CS426 Computer Security

Fall 2020, 3 credit course

Course Number:CS 42600
Instructor: Prof. Aniket Kate
TA:Patrick Cunningham
First Lecture:Aug 24, 2020 (Monday), 11:30am-12:30pm
Place: (Online via Zoom) Forney Hall B124
Contact Email:
Course Videos: Purdue Brightspace
Discussion: Signup on piazza.com/purdue/fall2020/cs42600

Course Objectives

The course focuses on the principles and foundations of building secure computer systems and on security and privacy challenges in existing and emerging computer networks and systems. The course compares and analyzes security and privacy threats and architectures from an adversarial standpoint to understand how to build more secure protocols that can withstand the ever-adaptive attacks.

Prerequisites and Registration

Prerequisites are as follows: Undergraduate level CS 35400 Minimum Grade of C [may be taken concurrently] or (Undergraduate level ECE 46900 Minimum Grade of C or Undergraduate level EE 46900 Minimum Grade of C)

Course Overview

This course will cover the following topics associated with computer security (and privacy).
  • Security Foundations and Cryptography Basics:
    Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability (CIA) of Security; Symmetric and Public key Cryptography Basics; Access Control Models

  • Software Security:
    Privilege escalation; Buffer overflow; Format String Attack; Malwares, Viruses, and Worms

  • Operating Systems' Security:
    Integrity Protection; Trusted Computing

  • Database Security and Privacy:
    k-Anonymity; SQL-injection Attacks; Searching Encrypted Databases

  • Network Security:
    Wireless Security; TCP/IP Security; TLS/SSL Security; DNS Security and Privacy

  • Web Security:
    Password authentication; PKI, Webs of trust, and Certificate Transparency; HTTPS; Cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks

  • Anonymous Communication and Censorship Circumvention:
    Tor; Tor bridges; Steganography and Pluggable Transports

  • Emerging Security and Privacy Challenges:
    Bitcoin and blockchains; Machine learning security

Assignments and Project

There will be four course assignments, and some of those will include programming exercises. More information about those will be available soon.. Students are also supposed to work on one small exploratory project in small groups in the end. More details about the project will be available during the lectures.

Grading Criteria

TaskPercentage (tentative)
Course Projects10%
Class/Piazza Participation5%

Course Policies

Academic Dishonesty

We will employ Purdue's standard strong academic policies for the course. Please refer to the academic policies page maintained by Professor Gene Spafford for more details. Other course specific rules are as follows:

Assignment and Project Due Dates

All assignments are due on the dates and times specified. It is the responsibility of the students to manage their time so that the assignments and projects can be submitted before the deadline. Every student gets three bonus days (in total) for his/her assignments and projects. He/she can employ those days to submit their assignments late as long as his/her semester-wide quota of three days does not exceed. Late assignments and projects (other than this concession) will not be graded.

NOTE: Late days cannot be used to extend the due date of an assignment beyond the last week of regular classes.

Assignment Feedback and Grade Disputes

Feedback on all assignments will be given within one week of the assignment due date. . If a student wishes to dispute an assignment score, he/she will have one week to notify the teaching assistant to request a regrade. No regrade requests will be accepted after one week from posting feedback.

Getting Help

If you have a question on a course policy, grade, material presented in class, or a homework assignment please ask the course instructor or the TA either in person (office hours or special appointment) or over email. Remember that email questions will be responded to as quickly as possible but do not expect to receive an answer within the same day, on a weekend, or on a holiday. For an immediate response please make sure to ask in person or in class.

Discussion group:

Questions/comments should be posted on the discussion forum on Piazza. Make sure that you check the discussion group and your Purdue e-mail frequently (at least once per day). Please do NOT post answers to the assignments, though posting general clarifications is fine.

Complaints about the assignments or the class should NOT be posted to the group-- instead, they should be e-mailed to the instructor. Please be patient and courteous. Please ensure that the tone of your messages is respectful and the language used is appropriate.

Use of Copyrighted Materials

Among the materials that may be protected by copyright law are the lectures, notes, and other material presented in class or as part of the course. Always assume the materials presented by an instructor are protected by copyright unless the instructor has stated otherwise. Students enrolled in, and authorized visitors to, Purdue University courses are permitted to take notes, which they may use for individual/group study or for other non-commercial purposes reasonably arising from enrollment in the course or the University generally.

Notes taken in class are, however, generally considered to be “derivative works” of the instructor’s presentations and materials, and they are thus subject to the instructor’s copyright in such presentations and materials. No individual is permitted to sell or otherwise barter notes, either to other students or to any commercial concern, for a course without the express written permission of the course instructor. To obtain permission to sell or barter notes, the individual wishing to sell or barter the notes must be registered in the course or must be an approved visitor to the class. Course instructors may choose to grant or not grant such permission at their own discretion, and may require a review of the notes prior to their being sold or bartered. If they do grant such permission, they may revoke it at any time, if they so choose.

All use of copyrighted material must be sourced in the appropriate manner.

In general, any case of academic dishonesty will be dealt with by a severe grade penalty in the overall class grade and referral to the office of the Dean of Students.

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