COMP 4108 (Winter 2020): Computer Systems Security


General Course Information


Course Summary

Introduction to information security in computer and communications systems, including network, operating systems, web and software security; Passwords, authentication applications, privacy, data integrity, anonymity, secure email, IP security, security infrastructures, firewalls, viruses, intrusion detection, network attacks.


Grading Scheme

The course has the following grading scheme:

Page Updates and Action Items



Course Outline


Week Date (2020) Topic
Week 1 Jan 7 Ch.1: Basic Concepts and Principles
Jan 9
Week 2 Jan 14 Ch.2: Cryptographic Building Blocks
Jan 16
Week 3 Jan 21 Assignment 1 Ch.3: User Authentication
Jan 23
Week 4 Jan 28 Ch.4: Authentication Protocols and Key Establishment
Jan 30
Week 5 Feb 4 Assignment 2 Ch.5: Operating Systems Security and Access Control
Feb 6
Week 6 Feb 11 Ch.5: Operating Systems Security and Access Control
Feb 13 Midterm test (in class)
Week 7 Feb 18 Assignment 3 Winterbreak (No class)
Feb 20
Week 8 Feb 25 Ch.6: Software Security
Feb 27
Week 9 Mar 3 Ch.7: Malicious Software
Mar 5
Week 10 Mar 10 Assignment 4 Ch.8: Public Key Certificate Management and Use Cases
Mar 12
Week 11 Mar 17 Ch.9: Web and Browser Security
Mar 19
Week 12 Mar 24 Ch.9: Web and Browser Security
Mar 26 Assignment 5 Ch.10: Firewalls and Tunnels
Week 13 Mar 31 Ch.10: Firewalls and Tunnels
Apr 2 Ch.11: Intrusion Detection and Network-based Attacks
Week 14 Apr 7 Ch.11: Intrusion Detection and Network-based Attacks
Apr 9 (No class)
Apr 13 (9am) Final exam (online, through cuLearn)




University Policies

For information about Carleton's academic year, including registration and withdrawal dates, see Carleton' Calendar.

Pregnancy Obligation. Please contact your instructor with any requests for academic accommodation during the first two weeks of class, or as soon as possible after the need for accommodation is known to exist. For more details, visit Equity Services.

Religious Obligation. Please contact your instructor with any requests for academic accommodation during the first two weeks of class, or as soon as possible after the need for accommodation is known to exist. For more details, visit Equity Services.

Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities. If you have a documented disability requiring academic accommodations in this course, please contact the Paul Menton Centre for Students with Disabilities (PMC) at 613-520-6608 or pmc@carleton.ca for a formal evaluation or contact your PMC coordinator to send your instructor your Letter of Accommodation at the beginning of the term. You must also contact the PMC no later than two weeks before the first in-class scheduled test or exam requiring accommodation (if applicable). After requesting accommodation from PMC, meet with your instructor as soon as possible to ensure accommodation arrangements are made.

Survivors of Sexual Violence. As a community, Carleton University is committed to maintaining a positive learning, working and living environment where sexual violence will not be tolerated, and survivors are supported through academic accommodations as per Carleton's Sexual Violence Policy. For more information about the services available at the university and to obtain information about sexual violence and/or support, visit: carleton.ca/sexual-violence-support

Accommodation for Student Activities. Carleton University recognizes the substantial benefits, both to the individual student and for the university, that result from a student participating in activities beyond the classroom experience. Reasonable accommodation must be provided to students who compete or perform at the national or international level. Please contact your instructor with any requests for academic accommodation during the first two weeks of class, or as soon as possible after the need for accommodation is known to exist. More information can be found here.

Medical Certificate. Please use the official medical certificate form for the deferral of assignments due to medical reasons.

Student Academic Integrity Policy. Every student should be familiar with the Carleton University student academic integrity policy. A student found in violation of academic integrity standards may be awarded penalties which range from a reprimand to receiving a grade of F in the course or even being expelled from the program or University. Some examples of offences are: plagiarism and unauthorized co-operation or collaboration. Information on this policy may be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Plagiarism. As defined by Senate, "plagiarism is presenting, whether intentional or not, the ideas, expression of ideas or work of others as one's own". Such reported offences will be reviewed by the office of the Dean of Science. First offence, first-year students (< 4.0 cr): Final grade reduction of one full grade (e.g., A- becomes a B-, if that results in an F, so be it). First offence (everyone else): F in the course. Second offence: One-year suspension from program. Third offence: Expulsion from the University. Note: these are minimum penalties. More-severe penalties will be applied in cases of egregious offences (e.g., a first-year student accessing CULearn from their phone during an exam will be given an F in the course; bribing a faculty member for a better grade would be grounds for suspension, etc.)

Unauthorized Co-operation or Collaboration. Senate policy states that "to ensure fairness and equity in assessment of term work, students shall not co-operate or collaborate in the completion of an academic assignment, in whole or in part, when the instructor has indicated that the assignment is to be completed on an individual basis". Please refer to the course outline statement or the instructor concerning this issue.