CS 194-1 / CS161, Fall 2006 Computer Security

  Anthony Joseph (675 Soda Hall)
  Doug Tygar (531 Soda Hall)

  Marco Barreno (barreno_AT_eecs.berkeley.edu)
  Todd Kosloff (koslofto_AT_eecs.berkeley.edu)

  MW, 9:30-11am, 306 Soda

  101. Th 10:00-11:00, 320 Soda
  102. Th 11:00-12:00, 320 Soda
  103. Th 3:00-4:00, 320 Soda

Office Hours:
  Joseph: M, Tu 3-4pm in 675 Soda
  Tygar: M 1-2pm in 531 Soda
  Barreno: M 2-3pm, Th 1-2pm in 551 Soda
  Kosloff: M 3-4pm, Th 4-5pm in 535 Soda

  (Or by appointment)

Web page: http://www.cs161.org/
                   (previous class web pages can be found here.)


Quick links: Lectures.

Course Overview

This course will cover the most important features of computer security, including topics such as cryptography, operating systems security, network security, and language-based security. After completing this course, students will be able to analyze, design, and build secure systems of moderate complexity.

List of course topics (tentative):

Assignments, Projects, and Exams

Homeworks 2 and 3 are due on Fridays at 3pm in drop box #2 (in the slot labeled CS161/Fall 2006) in 283 Soda. The deadlines will be enforced strictly. Late homework will be accepted only in extraordinary circumstances, and may in any case be penalized. The lowest homework grade will be dropped.

Projects are due at 11:59pm on their due dates. Each project group has 3 late days to spread across project deadlines for the semester.


There will be two programming projects.



The following schedule is tentative and subject to change. Attendance at lectures is mandatory (we may periodically take attendance).

Readings from the textbooks are indicated as follows: G 1.2 denotes Gollmann, Chapter 1.2; A 1.2 denotes Anderson, Chapter 1.2. Optional readings are in parentheses.

Topic Readings
1 Aug 28 Overview; intro to computer security,
adversaries, security goals. [J]
  Slides [pdf].
  G 1.1-2.5. (A 1.5).
2 Aug 30 Threat models, access control,
authorization. [J]
  Slides [pdf].
  G 3.1-4.7, 6.1-7.5. (A 1.5, 4.1, 4.2.)

Sept 4 No class! Labor Day Holiday.  
3 Sept 6 Network security war stories and
networking background. [J]
  Slides [pdf].
  G 13.1-13.3, 13.5. (A 18.1.)
4 Sept 11 Symmetric-key cryptography,
block ciphers. [T]
  Slides [pdf].
  G 11.1. (A 5.1, 5.3.3.)
5 Sept 13 Public-key encryption, modular arithmetic. [T]
  Slides [pdf].
  G 11.2. (A 5.3.4, 5.7.1.)
6 Sept 18 Message authentication, public-key signatures,
secret sharing. [T]
  Slides [pdf].
  G 11.3-11.5. (A 5.3.5.)
7 Sept 20 Cryptographic protocols. [T]
  Slides [pdf].
  G 11.6-11.7. (A 5.3.5.)
8 Sept 25 Zero-knowledge protocols. [T]
  Slides (see last lecture).
(Optional reading: Rabin's original paper, a set of lecture notes from Yale)
Sept 27 Authentication protocols. [T]
  Slides [pdf].
  G 12.1-12.5, 15.6-15.7. (A 2.1, 2.2, 2.6, 3.1-3.3.)
10 Oct 2 Firewalls. [J]
  Slides [pdf].
  G 13.4-6. (A 18.3.) 
11 Oct 4
Midterm review [TA]
  Slides Part 1: [pdf] Part 2: [pdf].

Oct 9
Midterm 1  
12 Oct 11 Web security, intrusion detection. [J]
  Slides [pdf].
  G 13.7. (A 18.5.)
13 Oct 16 Implementation flaws, buffer overruns,
software security (principles). [J]
  Slides [pdf].
  G 14.1-14.6.
14 Oct 18
Software security (defensive programming). [J]
  Slides [pdf].
  G 14.7.
15 Oct 23 Isolation, sandboxing, language-based
security (type- and memory-safe languages) [J]
  Slides [pdf].
  G 15.1-15.6.
16 Oct 25
Random number generation. [T]
  Slides [pdf].
  G 5.1-5.4, 8.1-10.8, 15.8 (A 7.1-7.3, 7.5, 23.1-23.3)
17 Oct 30
Multi-level security. [T]
  Slides [pdf].
  G 17.1-17.7 (A 8.3.)
18 Nov 1 Midterm 2 review [TA]
  Slides Part 1: [pdf] Part 2: [pdf].

Nov 6 Midterm 2

19 Nov 8
Database security (side channels, inference control). [T]
  Slides (see October 30th).
20 Nov 13
Watermarking, DRM. [T]   Slides [pdf].
21 Nov 15 E-commerce. [T]   Slides [pdf].
22 Nov 20 Worms and viruses,
Distributed Denial of Service. [J]
  Slides [pdf].
  (A 18.4.)

Nov 22 No class! Thanksgiving Day Holiday.  
23 Nov 27
Operating system security, memory protection,
rootkits [J]
  Slides [pdf].
24 Nov 29
 Electronic voting [J]
  Slides [pdf].
  Optional: Daily Show clip, 60 Minutes clip.
25 Dec 4 Midterm 3 review [TA]   Slides Part 1: [pdf] Part 2: [pdf].
26 Dec 6
Midterm 3


The required textbook is Computer Security, 2nd Edition ( Dieter Gollmann, Wiley, 2006). We will also provide lecture notes for most of the lectures.

The book Security Engineering (Ross Anderson, Wiley, 2001) is optional. It provides extra reading and background. The book is available online here, but we encourage you to purchase a copy.

Note that you should not view the availability of lecture notes as a substitute for attending class: our discussion in class may deviate somewhat from the written material, and you should take your own notes as well.


You must have taken CS 61C (Machine Structures). Also, you must have taken either Math 55 or CS 70 (Discrete Mathematics).

Grading Summary

Your final grade will be computed from five categories: The EECS Division guideline for an upper division EECS class is that the overall class GPA should be between 2.7 and 3.1. (See policy for undergradute courses.) Thus, the average gradein this class will be a B or B+. Please set your expectations accordingly.

We grade on a curve rather than on an absolute scale because it protects students from stressing out if we happen to give an overly hard exam. Graduate students are not included in establishing the curve (to be fairer to undergraduates), but they will receive grades based on where they would fall on the curve.  The downside of grading on a curve is that it tends to lead students to think they are competing against each other; in practice, this is mistaken belief in a class this large. Our experiences from past years is that the absolute difference between each half-step grade (between a B+ and an A-, for example), has been roughly 5%, while the largest impact any individual student's performance is likely to have on your grade is less than 0.1%... in other words, well into the noise.

Collaboration and Academic Integrity Policy

Homeworks are to be written up individually, on your own (not in groups). You may discuss the problems with one another, under the condition that you list your collaborators on your writeup. While you may work together in developing a solution, each student must write up their solution independently. You must never look at another student's written solution. Projects will be done in groups. You are expected to fully collaborate with the other students in your group. You may not share code with other groups. You may discuss your project with other groups, on the condition that you list the names of the people outside your group who you discuss things with on your writeup.

For homeworks, you must always write up the solutions on your own. Similarly, you may use references to help solve homework problems, but you must write up the solution on your own and cite your sources, including any other students you have worked with. You may not share written work or programs with anyone else. You may not receive help on homework assignments from students who have taken the course in previous years, and you may not review homework solutions from previous years.

In writing up your homework you are allowed to consult the instructors, TAs, assigned texts, posted notes, and any materials cited by them. If you do so, you are required to cite your source(s). Simply copying an answer is not sufficient; you are expected to write it up in your own words, and you must be able to explain it if you are asked to do so. Your answers may refer to course material and to homeworks from earlier in the semester. You are not permitted to consult others in the class; you are not permitted to "Google for the answer" to homework questions.

Copying solutions or code, in whole or in part, from other students or any other source without acknowledgment constitutes cheating. Any student found to be cheating in this class will automatically receive an F grade and will also be referred to the Office of Student Conduct.

You should never read another student's solution or partial solution, nor have it in your possession, either electronically or on paper. You should write your homework solution strictly by yourself.

Presenting another person's work as your own constitutes cheating, whether that person is a friend, an unknown student in this class or a previous semester's class, a solution set from a previous semester of this course, or an anonymous person on the Web who happens to have solved the problem you've been asked to solve. Everything you turn in must be your own doing, and it is your responsibility to make it clear to the graders that it really is your own work. The following activities are specifically forbidden in all graded course work:

Academic dishonesty has no place in a university; it wastes our time and yours, and it is unfair to the majority of students.

In our experience, nobody begins the semester with the intention of cheating. Students who cheat do so because they fall behind gradually and then panic. Some students get into this situation because they are afraid of an unpleasant conversation with a professor if they admit to not understanding something. We would much rather deal with your misunderstanding early than deal with its consequences later. Even if you are convinced that you are the only person in the class that doesn't understand the material, and that it is entirely your fault for having fallen behind, please overcome your feeling of guilt and ask for help as soon as you need it. Remember that the other students in the class are working under similar constraints--they are taking multiple classes and are often holding down outside employment. Don't hesitate to ask us for help--helping you learn the material is what we're paid to do, after all!


From time to time, we may discuss vulnerabilities in widely-deployed computer systems. This is not intended as an invitation to go exploit those vulnerabilities. It is important that we be able to discuss real-world experience candidly; students are expected to behave responsibly.

Berkeley policy is very clear: you may not break into machines that are not your own; you may not attempt to attack or subvert system security. Breaking into other people's systems is inappropriate, and the existence of a security hole is no excuse.

Unethical or inappropriate actions may result in failing the course and being referred for further discipline.

Contact information

If you have a question, your best option is to post a message to the ucb.class.cs161 newsgroup. The staff (instructor and TAs) will check the newsgroup regularly. When using the newsgroup, please do not post answers to homework questions before the homework is due.

If your question is personal or not of interest to other students, you may send email to cs161_AT_cory.eecs.berkeley.edu. Email to cs161@cory is forwarded to the instructor and all TAs. We prefer that you use the cs161@cory address, rather than emailing directly the instructor and/or your TA. If you wish to talk with one of us individually, you are welcome to come to our office hours. If the office hours are not convenient, you may make an appointment with any of us by email.

The instructor and TAs may post announcements, clarifications, etc. to the class newsgroup. Hence you should read the newsgroup regularly whether you post questions to it or not. If you've never done this before, there is online information about how to access UCB newsgroups (see also here for more).

Mail inquiries to cs161_AT_cory.eecs.berkeley.edu.