Network Security (ISA 656) Spring 2012

Instructor: Damon McCoy (mccoy(at)
Time: Tuesday 4:30 pm - 7:10 pm
Room: Nguyen Engineering Building 4457 [map]
Office Hours: Tuesday 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm also by appointment
Office: 5328 Engineering Building

Teaching Assistant: TDB

Course Website: (Check this page for updates.)

Course Description:

GMU catalog: 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. The course 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, Email security and spam countermeasures, wireless security, multicast security and trust negotiation.

This course will present current attacks and defenses against networked computers. As a growing number of everyday things not typically thought of as computer gain computational ability and in turn are connected to networks traditional security methods, such as locks and physical security mechanisms are no longer sufficient to protect them. This course will delve into the concepts and tools defenders have at their disposal and which threats they can mitigate.


ISA 562 and CS 555; or permission of instructor. There will be substantial programming involved in the assignments, and students should be familiar with programming in C, Java or another language.

Required Materials:

Text Book:

Kaufman, Perlman, and Speciner. Network Security: Private Communication in a Public World, Second Edition, Prentice Hall PTR, 2002, ISBN 0130460192. (Required).

There will also be on-line news articles and research publications that will be required reading before some of the lectures.

Honor Code:

Please read and adhere to the University's Academic Honesty Page, GMU Honor Code, CS Department 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.
2) Talk with me to discuss your accommodation needs.

Other Useful Resources:

Writing Center: A114 Robinson Hall; (703) 993-1200;
University Libraries: .Ask a Librarian.
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS): (703) 993-2380;
University Policies: The University Catalog,, is the central resource for university policies affecting student, faculty, and staff conduct in university affairs.