COSC535: Network Security
Network Security

Who, What, and Where

Micah Sherr


Email: click here (GPG/PGP key)

Office Hours:

Look left.

See below.

This class will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11am-12:15pm in St. Mary's Hall, room 326.
This class will also have an online presence. Students are expected (read: required) to participate in online discussions on Piazza.

This graduate-level class assumes that students have completed the requirements of an undergraduate computer science degree.


This course introduces students to network and communications security. Students will learn about current threats and defenses by examining case-studies, seminal research papers, and monographs in a wide range of security areas. Topics covered include cryptography, network design fundamentals, authentication, confidentiality protocols, worms, botnets, denial-of-service attacks, firewalls, intrusion detection systems, secure routing, network privacy and anonymity, spam, and web security.

Prerequisites: This is a graduate-level computer science course. Students are expected to have a working knowledge of C and UNIX/Linux, and have a basic understanding of computer operating systems and networks. There will be several programming assignments.


This graduate-level course will impart a broad understanding of the underpinnings of security techniques, security best practices, and computer security research. The course should help students to understand the mindsets of attackers (the bad guys and gals who do malicious things on the network) and system designers and defenders (the good guys and gals who try to stop the attackers). The course should prepare students to understand and assess security threats, become familiar with security engineering best practices, and write better software, protocols, and systems.

A Note about Network Security

This class covers both offensive and defensive computer and network security techniques. Enrollment in this class does not constitute a waiver of Georgetown's Acceptable Use Policy. Students are expected and required to obey all University policies. Talk to the instructor before conducting any network experiments.

Course Policies

Grading, projects, presentations, etc.


Hopefully not too arbitrary

Academic Integrity

Dos and Definitely Do Nots


Will ye' pass, or will ye' fail?


The strongly suggested textbook for this class is Introduction to Computer Security by Michael Goodrich and Roberto Tamassia.

Reading Assignments & Schedule