Department of Computer Science

The Volgenau School of Engineering

ISA 656 Network Security
Fall 2011



Instructor: Ahmed Alazzawe
Office Location: Engineering Building Room 5323 (5th floor)
Office Hours: Wednesday 6:45 to 7:15 PM and by appointment

E-mail: aalazza1 at gmu dot edu (please prefix the subject of your message with ISA-656)


Course Description

ISA 656.001 CRN 73698
Tuesday 7:20 - 10:00 PM => Robinson Hall A111

Prerequisite: ISA 562 and INFS 612 or CS 555.

This course is an in-depth introduction to the theory and practice of network security. It assumes basic knowledge of cryptography and its applications in modern network protocols. Studies firewalls architectures and virtual private networks and provides deep coverage of widely used network security protocols such as SSL, TLS, SSH, Kerberos, IPSec, IKE, and LDAP. It covers countermeasures to distributed denial of service attacks, security of routing protocols and the Domain Name System, e-mail security and spam countermeasures, wireless security, multicast security, and trust negotiation. (From GMU Catalog)

Class Schedule

A detailed schedule is available to registered students on Blackboard (

Textbook & Readings

Network Security, Private Communication in a Public World 2nd Edition by C. Kaufman; ISBN: 0130460192


The grade consists of:

30%    Assignments/Quizzes
30%    Midterm Exam

30%   Group Term (Project/Paper)
10%   Class Participation

[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.