Instructor Patrick McDaniel (mcdaniel 'at' cse.psu.edu)
Location 333 IST
Meeting Times T-TH 4:15pm-5:30pm
Credits 3
Office Hours Prof. McDaniel: by appointment

This course provides an in depth review of the theoretical and applied topics in network security. Students satisfactorily completing the course will be able to formulate a security model for network environments, and apply cryptography, protocol design, and emergent network security technologies to meet the requirements of that model. An extension of CSE543 (a prerequisite), the course consider research and solutions in a broad selection of imporant network environments including multiparty, cellular, sensor, VoIP, and smartgrid environments. In studiying these environments, we consider important works in protocol design and formal analysis, advanced authentication, network configuration and management, wireless systems, intrusion detection and other topics.

A detailed list of a lecture by lecture contents, assignments, and due dates (subject to change as semester evolves) is available on the course schedule.


The course will be graded on exams, a course project, and class participation in the following proportions:

45% Course Projects
20% Mid-term Exam
25% Final Exam
10% Class Participation and quizzes

Course Projects

The course projects requires the each student student to build a complete, secure protocol stack. The details of the projects will be made in class and through handouts made available on the course website.

Policy: The course projects are to be carried out individually. Students are explicitly not allowed to share information, source code, or even discuss the contents of the projects. Any violation of this policy will be considered cheating and will result in the student being removed from the class and given an 'F' grade.

Students are forbidden from copying code from the Internet.

Class Participation

Course lectures will be driven the contents of assigned papers. However, students are going to be required to participate in discussions of the paper content during each lecture. Hence, the students ability to exhibit comprehension of papers is essential to a passing grade.

Lateness Policy

Assignments are assessed a 10% per-day late penalty, up to a maximum of 4 days. Unless the problem is apocalyptic, don't give me excuses. Students with legitimate reasons who contact the professor before the deadline may apply for an extension.

Required Texts

Most of the course readings will come from seminal papers in the field. Links to these papers will be provided on the course pages as the assignments are made.

Ethics Statement

This course considers topics involving personal and public privacy and security. As part of this investigation we will cover technologies whose abuse may infringe on the rights of others. As an instructor, I rely on the ethical use of these technologies. Unethical use may include circumvention of existing security or privacy measurements for any purpose, or the dissemination, promotion, or exploitation of vulnerabilities of these services. Exceptions to these guidelines may occur in the process of reporting vulnerabilities through public and authoritative channels. Any activity outside the letter or spirit of these guidelines will be reported to the proper authorities and may result in dismissal from the class.

Any instance of sharing or plagiarism, copying, cheating on tests, or other disallowed behavior will constitute a breach of ethics and will result in dismissal from the class with a failing grade.

Students are responsible for reporting any violation of these rules by other students, and failure to constitutes a ethical violation that carries with it similar penalties.

When in doubt, please contact the course professor for advice. Do not undertake any action which could be perceived as technology misuse anywhere and/or under any circumstances unless you have received explicit permission from Professor McDaniel.

Course Updates

[08/24/2010] I have put up a preliminary website for the CSE545 course. More details about the course content will be provided over the coming months.

[12/27/2010] The course content has solidified and and is now available on the schedule page.

[1/10/2011] Our first class is tomorrow. Please review the syllabus on this page prior to our first meeting tomorrow.