Syllabus: CIS-5357/Network Security  (Fall 2005)


Breno de Medeiros

Assistant Professor

Smiling picture of Breno                     
Mailing address
Florida State University
105-D James Love Bldg
Tallahassee   FL 32306-4530
United States

Quick Shortcuts

Class meeting time/place
Lecture Slides
Grading and exam dates

Class and Office Hour Times

Class meetings:     Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00--12:15pm.
Office hours:         Wednesday & Fridays, 9:00--11:00am, and by appointment.
Lecture location:   LOVE 0103
Office location:     Love 105-D (office hours take place in this office)

Course Goals

Your goals in this course are threefold:
  1. Acquire conceptual understanding of network security issues, challenges and mechanisms. You will learn this by attending class presentations, and by independent reading of the class notes, of the textbook, and of the assigned research paper readings.
  2. Develop basic skills of secure network development through several programming assignments.
  3. Employ the acquired understanding and skill in a project of your choosing. The project may either include original design and implementation; empirical observation, measurement and analysis; or theoretical investigation. Any topic related to network security can be chosen. This project must contain an element of originality. The write-up should be of sufficient quality for submission to a workshop in the area. You will give a short presentation of your results to the class.

Grading and Exam Dates

Letter grades will be based on numerical grades as follows: Plus/Minus letter grades will be assigned at the discretion of the instructor.

Course Syllabus

This webpage is the definitive syllabus for the course.  Please refer to this document for announcements on assignments, projects, and graded activities-related information, as well as general policies that apply to all students enrolled in this course.



 Lecture Slides


The course project will comprise the single largest part of your grade. Your deliverables will consist of a project proposal, a preliminary results presentation, and a final project report and presentation.

Project Proposal
You will need to form groups of 2 or 3 members and write a project proposal. (Individual projects are possible, but not encouraged.) The project proposal should include at least four sections:
The project description itself should be one to two pages. Suitable project topics include any topic related to network security, whether or not covered during the class. If you are unsure whether the topic you picked is appropriate, please contact me before the deadline for project proposal submission: October 7th. The proposal must be typeset, and a paper copy brought to class, while the original e-mailed directly to me. Acceptable file formats are HTML, PDF, and TXT.

The project may take several formats:
Premilinary Results Presentation
On November 15th or 17th, you will give a short (10-minute) class presentation on your project and intermediate progress you have achieved. You should explain the concept of your project, provide details of your methodology and/or design, and any preliminary results. You should be prepared to answer questions that your classmates or I may have about your project.

Final Report and Presentation
The final deliverable of the project will be a write-up (5-10 pages, with extra pages for attached codebase). You will preapare a 20-minute presentation and/or demo of the project, and make an appointment with me during the week of finals to give this presentation on your project and answer questions: (Dec. 5th-9th).


I expect students to arrive on-time for the class.  Students arriving late for exams will not be allowed extra time to complete their work.

There will be no make-up midterm exam.  If you cannot take the midterm exam because of a documented, legitimate condition, the final exam will be substituted for the mid-term grade (and therefore will count for 35% of your grade).  Similarly, homework assignment deadlines will not be extended, unless in documented, legitimate situations.  Same for the project and presentation deadlines.

The students are also required to abide the the University's Honor Code.  Basically, do not represent other persons' work as your own, properly cite sources, and do not intentionally seek to undermine the efforts of your classmates.

An example of adequate documentation of a medical reason for missing an exam is a discharge notice from the Student Health Center.

All students registered in this course (and all courses throughout the University) are bound by the Academic Honor Code.  Plagiarism (use of somebody else's work without proper acknowledgment) will not be tolerated.

A copy of the full University Academic Honor Code can be found in the current Student Handbook.

Notice of Compliance with the Disabilities Act

Students with disabilities needing academic accommodations should register with and provide documentation to the Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC), and bring a letter from the SDRC to the instructor indicating their needs. This should be done within the first week of class. 

Research Papers for Required or Recommended ReadinG

M. Abadi and R. Needham.  Prudent Engineering Practice for Cryptographic Protocols. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, 1996, vol.22, No. 1, pp. 6--15. Find it on Martin Abadi's webpage.
Roger M. Needham and Michael D. Schroeder.  Using Encryption for Authentication in Large Networks of Computers. In Communications of the ACM, Vol. 21, issue 12, December 1978. DOI:
Victor L. Voydock and Stephen T. Kent.  Security Mechanisms in High-Level Network Protocols. In ACM Computing Surveys, (CSUR), vol.15, issue 2, June 1983. Pp. 135--146 (stop before chapter 3). DOI:
Bill Bryant. Designing an Authentication System: A Dialogue in Four Scenes. Original 1988, added afterword by Theodore Ts'o on changes in Version 5 of the Kerberos protocol in 1997.
G. Steiner, B. Clifford Neuman, and J.I. Schiller. Kerberos: An Authentication Service for Open Network Systems. In Proceedings of the Winter 1988 Usenix Conference. February, 1988. (Version 4)
David Brumley and Dan Boneh. Remote Timing Attacks are Practical.
12th Usenix Security Simposium.
D. Brent Chapman. Network (In)security Through IP Packet Filtering. Proceedings of the Third USENIX UNIX Security Symposium. 1992.
Thomas Ptacek and Timothy Newsham. Insertion, Evasion and Denial of Service: Eluding Network Intrusion Detection.

Online Resources

The web page of Dave Dittrich, University of Washington, has extensive, valuable information on various aspects of computer and network security, including analyses of attack tools, lists of security research papers, news articles, best practice references, etc.

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