Computer Security & Reliability
Instructor: John J. Aleshunas
Office: Sverdrup 207 F
314.961.2660 ext. 7565
Web page: mercury.webster.edu/aleshunas
Students in this course will study the techniques for protecting data within a computer and
protecting data as it moves through a network. Data and system security and reliability will
be considered in a distributed environment. Topics will include encryption, authentication
and digital signatures, threats to the computer system, and system reliability.
Prospective students must have successfully completed COSC 51
Learn conventional encryption schemes using the DES model.
Understand the design issues for the selection and use of encryption
protocols for providing confidentiality.
Learn the principles for analy
Learn approaches to the use of authentication and digital signature
Learn to anticipate threats to the computer system and develop
procedures for computer recovery.
Learn the principles for analyzing system reliabi
Learn the techniques and methods used for cryptanalysis.
At the completion of this course, each student will be able to:
Describe conventional encryption schemes.
Explain the design issues for the selection and use of encryption
Summarize the principles for analyzing public
Illustrate approaches to the use of authentication and digital signature techniques.
Explain how to anticipate threats to the computer system and deve
lop procedures for
Describe the principles for analyzing system reliability.
Summarize the techniques and methods used for cryptanalysis.
Introduction to computer security and attacks
Block Cipher Principles
Differential and Linear Cryptanalysis
The Data Encry
The Strength of DES
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The Mathematics of Finite Fields
Modular and Polynomi
The Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)
International Data Encryption Algorithm
Characteristics of Advanced Symmetric Block Ciphers
Random Number Generation
Prime and Relatively Prime Numbers
Testing for Primality
Principles of Pub
The RSA Algorithm
Hellman Key Exchange
Week 3 (cont.)
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MD5 Message Digest Algorithm
Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA
Digital Signature Standard
X.509 Authentication Service
Pretty Good Privacy
IP Security Architecture
Combining Security Associations
Web Security Considerations
Secure Sockets Layer and Transport Layer Security
Secure Electronic Transactions
Intruders and Intrusion Detection
Viruses, and Related Threats
Presentation of individual papers
Cryptography and Network Security: Principals and
Hall, Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458, 2002, ISBN:
In this course, you will actively participate in the study of network and system security design
principles. Your emphasis, as gradua
te students, should be on discovery and implementation and
not on simple memorization of facts. You will be expected to read the assigned chapters and to
actively participate in the class discussions. Those discussions, as well as the individual projects,
will provide you a practical means to clearly comprehend network and system security.
The homework assignments will be worth very few grade points (this implies low risk). Their main
purpose is to help me assess your understanding of the course material a
nd the presentation
pace. They also provide you the side benefit of pointing out what the key concepts of the material
We will have two exams; a mid
term in week 4 and a final in week 9. The mid
term exam will
cover all of the material from the first
three weeks. Because this course develops the subject
material from what’s presented earlier in the course, the final exam will be a comprehensive test
of all the material from weeks 1 through 7.
Individual Research Projects
The individual research proj
ect provides you the opportunity to experiment with a selected security
topic. You may select any research topic, subject to my approval. Remember, we are trying to
gain compentcy in encryption and systems security and some areas, for example, where the
oblem domain is not constrained and well understood, may not be as productive as others.
Additionally, I want to expose you to a variety of security topics.
You can choose to conduct research and publish your findings in a research paper (approximately
spaced pages) or develop a working experiment with a security technique or algorithm
and publish your findings in a report (approximately five double
spaced pages). You will conclude
your project with a presentation in week 8. Use the APA (America
n Psychological Association)
style to format your paper and its reference citations.
This is a formal paper, and it requires a formal presentation. This is an opportunity for you to
share your work with the class. Plan to take ten
minutes to present your
work, before questions
and comments. Don’t read your paper. Determine the most important and interesting parts of your
paper for the presentation (three items at most). It is not necessary to include everything in the
paper in your presentation, and in fac
t, there will not be time to do so. You must use PowerPoint
as a presentation aid in you presentation. If you choose to do a research project, present a
demonstration of your work.
Your grade will be compiled from each of the class evaluation c
omponents in the following
The course grading requirements are:
93 to 100%
90 to 92%
87 to 89%
83 to 86%
80 to 82%
77 to 79%