COMPSCI 597N Introduction to Computer & Network Security


  • When: Fall 2019 September 3, 2019-December 11, 2019.
  • Where: This course will be making use of a flipped classroom model. Lectures will be pre-recorded and available online. We meet once a week for discussion only. Discussions are with Professor Kermani not a TA. Discussions will be carried out assuming that students have not only completed readings and assignments, but that the pre-recorded lectures have been viewed. There will be some work assigned and completed during discussions (included in the written assignments portion of the grade).

Discussions are planned for Tuesday afternoons at 5:30-6:45 in Fall 2019.

Students in the CS MS degree must enroll in CS597N as a hybrid class. Non-matriculated students can enroll in the online class, and with permission.  MS degree students may do so as well (for example, if they are off campus for the semester). In either case, attendance in discussions is mandatory.

  • Instructor: Dr. Parviz Kermani
  • This class can be applied towards the Information Security Certificate or as an outside elective for the CS MS degree.


This course provides an introduction to the principles and practice of computer and network security with a focus on both fundamentals and practical information. The key topics of this course are applied cryptography; protecting users, data, and services; network security, and common threats and defense strategies. Students will complete several practical lab assignments involving security tools (e.g., OpenSSL, Wireshark, Malware detection). The course includes homework assignments, quizzes, and exams. 

Textbook: Network Security Essentials: Applications and Standards (6th Edition) by William Stallings (Pearson)

  • Fundamentals 
    • Basic definitions (security; confidentiality, integrity, authentication, availability, etc)
    • Ethics
    • Policy basics
    • Threat and risk basics
    • Recovery from attacks
  • Applied Cryptography
    • Symmetric-key crypto
    • Cryptographic hash functions
    • Public/private key cryptography
  • Protecting users, data, and services
    • Passwords and user authentication
    • Brief introduction to Kerberos
    • Encrypted file systems
  • Network security
    • TCP/IP networking basics 
    • Port scanning
    • Transport-Level Security; SSL/TLS
    • Network Attacks: BGP, DNS, DoS
    • Wi-Fi security
  • Threats and Mitigation
    • Firewalls and Intrusion Detection Systems
    • Online Tracking, VPNs, and Tor
    • Phishing 
    • Malware: Viruses and Rootkits 
    • Malware: Worms and Botnets 





Tuesday, January 22, 2019 to Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Tuesday, September 3, 2019 to Wednesday, December 11, 2019
Class meets on: 
5:30 P.M. – 6:45 P.M.
Parviz Kermani
September, 2019