91.561.201 Computer & Network Security I

Spring 2009



Dr. Xinwen Fu


203 Olson Hall


(978) 934-3623



Office Hours: 

Wed. 3:30PM ~ 6:30PM


Course Name:

91.561.201 Computer & Network Security I




1/26/2009 ~ 5/21/2009


Thu. 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM


Olson 402



Provides students with a fundamental knowledge of computer security essentials in critical and diverse security areas, including security terminology, viruses, popular operating system vulnerabilities, Web browser vulnerabilities, security standards, and computer fraud.



Prerequisites: Basic computer science knowledge

Technology Skills:

  • C and other programming languages
  • Linux operating systems (Redhat, Fedora Core)
  • Linux software installation
  • Knowledge of networks



  • The course web site is located within Blackboard Vista 4 ( Follow this instruction to log into Blackboard.
  • Announcements, questions (and answers, etc. will be available through Blackboard Vista 4.
  • Lecturing is based on the textbook with learning materials provided.
  • Security techniques are practiced remotely or in lab.
  • Discussions and questions/answers take place through Blackboard Vista 4, which should be checked approximately once every 48-hours. 
  • A Chat room is also likely to be used from time to time.
  • You will be expected to be prepared for class, and you must complete the assignments by the dates due.



Textbooks: Computer Network Security: Theory and Practice (Hardcover), by Jie Wang (Author), Publisher: Springer; 1 edition (February 1, 2009), ISBN: 3540796975

Textbooks may be purchased at the bookstore or electronically through: or some other booksellers.

NOTE: Sorry, there is delay from the publisher. You will have the book by the middle of February 2009.


Class Attendance Policy

Students are expected to attend and participate in class. Attendance may be verified by quizzes delivered through Blackboard Vista 4 or in class. There will be no make-up opportunities for missed quizzes.


Cheating and Plagiarism Policy

All forms of academic dishonesty will result in an F for the course and notification of the Academic Dishonesty Committee.  Academic dishonesty includes (but is not limited to) plagiarism, copying answers or work done by another student (either on an exam or assignment), allowing another student to copy from you, and using unauthorized materials during an exam.


Make-up Exams (and Quizzes)

  • Make-up exams will only be given in case of serious need and only when the instructor is notified prior to the exam time. If this is not done, the grade is automatically zero for that exam/quiz.
  • Written verification for the student¡¯s inability to take an exam will be required.
  • The make-up exams will be different from those given to the class.
  • There are no make-up quizzes.


University Deadlines

February 6 Last day for refund of Tuition & Fees; Last day for late Registration/Enrollment changes

May 6 Last day to drop classes with ¡°W¡±



COURSE GOALS: By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • State the basic concepts in information security, including security policies, security models, and various security mechanisms.
  • Explain the basic number theory required for cryptographic applications as well as various cryptographic systems.
  • Manually compute using Fermat's theorem, Euler's theorem, Euclid's algorithm, extended Euclid's algorithm.
  • Manually encrypt/decrypt and sign/verify signatures for small messages using RSA, Diffie-Hellman, and DSA algorithms.
  • State the requirements and mechanisms for identification and authentication.
  • Explain and compare the various access control policies and models as well as the assurance of these models.
  • State the characteristics of typical security architectures, including multi-level security systems.
  • State the criteria of evaluating secure information systems, including evaluation of secure operating systems and secure network systems.
  • List the database security issues and solutions, including models, architectures, and mechanisms for database security.
  • List network and distributed systems security issues and solutions, including authentication, key distribution, firewalls, and network security protocols.
  • Explain the network access control mechanisms, including the basic concepts of firewalls, packet filters, application gateways, and typical firewall configurations
  • Design firewall configurations and rules to protect a given network
  • Outline the protocols, i.e., AH and ESP protocols, for IP Security and the two modes for both protocols.
  • Explain in their own words the goals of IP Security protocols (AH and ESP)
  • Use combinations of IP security protocols to achieve a given security goal (e.g., source authentication, content authentication, traffic confidentiality, etc.)
  • Explain SSL and TLS protocols.
  • Apply the above protocols to protect transport-layer communication.
  • State program security issues, including virus, worm, and logical bombs
  • State the basic concepts and general techniques in security auditing and intrusion detection
  • State the issues related to administration security, physical security, and program security
  • Determine appropriate mechanisms for protecting information systems ranging from operating systems, to database management systems, and to applications



Components of Course Grade:

Assignments (5)




1st project


Term project



Grade Scale

90 ~ 100%


85 ~ 89.9%


80 ~ 84.9%


70 ~ 79.9%


60 ~ 69.9%


£ 59.9%



Homework Assignments

  • All assignments are to be turned in on or before the due date and time. If you try and cannot turn in an assignment electronically because the campus network is down, you will not be penalized.
  • An assignment turned in up to 24-hours late will be reduced by 10% of the assignment¡¯s worth, more than 24 hours late will be reduced 100%.
  • The due date and time for each assignment will be specified on assignment postings.
  • All assignments are expected to be individually and independently completed. Should two or more students turn in substantially the same solution or program, in the judgment of the instructor, the assignment will be given a grade of zero. A second such incident will result in an F grade for the course.
  • All assignments are to be turned in through Blackboard Vista 4.



  • Exams and quizzes will be based on textbooks, web sites, and assignments.
  • All exams are close book, but you can bring one page of cheat sheet (double sides, letter size).
  • The tentative exam format will be true/false, multiple choice, fill-in-the-blanks, programs, and/or short essays.



Academic Success Support

As your professor, I am personally committed to supporting YOUR academic success in this course.  For that reason, if you demonstrate any academic performance or behavioral problems which may impede your success, I will personally discuss and attempt to resolve the issue with you.  If the situation persists, I will forward my concern to the Student Development Office and your academic advisor to seek their support and assistance in the matter.  My goal is to make your learning experience in this course as meaningful and successful as possible.


Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Statement

The University is committed to serving all students with disabilities as defined by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. A qualified person with a disability means: an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable modifications to rules, policies, or practices, the removal of architectural, communication or transportation barriers, or the provision of auxiliary aids and services, meets the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of services or the participation in programs or activities provided by a public entity. Questions concerning services for people with learning and physical disabilities should be directed to Dr. Chandrika Sharma, Ed. D. in The Office of Student Disability Services, O'Leary 240, UML South, 61 Wilder St, Lowell, MA 01854-3092, (978)-934-4574. Questions about services for students with psychiatric disabilities should be directed to the Counseling Center (978) 934-4338.




The schedule may be adjusted based on the actual progress in the semester.




Reading Assignment

Homework Assignment






T1: Basic Security Concepts, 1 lecture




T2. Cryptography and Its Applications, 7 lectures

Secret key cryptosystems

Hash function

Basic number theory

Public key cryptosystems

Key Management






















T3. Identification and  Authentication, 4 lectures

Basic concepts of identification and authentication,

Password authentication,

Security Handshake Pitfalls,













Review, T1~T2



April 9

Midterm, T1~T2




T4. Access Control, 4 lectures

Basic concepts of access control

Discretionary access control and mandatory access control

Lattice-based Models

Covert Channels

Role based Access Control













T5. Network and Distributed Systems Security

Issues in network and distributed systems security




Firewalls and virtual private networks

Secure email

Auditing and intrusion detection























Presentations/Review for final














May 21

Final exam