How to secure computing systems, communications, and users. Basic cryptography; private and authenticated communication; software security; malware; operating system protection; network security; web security; physical security; cryptocurrencies and blockchains; privacy and anonymity; usable security; economics of security; ethics of security; legal and policy issues.
It is almost always more appropriate to post your question about the assignments, lectures, or other course materials on Ed rather than emailing an individual staff member.
There is no required or suggested textbook in this course, because there is no one book that covers the right material in an up-to-date fashion. Some good books about security, in case you are interested, are listed on the Resources page.
Lectures meet on Tuesday and Thursday 11:00am - 12:20pm.
Some assignments are individual assignments while other assignments must be done in groups (of two or three partners).
Assignments that are submitted after the specified due date will lose 10% of the full assignment grade for every day (or partial day) of lateness. There is no grace period. However, you do have two (2) late days, and you may use one or more of your late days on assignments 3-6. Each late day taken will extend the due date of the submission by 24 hours. For group assignments, you may use X late days if and only if all group members can use X late days on the assignment. You may not use partial late days, and we will not apply late days automatically in this course since not all assignments are individual assignments. If you wish to use late days on a submission, you must explicitly note that with your submission. Please submit a LATEDAY.txt file with your submission and state "I/We would like to use X late day(s) on this assignment."
We won't accept homework more than seven days late, and we will grant extensions only in the case of unforeseeable circumstances like medical emergencies, as documented by your Dean or Director of Studies and our approval.
The grade breakdown is 70% assignments (equally weighted) + 25% final exam + 5% class participation. There is no midterm exam.
This course permits many forms of collaboration, including help from course staff, classmates, and lab TAs. However, you must be careful to collaborate only as authorized below. Here is a summary, where ✔ means YES and ❌ means NO. If you have any questions, please contact the course staff.
|activity||your group||course staff||COS 432/
|discuss concepts with ...||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|acknowledge collaboration with ...||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|expose solutions to ...||✔||✔||❌||❌||❌|
|view solutions from ...||✔||❌||❌||❌||❌|
|plagiarize code from ...||❌||❌||❌||❌||❌|
Your solutions. On individual assignments, you must individually compose all of your solutions. The term solutions refers to any of the products created when completing a programming assignment, such as source code (including comments) and the readme.txt file. It includes both finished and unfinished products, regardless of correctness or completeness.
Working Groups. Some assignments require you to work in groups. Here are the rules regarding group work.
Why Work in Groups? There are several reasons for our decision to make you work in groups.
A note about StackExchange, Wikipedia, and online forums. Many of the topics in this course require self-teaching. This includes a lot of searching online for documentation and information about algorithms, technologies, and techniques. Unfortunately, this includes a wide gray area between learning and plagiarism. Don't be afraid of searching for and using online resources that teach you how to do something that is not a direct requirement of an assignment.
For example, you are free to find and implement a method that converts integers to byte arrays in an assignment about cryptography; just make sure to cite your source and thoroughly understand the implementation, as your graders will not be lenient with copied code that is buggy. If you find yourself searching for implementations of a security-related algorithm, then you are likely violating the collaboration policy. When you are unsure, ask one of the staff members.
Plagiarism. As members of the University community, students are bound by the rules and procedures described in Rights, Rules, Responsibilities.
All the rules above continue to apply after assignments are graded and after the end of the semester.