Computer Security


Spring 2019



Instructor: Bruce Maggs

TAs:Alejandro Ortega Morton Mo

Time:  WF 3:05 pm - 4:20 pm

Location: D106 LSRC

Office Hours

Bruce: Wednesday 4:30PM-5:30PM @ D324 LSRC

Morton: Monday and Thursday 1:30PM-2:30PM @ Social Psychology 128

Piazzasign up here


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


Introduction to Computer Security by Michael Goodrich and Roberto Tamassia


COMPSCI 201 or equivalent.


  • Assignments: 40%
  • In-Class Quiz: 30%
  • Project: 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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