COMP 5407 (Fall 2003): Authentication and Software Security

Last updated: Oct. 24 2003, 8:30am

Official outline: Specialized topics in security including those selected from: advanced authentication techniques, user interface aspects, electronic and digital signatures, security infrastructures and protocols, software vulnerabilities affecting security, untrusted software and hosts, protecting software and digital content.
Essential Course Details Office Hours: Monday 1:30-2:30, Wednesday 4:00-5:00pm. Check here for exceptions: office hours cancelled Oct.27 and Oct.29.

Marking Scheme: (Note: no extensions on project dates)
20% - Project 1: Software Vulnerability Tracking (click here for more details).
--- Start: immediately (first day of class). Due: Wednesday Oct.15, in class.
35% - Test. In class.
--- Wednesday Nov.5 2003.
45% - Project 2: Research Survey and/or Implementation (click here for more details).
--- Due: noon, Monday Dec. 8 (under the door of 5173HP).

Policy re: Unethical Behaviour. Any student submitting work including portions originating from someone else, without crediting the original source, is subject to a mark of minus 100% (-100%) on the entire work item. For example, if a project is worth 10%, the 10% is lost plus an additional 10% penalty, making the best possible course mark 80%. If the infraction involves copying from another student, then both students may be penalized. Please do not subject class-mates to this risk by copying from them. You may, and often should, discuss work with others, but each student must write up submitted work individually, except for items explicitly advertised as group work. In addition to the above, harsher penalties following from any standard university policies will be pursued where appropriate.

Special Needs Students. Students with disabilities requiring academic accommodations in this course are encouraged to contact a coordinator at the Paul Menton Centre (PMC) for Students with Disabilities to complete the necessary lettters of accommodation. After registering with the PMC, make an appointment to meet and discuss your needs with the instructor at least two weeks prior to the first in-class test or midterm exam, to ensure sufficient time for necessary arrangements. The deadline for submitting completed forms to the PMC for formally scheduled exam accommodations is Nov.7 2003 for fall term courses.

Topics of Study. The topics of study will be from the list given in the official outline at the top of this page. Details for classes, including readings, will be updated here as the term progresses.

References and Sources. Students are advised to buy a copy of the course textbook (see above), which should be available in the university bookstore (or try an online bookstore like Chapters or Amazon). It will be largely supplemented by material drawn from research papers and sections of other books, with online references used where possible.

This list of Reference Books (click here) may be of use for review, background reading, and supplemental reading. A few of these are available in their entirety free online, as noted. Links to research papers covered in the course will be added as the term progresses (see above).

For comments on this page, please mail to: vanoorschot at