Instructor Trent Jaeger (tjaeger 'at' cse.psu.edu)
Location 124 Walker
Meeting Times T-TH 4:35-5:50pm
Credits 3
Office Hours Jaeger (W359 Westgate Bldg): W 2-3pm, Th 1-2pm

This course provides a graduate-level introduction to computer and network security. Students successfully completing this class will be able to evaluate works in academic and commercial security, and will have rudimentary skills in security research. The course begins with a tutorial of the basic elements of cryptography, cryptanalysis, and systems security, and continues by covering a number of seminal papers and monographs in a wide range of security areas.

Topics covered include network security, authentication, security protocol design and analysis, key management, software security, software vulnerabilities, operating systems security, access control, virtualization security, intrusion detection, web security, and other emerging topics. A detailed list of lecture by lecture contents, assignments, and due dates (subject to change as semester evolves) is available on the course schedule.

Most of the course readings will come from seminal papers in the field. Links to these papers will be provided on the course pages. In addition, the following books will be used for readings and as reference material.


The course will be graded on exams, reviews, assignments, projects, and class participation in the following proportions:

35% Projects
20% Mid-term Exam
35% Final Exam
10% Class Participation and Reviews

Course Projects

There will be two individual projects and one team research project during the semester. These projects will teach methods for both attack and defense (see Ethics Statement below). Details of the projects will be published on the course webpage.


Understanding research papers is a key task in computer science research. In this class, students will provide one-page reviews research papers assigned as readings. Roughly one review will be due per week. These reviews are due at the beginning of class. Please submit a paper copy of your review.

Class Participation

Course lectures will be driven by the contents of assigned papers and book chapters. 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

Project milestones are assessed a 15% 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.

Academic Integrity Policy

Please be aware of the EECS Department's Academic Integrity Policy at http://www.eecs.psu.edu/students/resources/EECS-CSE-Academic-Integrity.aspx.

Students are required to follow the university guidelines on academic conduct at all times. Students failing to meet these standards will automatically receive a 'F' grade for the course. The instructor carefully monitors for instances of offenses such as plagiarism and illegal collaboration, so it is very important that students use their best possible judgement in meeting this policy. The instructor will not entertain any discussion on the discovery of an offense, and will assign the 'F' grade and refer the student to the appropriate University bodies for possible further action.

Note that students are explicitly forbidden to copy anything off the Internet (e.g., source code, text) for the purposes of completing an assignment or the final project. Also, students are forbidden from discussing or collaborating on any assignment except were explicitly allowed in writing by the instructor.

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.

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 Jaeger.

Disability Accommodation Statement

Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University’s educational programs. Every Penn State campus has an office for students with disabilities. Student Disability Resources (SDR) website provides contact information for every Penn State campus (http://equity.psu.edu/sdr/disability-coordinator). For further information, please visit Student Disability Resources website (http://equity.psu.edu/sdr/).

Counseling and Psychological Services Statement

Many students at Penn State face personal challenges or have psychological needs that may interfere with their academic progress, social development, or emotional wellbeing. The university offers a variety of confidential services to help you through difficult times, including individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, consultations, online chats, and mental health screenings. These services are provided by staff who welcome all students and embrace a philosophy respectful of clients’ cultural and religious backgrounds, and sensitive to differences in race, ability, gender identity and sexual orientation.

Counseling and Psychological Services at University Park (CAPS) (http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/counseling): 814-863-0395

Penn State Crisis Line (24 hours/7 days/week): 877-229-6400

Crisis Text Line (24 hours/7 days/week): Text LIONS to 741741

Educational Equity/Report Bias Statements

Penn State takes great pride to foster a diverse and inclusive environment for students, faculty, and staff. Acts of intolerance, discrimination, or harassment due to age, ancestry, color, disability, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religious belief, sexual orientation, or veteran status are not tolerated and can be reported through Educational Equity via the Report Bias webpage (http://equity.psu.edu/reportbias/).