ISA 862, Models for Computer Security - Fall 2010

[Class Schedule] [Available Projects]

Instructor: Angelos Stavrou
Lecture: Thursday 4:20 - 7:00pm
Art and Design Building 2026
Office Hours: Thursday 2:00 - 4:00pm and by appointment
Office: Research I, Rm 437
Email: astavrou(_)gmu.edu

Teaching Assistant: Chen Liang
Research I, Rm 438
Office Hours: Tuesday 4:00 – 6:00pm
Email: cliang1(_)gmu.edu

Course Description:

This class will be focused on current research in Security with emphasis in Network and Software
Security including:

  • Anonymity and Privacy
  • Security Models for Mobile and Hand-held devices
  • Attacks against networks and machines
  • Content-based Attacks and Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs)
  • Operating System Security
  • Analysis of Security protocols
  • Forensics and diagnostics for security
  • Botnets, Malicious code analysis, anti-virus, anti-spyware
Class Objectives

The students will be exposed to research methodology including reading research papers,
identifying research problems, gathering and analysing the related work, and designing both
the experimental and analytical sections of a paper. The goal is to familiarize the students
with current research topics and enable them to identify interesting problems or gain deeper
knowledge on a research area. Students will be assigned to projects in research areas of
their choice.


CS571 and ISA 562; or permission of instructor. The coursework will include substantial programming projects; in order to be able to complete the projects, the students must be comfortable with C/C++.


Understanding the Linux Kernel, Third Edition Daniel P. Bovet Marco Cesati ISBN-10: 0596005652 ISBN-13: 978-0596005658 O'Reilly Media Available by: [Online for GMU] [O' Reilly] [Amazon]

Modern Operating Systems 3/E, Andrew S. Tanenbaum. ISBN-10: 0136006639 ISBN-13: 9780136006633 Prentice Hall Available by: [GMU Bookstore] [Prentice Hall] [Amazon]

Operating System Concepts, 8th Edition (or 7th Edition), Abraham Silberschatz, Yale University Peter Baer Galvin, Corporate Technologies Greg Gagne, Westminster College, ISBN: 978-0-470-12872-5 ©2009 Willey
Available by: [GMU Bookstore] [Willey] [Amazon] [Author's site]

  • Class Projects: 80%
  • Class Presentations: 15%
  • Class Participation: 5%
  • No Midterm or Final

The students must achieve a total score of at least 90 (out of 100) to be considered for an A. This class is an upper-level class and is geared towards understanding the fundamental concepts behind Security for Computer systems. The students will be expected to participate in large projects under the guidance of the instructor.

Computer Accounts:

All students should have accounts on the central Mason Unix system mason.gmu.edu (also known as osf1.gmu.edu)
and on IT&E Unix cluster zeus.ite.gmu.edu (Instructions and related links are here). Please read the FAQ if you have any questions. Students can work in IT&E computer labs for programming projects during the specified hours.

Please read the University's Academic Honesty Page and GMU Honor Code.

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 of Disability Services.
All academic accommodations must be arranged through the ODS. http://ods.gmu.edu
2) Talk with me to discuss your accommodation needs.

Other Usefull Resources
Writing Center: A114 Robinson Hall; (703) 993-1200; http://writingcenter.gmu.edu
University Libraries: “Ask a Librarian” http://library.gmu.edu/mudge/IM/IMRef.html
Counseling and Phychological Services (CAPS): (703) 993-2380; http://caps.gmu.edu
University Policies: The University Catalog, http://catalog.gmu.edu, is the central resource
for university policies affecting student, faculty, and staff conduct in university affairs.

Class Schedule

Home -  Publications - Teaching - CV - Contact

Last updated:
Please feel free to send your comments and suggestions to Angelos Stavrou.
© 2010 Angelos Stavrou, Computer Science Department, George Mason University.