USC Computer Science 530 (CSci 530): Security Systems - Fall 2023
Lecture Friday - 9:00 to 11:50 AM, OHE-122
Class Web Page
THIS CLASS HAS CONCLUDED - CHECK BACK LATER FOR FALL 2024 COURSE INFORMATION
- First Lecture - Friday 25 August 2023 - 9:00 AM - 11:50 AM (PDT)
- Mid-term exam - Friday 6 October 2023 - 9:00AM-10:40 AM (PDT) (followed by lecture)
- Final exam - Monday 11 December 2023 - 11:00AM-1:00 PM (PST)
This class will provide students an overview of network and
distribtued systems security, its workings, and its role in protecting
data and computing resources. The course begins with a discussion of
the fundamental problem and tools in protecting a computing system,
and proceeds through the various security services that apply to these
systems. By the end of the course, at the highest level, students will
be able to:
- Discuss the technical, business, societal, and ethical aspects of probems in
- Describe and assess a broad range of security systems deployed or
suggested for solving those problems.
- Understand the fundamental mathematics and engineering underlying security systems.
- Judge the suitability of security systems for particular applications.
- Know how to develop new security systems and features.
- The student should have a basic backgournd in computer
operating systems and computer networks. This background
would have been provided by an undergraduate operating systems
and computer networks class at USC or at the students previous
college or university. A remedial lecture (online) will be
available to fill in for the networking background if needed.
- Bishop, Computer Security: Art and Science, Addison-Wesley
Professional, 1st Edition. ISBN 0201440997
(required - it is available from
the USC Book Store, or online from many sources.)
(you may also use the newer second edition and we will update our reading list to incorporate the mapping of chapters in this more recent edition).
Instructors and Assistants
- Office: Information Sciences Institute - 310-448-8736
- Office hours: 12:30PM to 2:00 PM on Monday - or by appointment - Zoom link will be distributed by email and listed on D2L
- Email: csci530 at usc.edu (to Instructor and TAs)
- Email: bcn at isi.edu (to just instructor)
- Office hours: Wednesday 10AM-11:30AM
- Email: csci530 at usc.edu (to Instructor and TAs)
- Email: cchaniot at usc.edu
Two or three Assignments will be assigned plus a research paper. For the
three assignments students may receive an automatic extension of 48
hours total that may be applied across the three homework assignments.
If you turn in one of your assignments 8 hours late, then you will
only have 40 hours remaining in extensions to use on subsequent
assignments. I suggest not using the whole 48 hours on the first
assignment, because if you have an unforseen scheduling issue that arises
later in the semester, it will be your problem. Late assignments
(beyond any extension) will be assesed 1 full letter penalty per day
they are late, and if the topic of an assignment is covered in the
lecture following the due date, then the assignment will not be
accepted beyond that lecture.
Course Grade Components
The course grade will be based on 2 or 3 short homework assignments (15
percent of base grade), several hands on laboratory experiments (high
pass, pass, low pass, fail), a midterm exam (25 percent of base
grade), a written paper or project (30 percent of base grade), and a
final exam (30 percent of base grade).
The final exam is cumulative, meaining it will cover all of course
material, although there will be an emphasis on the second half of the
course (after the midterm).
The labs are required (you must complete 8 of 10) and your scores
figure into a supplimental grade component: cumulative lab scores of
high pass or low pass will improve or lower your grade. An
introduction to the coming weeks lab will be presented at 4:30 on
Friday in OHE 122, and will also be available for vieiwing via the web on DEN.
Actual completion of the lab occurs during the following week during
times that you will select during the first week of class.
The paper assignment will ask for an 8-12 page paper discussing in
detail the implementation and implications of either an existing
security system, or one proposed by the student. Other paper topics or
projects may be approved by the instructor. The paper or project must
constitute work completed for CSci530, although topics may be chosen
so that the paper or project forms the basis of future work by the
student. Papers or projects are to be the individual work of the
student. The tentative due date for the paper will be the last
lecture for the class. Paper proposals will be due in late September.
As they are graded and returned, letter grades (or a numeric score in
the range 0-4) will be assigned for each component of the course
grade. The final course grade will be calculated twice, once as a
weighted average of the individual component grades, and then with an
extra 10% weight calculated as an "A+" for class participation. Your
actual course grade will fall somewhere between these two numbers,
depending on your actual participation in class, lab, and in the
online discussion forums. Your course letter grade will depend on
your weighted course numeric grade with 3.85 or higher earning an A,
3.5 through 4.85 an A-, 3.15 through 3.5 a B+, 2.85 through 3.15 a B,
etc. It will be to your advantage to make useful contributions to
discussion in the online forum, as that is the record of class
participation that is most readily reviewed by me at the end of the
As an instructor I take academic integrity seriously. Cases of
academic misconduct will result in the assignment of a failing grade
for the class and referal of the matter to the student conduct office.
In each of the past several years I have turned in multiple students
for cheating and assigned failing grades. Information on what
constitutes academic dishonesty can be found on the CSci530 academic integrity page, and by
following links to university resources found on that page.
Other readings will be assigned with links to online version provided
from the syllabus on this page. Where the online papers are available
through the ACM or IEEE digital libraries, you may retrieve them using
USC's subscription if you connect from a USC internet address. When
accessing these papers from home, you may need to use USC's VPN to
obtain a USC Internet address that allows retrieval of the documents.
For more information on VPN access visit the USC ITS VPN page.
- Syllabus and Reading List
- Discussion boards and webcasts of lectures avalable by logging in
- Links to supplementary readings in the Syllabus.
- Links to lecture sides are posted as a single slide deck for the first half of the semester. A similar deck for the secon part of the semester will be posted at the time of the mid-term exam.linked from the Syllabus.
Exams from Prior years
The following are copies of the exams from prior years which
may be used to help prepare for this years mid-term and final.