CIS 751/551, Fall 2014

Computer and Information Security

Course Goals

This course aims at providing a comprehensive understanding of computer and information security. The course materials cover common attack techniques, application of cryptography in security, authentication and authorization, network security, enterprise network defense, web security, and economics of security. Not only mechanisms for enhancing security will be taught, a great deal of the course is also to discuss when and where things can go wrong and how design flaws in a system can be exploited to compromise security. Students will have the opportunity to work on course projects that cover both the defense and offense aspects in cyber space. The goal of the course is to provide a solid theoretical foundation for computer and information security, and hands-on experience in applying the theory to practice. Interesting research topics can also be derived from course projects.

Course Schedule

Instructor and course meeting times

Instructor: Xinming (Simon) Ou (xou at KSU dot EDU), N316C
TA: Xiaolong (Daniel) Wang (danielwang at KSU dot EDU), N127
Meeting time: TTh 3:55-5:10, in Nichols 19
Office hour: Simon: Friday 3-5pm, Daniel: Thursday 1-3pm.
DCE students: lecture videos will be posted the day after the lecture.


Basic understanding of computer systems, including operating systems, networks, compilers, etc. This is a course that primarily targets graduate students and junior/senior-level undergraduate students in computer science and computer engineering.


There will be on average one assignment per week, which could be a written homework, a programming project, or a reading assignment. At the end of the semester, you must also turn in a final report that focuses on a specific problem in computer and information security. The topics for the report will be seeked out by the students and approved by the instructor. There will be a midterm and final exam. The break down of the final score of the course is:

Academic Honesty

Kansas State University has an Honor System based on personal integrity, which is presumed to be sufficient assurance that, in academic matters, one's work is performed honestly and without unauthorized assistance. Undergraduate and graduate students, by registration, acknowledge the jurisdiction of the Honor System. The policies and procedures of the Honor System apply to all full and part-time students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate courses on-campus, off-campus, and via distance learning. The honor system website can be reached via the following URL: A component vital to the Honor System is the inclusion of the Honor Pledge which applies to all assignments, examinations, or other course work undertaken by students. The Honor Pledge is implied, whether or not it is stated: "On my honor, as a student, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this academic work." A grade of XF can result from a breach of academic honesty. The F indicates failure in the course; the X indicates the reason is an Honor Pledge violation.

Expectation of Classroom Conduct

All student activities in the University, including this course, are governed by the Student Judicial Conduct Code as outlined in the Student Governing Association By Laws, Article VI, Section 3, number 2. Students who engage in behavior that disrupts the learning environment may be asked to leave the class.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Any student with a disability who needs a classroom accommodation, access to technology, or information about emergency building/campus evacuation processes should contact the Student Access Center and/or the instructor. Services are available to students with a wide range of disabilities including, but not limited to, physical disabilities, medical conditions, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, depression, and anxiety. If you are a student enrolled in on-campus/online courses through the Manhattan or Olathe campus, contact, 785-532-6441.


Some materials in the course are adapted from the BlackHat Exploit Laboratory. We are grateful to Saumil Shah and SK Chong who kindly permit us to use those materials in this course.


Questions can be emailed to xou (put some stuff here) ksu (a little dot) edu.