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CSC8102 : System Security

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Shishir Nagaraja
  • Owning School: Computing
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


Most computer-based systems are vulnerable to security attacks, and it is crucial for system users, designers and maintainers to learn how to detect, prevent and respond to these attacks. This course aims to cover a wide range of attacks, such as man-in-the-middle and API attacks, and to introduce relevant security mechanisms, such as cryptographic techniques and network analysis tool. The material covers the underpinning theory behind attacks and mechanisms, supported by up-to-date research papers, as well as some real-world examples.

Outline Of Syllabus

-       Cryptography
-       Security Protocols
-       Network and Distributed System Security
-       Hardware Security
-       Security of Emerging Systems
-       Usability.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion61:006:00Lecture follow-up via discussion board sessions
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture241:0024:00Lectures (PiP and online nonsynchronous)
Guided Independent StudyProject work261:0026:00Coursework – online quizzes and 1 report of 1500 words.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study381:0038:00Background reading
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time61:006:00Online Q&A and Seminars, via Zoom or Teams (online synchronous)
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will be used to introduce the learning material and for demonstrating the key concepts by example. Students are expected to follow-up lectures within a few days by re-reading and annotating lecture notes to aid deep learning.

Students are expected to follow-up lectures. This will be done by (1) a scheduled online Q & A and seminar time via Zoom/Team (2) non-synchronized online discussion via Canvas.

Students aiming for 1st class marks are expected to widen their knowledge beyond the content of lecture notes through background reading. (18 hours are expected within the module, and 20 hours after the module is over).

Students are expected to spend time on preparing and completing the coursework.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Computer assessment2M40Canvas online quizzes
Report2M601500 words, plus listings and formal documentation. Total 10 pages max.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The online quizzes are an appropriate way to assess knowledge of the theoretical underpinnings and practical skills on small-scale problems. The report assessment gives an opportunity to assess practical skills on a more realistic and open-ended problem, and assess the knowledge learnt over the whole module.

Reading Lists