CIS 751/590, Fall 2008

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, and web 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.
Meeting time: MWF 4:30-5:20, at Nichols 127
Office hours: by appointment.


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 or a programming project. There will also be a nubmer of reading tasks handed out throughout the semester. At the end of the semester, you must also turn in a final report that focuses on a particular problem in the field of security. The topics for the report will be seeked out by the students and approved by the instructor. There will be one exam and a number of in-class quizzes. The purpose of the exam and quizzes is to make sure you understand the materials presented in the lectures and in the reading tasks. The break down of the final score of the course is:


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.