George Mason University

Computer Science

ISA 767: Secure E-Commerce

Course Syllabus

Spring 2012


Professor:           Gus Jabbour, Ph.D.


Class Hours:        Monday 4:30 – 7:10

Class Room:        Innovation Hall 223

Office Hours:     By appointment – generally available before class

Prerequisite:      ISA 562 and 656, or permission of instructor


Course Description: Cryptography review, cryptographic protocols, secure electronic transactions, public key certificates and infrastructures, authentication and authorization certificates, secure credential services and role-based authorization, mobile code security, security of agent-based systems, electronic payment systems, intellectual property protection, secure timestamping and notarization.


Objective: To learn foundational and fundamental concepts of Electronic Commerce as it relates to its use, types, unique features, business models, and security. The course covers topics on E-Commerce security to include Internet security, Web security, communication security, and infrastructure security.



§  Required: Introduction to Electronic Commerce 2011 (Edition 3) by Efraim Turban, David King, and Judy Lang. PEARSON, ISBN: 9780136109235


§  Recommended: e-commerce: business. technology. society. 2012 by Kenneth C. Laudon and Carol Guercio Traver, PEARSON, ISBN: 9780138018818


§  Suggested Readings:


Ø  Security Fundamentals for E-Commerce, Vesna Hassler, Artech House, ISBN 978-1-58053-108-5


Ø  Electronic Commerce B2C Strategies and Models, Steve Elliot, Wiley, ISBN 0-471-48705-8


Teaching Method: Teaching methods may include lectures, class exercises, article reviews, class discussions, research projects preparation and presentation, and case studies.


Honor Code: The ISA 767 course is governed by the GMU Honor Code. All exams, assignments, and project submissions carry with them an implicit statement that it is the sole work of the author or authors, unless joint work is explicitly authorized by the professor. When needed, students may consult the instructor or their fellow students to better understand the assignment, however, the deliverable itself must be the student's own work unless it is a group project that has been assigned by the instructor. If joint work is authorized, all contributing students must be listed on the submission, and all students are expected to contribute equally to the outcome. Any deviation from this is considered an Honor Code violation, and as a minimum, will result in failure of the submission and as a maximum, failure of the class. Collaboration is not allowed on the midterm and final exams. Violators will be referred to the GMU Honor Committee according to the procedures given in the GMU Course Catalog. For more information is available on the CS Department's Honor Code page.


Conduct: Normal rules of courtesy are to be adhered to by students during class. This includes, but is not limited to: listening to your classmates, making constructive and non-offensive comments, no sidebar conversations, etc. All electronic sound-making devices (pagers, cell phones, watches, and the like) must be turned off or set on vibrate during class.






Exam 1:


Exam 2:


Participation and Class Exercises


Research Project





Weekly Class Schedule


Week 1           Jan 23, 2012:

Class Introduction

§  Syllabus

§  Topics to be covered

§  Teaching method

§  Exams

§  Project (groups)

§  Grading

§  Expectations


Overview of E-Commerce

§  Definitions

§  General Introduction to E-Commerce

§  History of E-Commerce   

§  The E-Commerce Revolution

§  Unique features of E-commerce

§  Class Exercises


Week 2           Jan 30, 2012:

Concepts of E-Commerce

§  E-Commerce 2.0

§  Web 2.0

§  Web 2.0 Applications

§  E-Commerce Support System

§  Social Computing

§  Types of E-Commerce

§  Advantages of E-Commerce

§  Concerns E-Commerce presents

§  Class Exercises

E-Commerce Business Models

§  Business Strategies

§  Business Models

Benefits and Limitations of E-Commerce

§  Factors influencing adoption of e-commerce

§  Factors that encourages resistance to e-commerce

§  Benefits of E-Commerce to Organizations

§  Benefits of E-Commerce to Consumers

§  Limitations of E-Commerce

§  Class Exercises

Group Projects

§  Group Formation


Week 3           Feb 6, 2012:


§  Buying Process in E-Marketplaces

§  Functions of E-Marketplaces

§  Types of E-Marketplaces

§  Web Portals

§  Class Exercises

E-Commerce Infrastructure

§  The Internet and World Wide Web

§  Packet Switching

§  Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol

§  Layers of TCP/IP

§  Domain Names

§  Limitations of the Internet

§  Technology Foundations of E-Commerce

§  Cloud Computing

§  Class Exercises

Group Project Proposals (start here, continue next week)

§  See details under Week 4


Week 4           Feb 13, 2012  

Group Project Proposals

§  Project Proposal Presentation (10 - 15 minutes presentation by each group)

§  State the goal of your project

§  Explain your approach for reaching the goal

§  Clearly identify and list your deliverables

§  Explain how your work will benefit the advancement of E-Commerce

§  What tangible results do you expect your work to produce?

Submit a typed single-spaced one-page executive summary (or abstract) of your research topic to the instructor. Please use Arial 12 point font. Set the margins at 1” on sides as well as top and bottom.


Week 5           Feb 20, 2012  

Exam 1 (includes material covered week 1 – 4)

Guest Speaker: The Effect of Cloud Computing on the Security of E-Commerce Infrastructure: the Internet, Web Hosting, and Network Communication


Week 6           Feb 27, 2012  

Online Consumer Behavior (Ch. 5 Turban)

§  Personalization in E-Commerce

§  Loyalty in E-Commerce

§  Satisfaction in E-Commerce

§  Trust in E-Commerce

§  Market Research: online customer’s movements

§  Web Advertising

§  Online advertising methods

§  Viral Marketing

§  Class Exercises

E-Commerce Marketing Concepts (Ch. 6 Laudon)

§  The Internet Audience

§  Internet Traffic Patterns

§  Scope and range of online activities

§  Consumer Behavior Models

§  Basic Marketing Concepts

§  Internet Marketing Technologies

§  Class Exercises


Week 7           March 5, 2012           

Security of E-Commerce (Ch. 5 Laudon)

§  Overview of the Security Problem

§  Scope of the Security Problem

§  Drivers of the EC Security Problem

§  Attacks on E-Commerce Infrastructure

§  Forms of Attacks

§  Security Strategy

§  Security Architecture

§  Security Mechanisms

§  Class Exercises

Internet Security

§  Elements of Internet Security

§  Types of Attacks on Hosts

§  Internet Protocols

§  Class Exercises


Week 8           March 12, 2012 – No Class   

*** Spring Break***


Week 9           March 19, 2012         

Security of Information

§  Encryption and Cryptography

§  Types of algorithms

§  Cryptosystems

§  Drivers of the EC Security Problem

§  Class Exercises

The Insider Threat

§  The Scope of the Problem

§  Review of current protection mechanisms

§  The lack of true protection

Week 10         March 26, 2012         

E-Commerce Security and Fraud Protection (Ch. 9 Turban)

§  Shift to Profit-Induced Crimes

§  The Internet Underground Economy

§  The E-Commerce Security Battleground

§  E-Commerce Security Requirements

§  Defense Strategy

§  Technical Attack Methods

§  Fraud on the Internet

§  Access Control, Encryption, PKI

§  Securing E-Commerce Networks

§  Class Exercises


Week 11         April 2, 2012  

Payment Systems

§  The Payment Revolution

§  Types of E-Commerce Payment Systems

§  Smart Cards

§  E-Micropayments

§  Electronic Billing Presentment and Payment

§  E-Checking

§  Class Exercises


Week 12         April 9, 2012  

Exam 2 – Includes material covered week 5 – 11

Guest Speaker: Topic to be announced at a later time


Week 13         April 16, 2012

Group Project Presentation

§  Team 1

§  Team 2

§  Team 3

Week 14         April 23, 2012

Group Project Presentation

§  Team 4

§  Team 5

§  Team 6

Week 15         April 30, 2012

Group Project Presentation

§  Team 7

§  Team 8

§  Team 9

§  Team 10

Class Project:


1.      Structure and Instructions

Project assignments will be done in groups of 3-4 students depending on the total number of students (3 is the ideal number, but if the number of students in the class is not divisible by 3, then we will have 1 or 2 groups of 4 students). Project groups are formed early in the semester and do not change. Students will get a chance to choose their team members.

The papers shall be between 8 – 10 pages including the References. A template will be provided for students to use when preparing their papers.


2.      Grading of Projects

Projects will be evaluated and graded based on the following criteria:

1.      Content: The content should be your own. The abstract should be short and the literature comprehensive but focused and brief. The core and majority of the paper should present your own work rather than a mere compilation of existing work.


2.      Originality: The paper should present innovative ideas, approaches, strategies, etc. that are original and new to the body of knowledge.


3.      Publishable Quality: The paper should be of publishable quality. Students are encouraged to review papers in IEEE or ACM libraries to form an idea of the level of acceptable quality. Students will be provided with a template to use when preparing their papers.


4.      Contribution: The added value that the paper contributes to the body of knowledge.


Topics will be discussed during class.