CS 4235: Introduction to Information Security


You will gain exposure to burgeoning areas of information security and learn how to use the tools commonly used for information security today.


The required textbook for the course is: Security in Computing, which is available at Amazon, among other places.
Additionally, you will be expected to read about one paper a week, on average. (Reading List).

Academic Honesty

Students are expected to abide by the Georgia Tech Honor Code. Honest and ethical behavior is expected at all times. All incidents of suspected dishonesty will be reported to and handled by the office of student affairs. You are to do all assignments yourself, unless explicitly told otherwise. You may discuss the assignments with your classmates, but you may not copy any solution (or part of a solution) from a classmate.


Some familiarity with both network programming, programming in C, and scripting languages (e.g., Perl, Ruby) will be helpful.


Grading will be based on three problem sets, two quizzes, and a semester-long project with a presentation and writeup. Participation will count for "fudge factors".

  • 50% Problem Sets (including case study)
  • 30% Quizzes
  • 20% Project


Papers will not be handed out in class. Please print the readings and read them before class.
Please note that this schedule is tentative and subject to change throughout the course of the term.

Lecture Date Topics Notes/Resources Preparation
Introduction and Overview
1 Tue 08/23 Security in Computing
1.1-1.3 Ware, Checkoway
2 Thu 08/25 Attacks and Defenses
Al Qaeda 1.4-1.5; 1.9-1.10 Denning
Software Security
3 Tue 08/30 Software Flaws and Vulnerabilities
Stack Smashing 3-3.2 Thompson
4 Thu 09/01 Worms and Viruses
5 Tue 09/06 Malicious Code
Network Security
6 Thu 09/08 Spam and Phishing
7 Tue 09/13 Botnets
Case Study Presentations
8 Thu 09/15 Groups: Censorship, Spam
Tue 09/20 No Class
Problem Set 1 Due
9 Thu 09/22 Groups: Mobile, Neutrality, Web
10 Tue 09/27 Groups: Cellular, DNS, Smart Grid
11 Thu 09/29 Groups: Blackhat SEO, Social
Network Security
12 Tue 10/04 Network Security and Threats
13 Thu 10/06 Network Defense
Tue 10/11 Quiz 1
14 Thu 10/13 Firewalls and Intrusion Detection
Tue 10/18 Fall Recess
15 Thu 10/20 MITM, Public Key Infrastructures
Secure Systems
16 Tue 10/25 Memory Protection and Access Control
17 Thu 10/27 Secure Operating Systems
18 Tue 11/01 Web Security
Privacy and Anonymity
19 Thu 11/03 Privacy
20 Tue 11/08 Anonymity
21 Thu 11/10 Censorship
22 Tue 11/15 Elementary/Symmetric Key Crypto
23 Thu 11/17 Modern/Public Key Crypto
24 Tue 11/22 Cryptographic Hashes
Thu 11/24 Thanksgiving
25 Tue 11/29 Network Security/Quiz Review
Thu 12/01 Quiz 2
Tue 12/06 Project Presentations
Thu 12/08 Project Presentations

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