Advanced Topics in Computer and Network
System Administration
CIS 5930
Syllabus and other materials — Spring 2016

Spring 2016: Syllabus for CIS 5930 Advanced Topics in CNSA

Requirements for your class paper


Other Material

Selected Papers

CDE: Run Any Linux Application On-Demand Without Installation

Improving Virtual Appliance Management through Virtual Layered File Systems

Using Active Intrusion Detection to Recover Network Trust

A Cuckoo's Egg in the Malware Nest: On-the-fly Signature-less Malware Analysis, Detection, and Containment for Large Networks

Auto-learning of SMTP TCP Transport-Layer Features for Spam and Abusive Message Detection

Fine-grained Access-control for the Puppet Configuration Language

The Akamai Network: A Platform for High-Performance Internet Applications

Selected Presentations

GPFS Native RAID for 100,000-Disk Petascale Systems

Email lists, newsgroups, RSS feeds, and so forth

I strongly recommend reading comp.risks (you can read it in rdf format at, or via email — instructions are at or adding its RSS feed at to your feed browser. Also, should join the FSU Nolenet mailing list.

LaTeX Wiki

Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution; Appendix A, The Tanenbaum-Torvalds Debate

The Evolution of the Unix Time-sharing System

The Art of Unix Programming

2008-06-09: An Email about a SAN here at FSU: SAN Issue -- root cause explanation

2008-06-09: An Email about a Mailman problem here at FSU: Mailman problem

2008-06-11: An Email about a ClamAV problem with respect to Selinux: ClamAV/Selinux problem

2008-06-16: Morgan Stanley and AFS: When Your Business Depends On It: The Evolution of a Global File System for a Global Enterprise

2008-06-16: Relatively recent (2006) NFS operations resource: Linux NFS-HOWTO

2008-06-27: 2008 article on top-level domains in the New York Times: New Flavors for Addresses on the Web Are on the Way

[ 2010-08-23: So, where are we at with the above article? Current List of Internet Top Level Domains ]

2008-07-07: Article on consumer views of service downtimes in the New York Times: As Web Traffic Grows, Crashes Take Bigger Toll

2008-07-09: Article on patching DNS flaw: Vendors form alliance to fix DNS poisoning flaw

2008-07-09: DNS patches prove fatal for some software: MS DNS patch snuffs net connection for ZoneAlarm users

2008-08-08: Press release from Dr. Bernstein on DNS cache poisoning: DNS still vulnerable, Bernstein says

2008-08-11: Plastic Keys to Physical Locks: Researchers Crack Medeco High-Security Locks With Plastic Keys

2008-08-20: An Email about an administrator failing to set permanent state after setting temporary state: Blocked Hosts List?

2008-08-22: An Email about an intrusion at Redhat's Fedora: Infrastructure report, 2008-08-22 UTC 1200

2009-01-05: Backup woes: Hard Lessons in the Importance of Backups: JournalSpace Wiped Out

2009-01-22: NSA Selinux link:

2009-02-10: Data breach at FAA: FAA reports 45,000 data records pilfered from server

2009-03-06: Finally, a vulnerability found in DJBDNS: Security Issue in DJBDNS Confirmed

2009-03-06: And a second vulnerability also found in DJBDNS: Rapid DNS Poisoning in DJBDNS

2009-04-01: Spam Back to 94% of All E-Mail

2009-04-06: Carbonite loses customer backups, sues Promise Technology

2009-05-12: Berkeley data break-in: Hackers attack campus databases, steal Social Security numbers, other data

2009-05-15: Backup woes at Avsim: Hackers 'destroy' flight sim site

2009-05-20: Microsoft IIS hole fells university server

2009-05-21: Microsoft IIS6 bug exposes sensitive files sans password

2009-07-15: U.S. Postal Service Gives Stamp of Approval to FOSS

2009-07-15: DHCP server can take over client

2009-07-21: Open-source firmware vuln exposes wireless routers

2009-07-23: Adobe Flash woes: New attacks exploit vuln in (fully-patched) Adobe Flash

2009-07-29: Major BIND bug: BIND crash bug prompts urgent update call

2009-07-29: FSU's response to the BIND bug: [Nolenet] DNS server code upgraded

2009-07-30: Data Exposure in the U.S. government: US Congress probes accidental top secret file sharing

2009-07-30: Hardware security: Intel warns over bare-metal BIOS bug

2009-07-31: DNS: Wildcard certificate spoofs web authentication

2009-07-31: iPhone: How To Hijack 'Every iPhone In The World'

2009-07-31: Fun with NULL pointers, part 1

2009-08-31: Warming server rooms: Intel says data centers much too cold: Frozen assets a waste of cash

2009-08-31: IIS bug gives attackers complete server control

2009-09-02: Why Gmail Failed Today

2009-09-09: Microsoft confirms critical unpatched Vista, Windows 7 RC bug

2009-09-09: Windows unpatchable: Microsoft: Patching Windows 2000 'infeasible'

2009-09-16: The Curious Case of the Failing Connections, The Curious Case of the Failing Connections, Part 2

2009-09-16: Microsoft starts warnings of support phase-out for older Windows Server releases

2009-10-07: A practical example of why you do not want to still be using 512-bit RSA keys: TI-83 Plus OS Signing Key Cracked

2009-10-12: Linux saves Aussie electrical grid

2009-10-12: Sidekick customers, during this service disruption, please DO NOT remove your battery, reset your Sidekick, or allow it to lose power.

2009-10-16: Big-Box Breach: The Inside Story of Wal-Mart’s Hacker Attack

2009-10-16: Maybe all's well that ends well? Microsoft recovers 'most, if not all' Sidekick users' data

2009-12-04: Test setup leaks into production: Bing dies (briefly) after Microsoft hits wrong button

2010-08-23: Why RAID 5 stops working in 2009

2010-08-25: Should developers have access to production?

2010-09-01: Microsoft releases FixIt for critical flaw in 100 apps

2010-09-07: Systemd Test Day on Tuesday 2010/09/07

2010-09-07: Part one of Doomsday Weekend: who can you trust?

2010-09-07: A series of disorderly events

2010-09-08: DNSSEC versus DNSCurve OpenDNS adopts DNSCurve

2010-09-15: Stuxnet attackers used 4 Windows zero-day exploits

2010-09-16: Bug bounties: Google Fixes 10 Bugs in New Chrome Release

2010-09-16: Intel eats crow on software RAID

2010-09-20: Siemens: Stuxnet worm hit industrial systems

2010-09-21: PostgreSQL 9.0 is now available

2010-10-20: Remaining IPv4 Address Space Drops Below 5%

PSN was running on unpatched Apache server with no firewall .

2011-05-10: Why Sony's PSN problem won't take down cloud computing

2011-05-10: Summary of the Amazon EC2 and Amazon RDS Service Disruption in the US East Region

2011-05-10: Global CIO: Why The Amazon Cloud Outage Is Irrelevant

2011-05-31: BIND Named woes again: Large RRSIG RRsets and Negative Caching can crash named

2011-06-06: How a cheap graphics card could crack your password in under a second

2011-08-02: Anatomy of a Unix breach

2011-08-30: Fixing a CGI-like Script

2011-09-12: Rent-a-Bot Networks Tied to TDSS Botnet

2011-11-04: Chaos Computer Club analyzes government malware

2011-11-14: Et tu, Boeing? FACT CHECK: SCADA Systems Are Online Now

2011-11-14: Underground call-centre for identity theft uncovered by security researchers

2011-11-14: The Dark Side Of Biometrics: 9 Million Israelis' Hacked Info Hits The Web

2011-11-14: The Underground Economy of Fake Antivirus Software (PDF)

2011-11-14: The Perfect Scam

2011-11-14: Who killed the fake-antivirus business?

2011-11-14: Russian police take a bite out of online crime

2011-11-28: Japan's continuing cybersecurity problems: Upper House confirms falling victim to cyber-attacks

2011-11-28: Japan's continuing cybersecurity problems: Only 45% of lawmakers changed passwords after cyber-attack

2011-11-30: Carrier IQ saga: Carrier IQ Tries to Silence Security Research Exposing Its Rootkit, gets Pinned Down by the EFF

2011-11-30: Carrier IQ saga: The Rootkit Of All Evil — CIQ

2011-11-30: Carrier IQ saga: Carrier IQ Tries to Censor Research With Baseless Legal Threat

2011-11-30: Carrier IQ saga: Smartphone Invader Tracks Your Every Move

2011-11-30: Carrier IQ saga: CarrierIQ

2011-11-30: Carrier IQ saga: Proof Published that Carrier IQ is Recording Key Presses and Location Data

2011-11-30: Carrier IQ saga: The Storm Is Not Over Yet — Lets Talk About #CIQ

2012-04-19: OpenSSL flaw

2012-06-11: US Navy buys Linux to guide drone fleet

2012-08-31: Finspy: Software Meant to Fight Crime Is Used to Spy on Dissidents

2012-08-31: Finspy: Egypt, FinFisher Intrusion Tools and Ethics

2012-08-31: Finspy: From Bahrain With Love: FinFisher’s Spy Kit Exposed?

2012-08-31: Finspy: The SmartPhone Who Loved Me: FinFisher Goes Mobile?

2012-09-24: DNT: Why Do Not Track is worse than a miserable failure

2013-01-16: "Red October" Diplomatic Cyber Attacks Investigation

2013-02-18: U.S. said to be target of massive cyber-espionage campaign

2013-02-20: APT1: Exposing One of China's Cyber Espionage Units

2013-02-25: Code certificate laissez-faire leads to banking Trojans

2013-03-04: Where Apps Meet Work, Secret Data Is at Risk

2013-03-22: How whitehats stopped the DDoS attack that knocked Spamhaus offline

2013-04-08: How a banner ad for H&R Block appeared on - without Apple's OK

2013-05-14: The Case of the 500 Mile Email

2013-05-16: Network outage here at FSU

2013-07-11: US agency baffled by modern technology, destroys mice to get rid of viruses

2013-07-11: Netragard's Hacker Interface Device (HID).

2013-07-16: Fraudsters trick people into handing over cards on doorstep

2013-08-01: Trusting iPhones plugged into bogus chargers get a dose of malware

2013-08-26: The Guardian's NSA Files collection of articles (also related, The Guardian's general NSA keyword articles)

2013-08-26: They Know Much More Than You Think

2013-08-27: Snowden Interview

2013-08-27: Viewing PRISM: XKEYSCORE

2013-09-10: The NSA Is Breaking Most Encryption on the Internet

2013-09-10: NSA Foils Much Internet Encryption

2013-09-10: The NSA's Secret Campaign to Crack, Undermine Internet Security

2013-09-10: Revealed: how US and UK spy agencies defeat internet privacy and security

2013-09-10: The Factoring Dead: Preparing for the Cryptopocalypse

2013-09-10: How Advanced Is the NSA's Cryptanalysis—And Can We Resist It?

2013-09-10: A Few Thoughts on Cryptographic Engineering

2013-09-10: New Snowden Documents Show NSA Deemed Google Networks a "Target"

2013-09-24: The iPhone 5s Touch ID hack in detail

2013-09-26: UEFI Boot to Zork

2013-09-30: Meet the Machines that Steal Your Phone's Data

2013-10-10: A Computer Infection That Can Never Be Cured

2013-10-10: The Next Frontier of Password Cracking

2013-10-17: Analysis of the HTTPS Certificate Ecosystem

2013-10-22: The Privacy Challenges of Big Data: A View from the Lifeguard's Chair

2013-10-22: Experian Sold Consumer Data to ID Theft Service

2013-10-31: Meet "badBIOS," the mysterious Mac and PC malware that jumps airgaps

2013-10-31: The DEFCON21 Social Engineer Capture The Flag Report (PDF)

2013-11-01: Just Six People Got Insurance Through on Day One

2013-11-05: Top 100 Adobe passwords

2014-01-09: NSA ANT document in PDF format (rough OCR has been applied)

2014-01-09: The Danger of Rogue System Administrators

2014-01-09: NSA Codenames

2014-01-09: A new Dual EC DRBG flaw

2014-01-23: A First Look at the Target Intrusion, Malware

2014-01-23: Bluetooth Hackers Allegedly Skimmed Millions Via Gas Stations

2014-01-28: Spy Agencies Probe Angry Birds and Other Apps for Personal Data

2014-02-05: 7 Die in Fire Destroying Argentine Bank Archives

2014-05-13: Analyzing Forged SSL Certificates in the Wild

2014-05-13: OSCAR: Object Security Architecture for the Internet of Things

2014-06-17: A Plea to Software Vendors from Sysadmins - 10 Do's and Don'ts

2014-06-17: Failure to archive? Here's how the IRS lost emails from key witness Lois Lerner

2014-06-25: Mathematicians Discuss the Snowden Revelations

2015-05-12: Architecting Websites in the HTTP2 era

2015-05-14: In the Cloud: VENOM Vulnerability

2015-05-14: In the Cloud: Venom Security Flaw Affects Millions of Virtual Machines

2015-05-14: In the Cloud: VENOM hype and pre-planned marketing campaign panned by experts

2015-05-14: In the Cloud: Venom and Linode

2015-05-14: In the Cloud: AWS and Linode

2015-05-14: In the Cloud: Venom Security FAQ

2015-05-14: Potential paper topic, yet another distributed filesystem: OrangeFS

2015-05-19: Trying to make a more secure CloudFlare: Introducing Strict SSL: Protecting Against a Man-in-the-Middle Attack on Origin Traffic

2015-06-09: Push for IPv6 adoption in Finland: IPv6now

2015-06-11: Part 3 of "Should Companies Do Most of Their Computing in the Cloud?"

2015-06-11: Bitreserve

2015-06-24: State Department database crash strands hundreds at the border

2015-06-24: SHA1 to SHA2: Prepare for the big digital cert swap

2015-06-30: Process isolation technique: NsJail

2015-07-09: Reporter in Greece gets hotel bill in drachma

2015-07-16: RC4 No More

2015-07-16: How the next US nuclear accident could happen

2015-07-21: Hackers Remotely Kill Jeep on Highway

2015-07-21: Army Mistakes Help for Spam

2015-07-21: Names Matter?

2015-07-28: Hackers for Hire

2015-07-28: Former intelligence heads: Backdoors are bad ideas

2015-07-28: When does Docker work in production?

2015-07-28: Are quantum computers nearing the Goddard stage?

2015-07-28: Air isn't a gap, it's a medium

2015-07-28: Android woes

2016-01-11: Software with the most vulnerabilities in 2015

2016-01-11: The 'Bogus Boss' email scam costing firms millions

2016-01-11: 10 Security Blunders that Will Get You Fired

2016-01-11: Usenix calls for papers coming up

2016-01-13: 2015's Worst Data Breaches

2016-01-13: Verizon Routing Millions of IP Addresses for Cybercrime Gangs

2016-01-13: Your smartwatch may be revealing your card's PIN

2016-01-27: Firejail, a not-selinux

2016-01-27: UML kernels and filesystems

2016-01-27: HFT and its demands

2016-02-01: GAO Report on Government Firewall Status

2016-02-01: Interesting way to brick a system

2016-02-01: Drilling Down Into the Machine from Hewlett-Packard

2016-04-04: SMTP draft

2016-04-13: Microsoft

2016-04-13: Faster than SAS going mainstream