"Trusting every aspect of our lives to a giant computer was the smartest thing we ever did!"Homer Simpson

Assignments, Exams, and Readings

Assignment Due Date
Homework 1: Familiarization with Unix January 31st29th, 2018
Homework 2: Password Programming Feburary 75th, 2018
Homework 3: Password Security February 14th, 2018
Homework 4: Password Code Review February 28th, 2018
In class presentations Varies
Midterm Exam March 14th, 2018 in class
Homework 5: Cross Site Scripting Tutorial March 21st, 2018
Homework 6: Password Programming Redux April 4th , 2018
Homework 7: Destroy, destory, destroy. April 18, 2018
Homework 8: Attack Familiarization. April 30th, 2018
Final Exam 12:30 - 2:30 May 4th, 2018


  • Additional Readings

    Additional readings are posted here.
  • Textbook

    This semester we will be using a variety of books, all available online. Please note the first three books are available through the Safari Books Online from any campus IP address, but only 10 people can access this service at any time.
  • Accounts

    Later in the semester you will be given an account on a server named ia-class.cs.georgetown.edu. This will be the official machine for programming assignments. You can work on your own computer, but your code must work on and be readable on ia-class. The official class system is a linux system.
  • Mailing Lists

    Students will also be expected to subscribe to the following mailing lists for the semester:

    RISKS Digest: This is a relatively low-volume mailing lists that carries discussions of the risks of computer error, misuse, and malfunction to humans and society. You may receive this any number of ways, through the web, through the newsgroup comp.risks, or by e-mail.


    Security Week This is a service that provides up to date news about security problems in the real world. You can read it at or subscribe to an email list at http://www.securityweek.com/subscribe. This is somewhat experimental; if we don't like it we will stop reading it.

Instructor, TA, and Course Information

  • Instructor

    Clay Shields
    Office: 323 St Mary's Hall
    Office Hours: Wednesday 2-4PM
    Contact information here
  • TA

  • Course Information

    This course is intended to introduce students to means of assuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information through mechanisms of technology, policy, and education. Topics will include: access control; authentication; security policies and enforcement; security design principles; malicious logic; vulnerability analysis; intrusion detection and response; audit; risk assessment; personnel and physical security; and legal, ethical, and social issues. Prerequisites: COSC 173.


All my courses are run under the same set of policies which are available here. Students are expected to read and understand these policies. You can also read the Honor Council site.

In addition, in this class you will be learning how computer attackers probe and attack computers and networks. I will be providing a test network for you to experiment with these techniques. You ARE NOT to use these techniques on any other machine or network that you do not have specific written permission to do so. If you do so and are caught, I will not allow the excuse that what you were doing was for class, and instead will tell them that you were warned not to do it.