Department of Computer Science

The Volgenau School of Engineering

ISA 562 Information Security Theory & Practice
Spring 2011



Instructor: Ahmed Alazzawe
Office Location: Engineering Building Room 5328 (5th floor)
Office Hours: Monday, Wednesday 6:45 to 7:15 PM and by appointment

Office Number: (703) 993-3339

E-mail: aalazza1 at gmu dot edu (please prefix the subject of your message with ISA-562 and section number)


Course Description

ISA 562.001 CRN 12497
Mondays 7:20 - 10:00 PM in Innovation Hall 208


ISA 562.002 CRN 15193
Tuesday 7:20 - 10:00 PM in the Art & Design Building L008

Prerequisite: INFS 501, 515, 519, and SWE 510, or permission of instructor.

This course is a technical introduction to the theory and practice of information security, which serves as the first security course for the MS-ISA degree, is required as a prerequisite for all subsequent ISA courses (at the 600 and 700 levels) and subsumes most topics covered by the CISSP examination. Also serves as an entry-level course available to non-ISA students, including MS-CS, MS-IS, and MS-SWE students. (From GMU Catalog)

Class Schedule

A detailed schedule is available to registered students on Blackboard (

Textbook & Readings

Computer Security: Art and Science by Matt Bishop; ISBN: 0201440997

Official (ISC)2 Guide to the CISSP CBK, Second Edition  ISBN: 1439809593


The grade consists of:

30%    Assignments/Quizzes
30%    Midterm Exam
40%    Final Exam




[98,100] = A+

[93,97]  = A

[90,92]  = A-

[88,89]  = B+

[81,87]  = B 

[77,80]  = B-

[65,76]  = C

  < 65   = F

Academic Integrity

GMU is an Honor Code university; please see the Office for Academic Integrity for a full description of the code and the honor committee process. The principle of academic integrity is taken very seriously and violations are treated gravely. What does academic integrity mean in this course? Essentially this: when you are responsible for a task, you will perform that task. When you rely on someone else’ s work in an aspect of the performance of that task, you will give full credit in the proper, accepted form. Another aspect of academic integrity is the free play of ideas. Vigorous discussion and debate are encouraged in this course, with the firm expectation that all aspects of the class will be conducted with civility and respect for differing ideas, perspectives, and traditions. When in doubt (of any kind) please ask for guidance and clarification.

Disability Statement

If you have a documented learning disability or other condition that may affect academic performance you should: 1) make sure this documentation is on file with the Office for Disability Services (SUB I, Rm. 4205; 993-2474; to determine the accommodations you need; and 2) talk with me to discuss your accommodation needs.


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