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CSC3124 : System and Network Security

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Charles Morisset
  • Teaching Assistant: Mr Chris Napier
  • Owning School: Computing
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To create awareness of the need for security in computer and communications systems, and to introduce techniques aiming at analysing and improving security.

By exploring topics such as the need for security, system and network security, cryptography, privacy and practical security, including hardware, software and human elements of security, this module aims to introduce the need for security in many components of a computer system: hardware, network, databases, web applications, operating systems and user interface.

Outline Of Syllabus

The need for security: threat and risk modelling.
System Security: authentication (password, biometrics), access control, malicious code execution, user behaviour.
Network Security: TCP/IP firewall, intrusion detection, routing attacks.
Cryptography: simple introduction to symmetric and asymmetric encryption, hashing and signature.
Privacy: k-anonymity.
Practical security: conduct attacks in a controlled environment.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion260:3013:00Revision for end of Semester exam & exam duration
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion221:0022:00Lecture follow-up
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00Lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical111:0011:00Practicals
Guided Independent StudyProject work111:0011:00Coursework
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study211:0021:00Background reading
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures are given to satisfy the knowledge outcomes, and practical work to practise and improve the skills outcomes.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
PC Examination902A80N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report2M10Individual exercises to be completed during practical hours. 3-5 exercises.
Practical/lab report2M10Security Analysis (group work, 1500 words).
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The written examination is an appropriate way to assess knowledge of the theoretical underpinnings and practical skills on small-scale problems. The examination involves the correct interpretation and analysis of formal models. Its duration is set to allow time for this to be done accurately.

The coursework assessment gives an opportunity to assess practical skills in a controlled environment, while the security analysis is done as group work, with some parts assessed as a group, and some parts assessed on an individual basis.

N.B. This module has both “Exam Assessment” and “Other Assessment” (e.g. coursework). If the total mark for either assessment falls below 35%, the maximum mark returned for the module will normally be 35%.

Reading Lists