Computer Security

COMPSCI 290-02

Fall 2014


  • Practice Quiz
  • Administration

    Instructor: Bruce Maggs

    TA: Nisarg Raval

    Time:  MW 3:05 pm - 4:20 pm

    Location: LSRC A155

    Office Hours

    Bruce: TBA
    Nisarg: Mon 2-3 pm, Wed 4:30-5:30 pm in LSRC D301


    This course is a broad introduction to computer security, with special emphasis on the Internet and the Web. We anticipate covering the following topics:

    • Security Tools and Networking Tools: ssh/ssl utilities, wireshark, dig, nslookup
    • Cryptography Basics: public-key vs. private-key cryptography, RSA, signatures, public-key infrastructure (PKI), key exchange, Diffie-Hellman key exchange, feistel networks, DES, AES
    • Secure Network Protocols: TCP three-way handshake, SSL/TLS, SSH, Kerberos, DNSSEC, possibly IPSEC and Secure BGP
    • Security in the context of Content Delivery Networks
    • Digital Currency: BitCoin
    • Secure Computing in the Cloud: homomorphic encryption, application specific techniques, secure multiparty computations, secret sharing
    • Software Security: Buffer overflow attacks, Worms and viruses
    • Denial of Service attacks and Defenses
    • Social Engineering Attacks
    • Firewalls
    • Monetizing Attacks


    COMPSCI 201 or equivalent.


    • Assignments: 40%
    • Mid term I: 15%
    • Mid term II: 15%
    • Final Exam: 30%

    Course Policy

    Collaboration: Students are encouraged to talk to each other, to the course staff, or to anyone else about any of the assignments. Assistance must be limited to discussion of the problem and sketching general approaches to a solution. Each student must write out his or her own solutions to the homework.

    Late Policy:

    • The deadline for any assignment can be extended with a 10% penalty per day.
    • No deadline can be extended by more than two days. Assignments will NOT be accepted 48 hours after the due date.
    • The project presentations must be given on the day they are scheduled.
    • If you are ill: Contact the instructor and get a medical note.

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