University of Texas at El Paso
Compuer Science

CS 5352 - Computer Security
Spring 2010 Course Syllabus

Course Description:  General concepts and applied methods of computer security, especially as they relate to confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information assets. Topics include system security analysis, access control and various security models, identification and authentication, protection against external and internal threats, communication protocols and internet security.

Course Goals:  With the multiplication of tasks that are performed on computers and the advent of globalisation of computing in general, the topic of computer security becomes more and more important. We see in this course what is computer security, especially as it relates to the protection of information stored on the computers and exchanged between computers. Topics include: system security analysis, access control and various security models, identification and authentication, security in UNIX and Windows, communication security, cryptography, internet security, e-commerce security protocols.

Textbook: "Introduction to Computer Security", by Matt Bishop, Addison Wesley, 2005.

Additional material:

Course website:

Exams and Grades: There will be two tests and a presentation. The rest of the grade will be based on written and/or programming assignments. The following percentages will be used in formulating the final grade:

Test 1 25% Test 2 25% Presentation 20% Assignments 30%

Standards of Conduct: Students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional and courteous manner, as prescribed by the Standards of Conduct.  Students may discuss work assignments and programming exercises in a general way with other students, but the solutions must be done independently.  Similarly, groups may discuss group project assignments with other groups, but the solutions must be done by the group itself.  Graded work should be unmistakably your own.  You may not transcribe or copy a solution taken from another person, book, or other source, e.g., a web page.  Professors are required to -- and will -- report academic dishonesty and any other violation of the Standards of Conduct to the Dean of Students.

Faculty Information: Professor: Luc Longpré Office: 227 CS Building Phone: 747-6804 e-mail: longpre @ utep . edu Office Hours: See for appointments.

Course outcomes:

Knowledge and Comprehension

  1. Describe the functioning of various types of malicious code, such as viruses, worms, trapdoors.
  2. Enumerate a set programming techniques that enhances security.
  3. Explain the various controls available for protection against internet attacks, including authentication, integrity check, firewalls, intruder detection systems.
  4. Describe the different ways of providing authentication of a user or program.
  5. Describe the mechanisms used to provide security in programs, operating systems, databases and networks.
  6. Describe the background, history and properties of widely-used encryption algorithms such as DES, AES, and RSA.
  7. Describe legal, privacy and ethical issues in computer security.
  8. List and explain the typical set of tasks required of a system security administrator.

Application and Analysis

  1. Compare different access control, file protection or authentication mechanisms.
  2. Set up file protections in a Unix or Windows file system to achieve a given purpose.
  3. Incorporate encryption, integrity check and/or authentication into a given program or algorithm.
  4. Distinguish between steganography and watermarking as document modification methods.

Synthesis and Evaluation

  1. Appraise a given code fragment for vulnerabilities.
  2. Appraise a given protocol for security flaws.
  3. Design a security protocol for a given application.
  4. Formulate a security plan for a given scenario, including risk analysis, organizational security policies, and planning for physical security and natural disasters.

Detailed Course Outline:

  1. Overview of Computer Security
    • Threats, risks, vulnerabilities, safeguards, attacks, exploits
    • Information states
    • Security at the various states of information: processing, storage and transmission
    • Definition of security based on current state and reachable states
    • Comprehensive model of security
    • Confidentiality, integrity and availability
    • Risk management, corrective action, risk assessment
    • Physical security, including TEMPEST security
  2. Access Control
    • Access control matrix
    • Access control lists
    • Capabilities
    • Role-based access control
    • Application dependence
  3. Security Policies
    • Types of policies
    • Role of trust
    • Information states and procedures
    • Types of access control
    • Separation of duties
    • Application dependence
    • Importance for automated information systems (AIS)
    • Security planning
  4. Confidentiality Policies
    • Goals and definitions
    • Bell-LaPadula model
    • Multi-level security
  5. Integrity Policies
    • Goals and definitions
    • Information states and procedures
    • Operating system integrity
    • Biba model
    • Clark-Wilson model
  6. Hybrid Policies
    • Chinese Wall model
    • Role-Based Access Control
  7. Basic Cryptography: user's viewpoint
    • Encryption
      • Classical cryptosystems
      • Public key cryptosystems
    • Message digests and authentication codes
    • Application to access control
  8. Key Management
    • Key exchange
    • Session and interchange keys
    • Cryptographic key infrastructures
    • Storing, revoking and destructing keys
    • Digital signatures
    • Application to access control
  9. Cipher Techniques
    • Stream and block ciphers
    • Block chaining
  10. Authentication
    • Passwords
    • Challenge-response
    • Biometrics
    • Location
    • Combinations
    • Application to access control/authorization
  11. Design Principles
    • Least privilege
    • Fail-safe defaults
    • Economy of mechanism
    • Complete mediation
    • Open design
    • Separation of privilege
    • Least common mechanism
    • Psychological acceptability
  12. Information Flow
    • Information flow models and mechanisms
    • Compiler-based and execution-based mechanisms
    • Security policies on information flow
    • Relevance of security policies to information security and operations security
    • Interdependence between information security and operations security
  13. Confinement Problem
    • Isolation
    • Covert channels
  14. Assurance and Software Engineering
    • Security aspects of the life cycle
    • Software security mechanisms to protect information
    • Assurance and trust
    • Building trusted operating systems
  15. Evaluating Systems
    • Historical perspective
    • TCSEC
    • Common criteria
    • Rainbow series
    • Security certification and accreditation of federal information systems
  16. Malicious Logic
    • Trojan horses
    • Computer viruses
    • Computer worms
    • Logic bombs
    • Defenses and countermeasures
  17. Vulnerability Analysis
    • Detailed description of threats, vulnerabilities and exploiting vulnerabilities
  18. Auditing
    • Auditing mechanisms
    • Auditing system design
    • Privacy issues
    • Trails and logs
    • Access control issues
    • Application dependence
  19. Intrusion Detection
    • Principles
    • Models
    • Architecture
    • Organization
    • Intrusion response
  20. Network Security
    • Policy development
    • Network organization
    • Firewalls
    • Availability
    • Access control issues
    • Attacks anticipation
    • Traffic analysis
    • Public vs private
  21. Program Security
    • Requirements and policy
    • Common security-related programming problems
    • Object reuse and access control
  22. Virtual Machines
    • Virtual machine structure
    • Virtual machine monitor
  23. Security Administration and Training
    • Basic notions related to security administration: accountability, accreditation, security architecture, assessments, assurance, availability, integrity, confidentiality, authentication, non-repudiation, certification, configuration control, resource custidian, defense, domains, system security principles, information operations, records management, sensitivity, zoning, aggregation, end systems, operating systems and organizational security procedures, security tools, open systems interconnect, due care, facility support systems, media, alarms, signals, reports, non-repudiation, violations, modes of operation.
    • Security countermeasures - education, training and awareness
    • Surveillance
    • Assessment
    • Roles of various organizational personnel
    • Personnel security practices and procedures
    • Purposes of awareness, training and education
    • Training of administrators and managers
    • Protection of assets
    • Security accreditation
    • Administrative policies
      • Purposes
      • Back-up policies
      • E-mail security and privacy policies
      • Wireless policies
      • FAX security policies
      • Internet security policies
      • Incident response policies
      • Testing and validation policies
      • Application development control
      • Facilities management
      • Copyright management
      • Licensing management
      • Biometrics access management
      • Software piracy
      • Law enforcement issues, assisting investigations
      • Media destruction/sanitization/protection
      • Security planning
      • Resources misuse or abuse
      • Documentation and autiting
      • Review of controls
      • Policies installment process
      • Managers endorsement, user obligations
      • System test and evaluation
      • Communication with users
      • Communication with vendors
      • Software installation, patches
    • Password management and policies
    • Assessment preparation
    • Legal aspects
    • Agency specific security policies, points of contact and control
    • Security planning
    • Contingency planning, disaster recovery
    • Configuration management
  24. Privacy in Databases
    • Publications of aggregate data from sensitive statistical databases
    • Inference
    • Privacy aspects of data mining