protocols by reading their spec. You learn the theoretical basis for to understand real world stuff on your own.
Common topics in compsci would be: programming, analysis, linear algebra, algorithms and data structures, graph theory, ...

You can study IT-Security at some universities, which is probably a bit closer to praxis.


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