CSCI 6268/TLEN 5831 - Foundations of Computer and Network Security - Fall 2007

Course Information Sheet

Aug 27, 2007

You are responsible for everything on this handout. Please read it.

What's This Course About??

This course is about Computer and Network Security (duh). We're going to learn a fair bit about cryptography (though not at a low-level) and how it is used to secure networks in various ways. You probably already know about protocols like SSL/TLS, SSH, IPSec, and so forth, but we will look more in detail at how these protocols work and how they are used. The course will hopefully show you how to properly implement secure protocols using libraries (learning how to invent your own new cryptography is another topic which will not be covered). We will be using OpenSSL as our main library for programming assignments.

Additionally, we will learn about fundamental concepts for secure coding, including the avoidance of buffer overruns, safe programming practices, and so forth. We will also touch upon some of the policy and legal aspects of security.

My hope is that this course will be fun, will capture your interest, and will make you aware of security issues when you're out there in the real world writing software for the masses (if that's what you end up doing).


MWF 10:00am-10:50pm (Room ECCS 1B12, Call Number 72741)



There will be occasional quizzes (20%), a project (20%), a midterm (25%) and a final (35%). We will have a quiz roughly every other week to cover homework material and lectures; no pop quizzes... I'll always warn you when they're coming.


The midterm date will be announced. Both are in-class. The final will be on Tuesday, December 18th from 7:30am until 10:00am. It will be comprehensive, with an emphasis on the material covered since the last midterm.


This course is intended for students with significant experience in coding (C or C++), and with some experience with networks. Ideally, you will have taken CSCI 4273 (Computer Networks) already. We will do only a quick overview of basic networking protocols, so if this is known to you, great; if not, either wait and take this class after you've learned it, or expect to do some independent outside reading to get up to speed. You should at least know the basics of TCP/IP, UDP and ICMP.


There is no textbook from this class. Most of our reading will be papers, notes, and book excerpts. Think of it this way: you don't have to spend $150 for a textbook!

Course Web page

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