MSIT 458: Information Security and Assurance
I. Course description:
The past decade has seen an explosion in the concern for the security of information. This course introduces students to the basic principles and practices of computer and information security. Focus will be on the software, operating system and network security techniques with detailed analysis of real-world examples. Topics include cryptography, authentication, software and operating system security (e.g., buffer overflow), Internet vulnerability (DoS attacks, viruses/worms, botnets, etc.), intrusion detection systems, firewalls, VPN, Web and wireless network security.
II. Required text and/or other materials:
III. Reference text and/or other materials:
IV. Required prerequisites or knowledge base
V. Rationale for inclusion in MSIT Program:
This course provides students with an extensive understanding of information security management with emphasis on network security. Whereas other courses provide an overview of the basics of the discipline, information security is simultaneously a technical and managerial discipline with enterprise-wide implications for employees, operations and systems at every level. For organizations to successfully implement and manage an effective and efficient security program while managing shifting risks associated with interrelated information technology and decision-making employees, contractors, vendors, and suppliers must understand the concepts, technologies and practices of information security and be able to apply them effectively in their own distinctive areas of responsibility.
VI. Course goal:
VII. Course Objectives:
Upon successful completion of this course, the student should be able to:
Course topics/content (by week):
Note: all homework are due by the 8am of Fri. morning.
||Cryptography [crypto.ppt]||Stallings Chapters 2, 3 and 9, KPS Chapters 2, 3 and 5||Homework 1 and project part
1 due on Sep. 27.
||User authentication and
(case study: Microsoft Passport
system and Kerberos) [authentication.ppt]
|KPS Chapters 9 and 10,
Password Security: A Case History, Communications of ACM, vol.22 no.11, 1979.
Taxonomy of Botnet Threats, Trend Micro White Paper, November 2006
paper summary and Homework 2 for due on Oct. 4.
We will do a lab for nmap next week. Before that, you need to download nmap to you computer by following the instructions.
talk on "Cyber Crime Past, Present and Future!" by
Jibran Ilyas, Senior Incident Response Consultant, Trustwave
Network/Vulnerability scanner (case study: nmap and nessus (installation demo)).
Survey of Botnet Technology and Defenses, in the
Proc. of the 2009 Cybersecurity Applications &
Technology Conference for Homeland Security.
Botnet Chronicles – A Journey to Infamy, Trend Micro white paper 2010.
3, due on Oct. 11.
||Malcode and botnets [malcode.ppt][botnet.ppt]
|| Stallings Chapter 19
A Taxonomy of Computer Worms, N. Weaver, et al, the First ACM Workshop on Rapid Malcode (WORM), 2003.
|Project problem statement
presentation slides due on Oct. 16.
Web security paper summary and homework 4 due on Oct. 18.
|| DoS Attacks [DoS.ppt]
Project problem statement presentation and feedback from each group (see the list below)
SYN Flooding Attacks, H. Wang, D. Zhang, and K. G.
Shin, in Proc. of IEEE INFOCOM, 2002
Web Based Attacks, Symantec white paper, Feb. 2009. (Podcast from Symantec).
5 due by Oct. 25.
||WWW Security and Defense [web.ppt].
Demo tutorial and SSH set up instructions if you would like to try the demo yourself.
Intrusion Detection/Prevention Systems (case study: snort IDS) [IDS.ppt][snort.ppt]
Analysis of Web-Based Applications, Chapter in
``Test and Analysis of Web Services", Springer, September
KPS Chapter 25 (Web security)
|Homework 6 due on Nov. 1.|
Invited talk on Security Policy, Security Automation and Backtrack, by Brandon Hoffman, Director of Customer Satisfaction in Redseal, a security software company.
|Stallings Chapter 18 (IDS)
7 due on Nov. 8.
Invited talkon Cloud Security by Kurtis Minder, CISSP, Global Account Manager, Fortinet Inc.
|Handout from Chapter 9 of Firewalls and Internet
Security: Repelling the Wily Hacker.
Stallings Chapter 20 and KPS Chapter 23 (firewalls)
|Project final solution slides
due on Nov. 13.
Homework 8 due on Nov. 15
|| Final project solution
presentations (see the list below).
Review for the final
|Wireless and Network Security Integration Solution Overview, Cisco Inc. Here are more detailed guidelines on the solutions (i.e., expanding the overview).||Practice exam
Paper summary due on Nov. 29.
|Dec. 1||Wireless network security [wirelessSec.ppt] and
techonology integration for compliance (case study: Cisco) [wirelessSec_cisco.pptx].
|Symantec Internet Security Threat Report||
There will be
several group-based homework assignments so that students can
reflect on what they learn in each class and try to apply them. In
the beginning of each class, we will discuss the homework as
students are expected to engage in technical paper reading, and
writing summaries. These papers are carefully selected (with
little math!) which can be understood with the basic information
security and networking knowledge. Each group is
expected to briefly present their findings and takeaway of the
Your summary should include at least:
Project: each group will work on a quarter-long project called Information Security in Real Business with the following steps.
Yan Chen is an
Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering
and Computer Science at Northwestern University. He got his Ph.D.
in Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley
in 2003. He has over ten years of experience in network security,
network and distributed system measurement and diagnosis. He won
the Department of Energy (DOE) Early CAREER award in 2005, the DoD
(Air Force of Scientific Research) Young Investigator Award in
2007, and the Microsoft Trustworthy Computing Awards in 2004 and
2005 with his colleagues. His research is also sponsored by
National Science Foundation (NSF), Motorola, NEC, and Huawei. In
addition to the industry sponsors, he has widely collaborated with
industry researchers from Microsoft, AT&T, Motorola, Yahoo,
Keynote, and the Internet Storm Center of the SANS (SysAdmin,
Audit, Network, Security) Institute. According to Google Scholar,
his papers have been cited for more than 4,000 times. He has also
offered security consulting services to several companies.
Recently, he was invited to serve in the Illinois Governor Pat
Quinn’s Internet Privacy Task Force. The taskforce will
examine what the state can do to prepare and protect Illinois’
industry and infrastructure from cyberattacks. This
committee is led by Jake Braun, former Director of White House and
Public Liaison for the Department of Homeland Security, with other
high-profile members such as CIOs from Motorola Mobility, Boeing,
and the Northern Trust Company.
He started several security courses at Northwestern University, including the EECS 350 Introduction to Computer Security, EECS 354 Network Penetration and Security, and EECS 450 Internet Security. He was awarded as a Searle Junior Fellow by the Searle Center for Teaching Excellence of Northwestern University in 2004.