Attacks on computer systems have become part of everyday life. It is the goal of this class to teach a thorough understanding of the possible security failures, as well as the protection mechanism. The class will cover network and host security concepts and mechanisms; basic cryptographic algorithms and protocols; authentication and authorization protocols; access control models; common network (wired and wireless) attacks; typical protection approaches, including firewalls and intrusion detection systems; and operating systems and application vulnerabilities, exploits, and countermeasures; distributed denial of service attacks and botnets. The class will not only cover the subjects in theory but instead also provide the students with an extensive hands-on experience. The class will involve a fair amount of programming. Those who take the class are expected to be able to program in C/C++, have some basic knowledge of assembly language, and be familiar with network basics and programming, as well as Unix-like operating systems.


The course requires good programming skills (C, C++), including some knowledge of x86 assembly. Also, a basic background in operating systems (mainly UNIX) and networking.

Course prereqs:

  • CS 506 Introduction to IT Security
  • CS 577 (co-requisite)
  • CS 590 Algorithms (for grads) or CS 385 Algorithms (undergrads) or CS 182 Introduction to Computer Science Honors II (undergrads)

Course material


Your final grade will be determined by your performance in the following:

Quizzes 10%
Team Project 50%
Midterm Exam 20%
Final Exam 20%

Additional Information about the Course