ISA 562; Fall 2015

Course Name: Information Security Theory and Practice

Catalog Description

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.

Registration Dates: Apr 07, 2015 to Sep 02, 2015
Drop without Tuition Penalty Dates: Aug 31, 2014 to Sep 08, 2015
Drop with Tuition Penalty (and final drop deadline) Dates: Sep 08 to Oct 15, 02.
Prerequisite(s): INFS 501, 515, 519, and SWE 510, or permission of instructor.

Course Textbook: Computer Security, Art and Science by matt Bishop, ISBN 0-201-444099-7

NOTE: Other material will be assigned as needed.

Class Administration

Text Book:

Computer Security, Art and Science by matt Bishop, ISBN 0-201-444099-7

Class Time:

Tuesday 4.30-7.20 pm

Class Room:

Art and Design Building L008


Duminda Wijesekera (dwijesek AT gmu DOT edu), 703-993-5030

Office Hours:

Research Hall 436, T 3.30-4.30 and 7.30-8.30 or by appointment


David Gonzalez,

TA Office Hours: 

Wednesday 2.00pm -4.00pm, in Engineering 5321


Five Homeworks=40%, In Class Midterm=30%, In Class Final=30%

Tentative Schedule



Book Chapter

HW / Exam


Sept 01

Introduction, Access Control Matrix

1, 2

HW 1 out

Sept 08

Access Control Mechanisms, Foundations

15, 3.1-3.3.2


Sept 15

Security Policies


HW 1 in HW 2 out

Sept 22

Confidentiality Policies



Sept 29

Integrity Policies


HW 2 in HW 3 out

Oct 06

Hybrid Policies



Oct 13

Fall Break

Fall Break

Oct 2

Mid Term Examination

Mid Term Exam

Oct 27

Review of Probability and Algebra for cryptography

Supply links in Blackboard

 HW 4 out

Nov 03



Nov 10

Key management


 HW 4 in HW 5 out

Nov 17

Cipher techniques


Dec 01



HW 5 in

Dec 15

Final Exam

 Final Exam



All homework solutions must be done individually. Written submissions should be handed lover to the TA, either through the Blackboard, email or mailbox.

Note on Exams:

In Class, open book, closed neighbor, no electronic devices allowed during exams. The mid-term will consist of all material covered through Chapter 7 of the textbook. The non-cumulative final exam will cover the rest of the material.

Partial Credit:

Partial credit is given for incomplete proofs or counterexamples ONLY IF they can be completed as begun.

Honor Code:

GMU honor code applies to all submitted work for this course.