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Advanced Security Topics

Lecturer: Professor Luca Vigano and Dr Nishanth Sastry (office hours)

Semester: 2

Credit level: 6

Credit value: 15


BSc Computer Science, Year 3
BSc Computer Science with Management, Year 3
BSc Computer Science with Management and a Year Abroad, Year 4
BSc Computer Science with Management and a Year in Industry, Year 4
BSc Computer Science with a Year Abroad, Year 4
MSci in Computer Science, Year 3
BSc Computer Science with a Year in Industry, Year 4
Mathematics and Computer Science, Year 3

Learning aims & outcomes

To introduce the underlying concepts and practical applications of information security engineering at a level that reflects the current state-of-the-art.

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to understand in detail how different types of attacks on computer systems and networks are carried out, and understand how such attacks can be reliably prevented or detected.


  • Minimal Linux and scripting
  • Physical attacks
  • DNS, queries and resolvers, DNS poisoning
  • ARP, principles, spoofing and poisoning
  • Network and port scanning
  • Network packet forgery
  • Firewall and Intrusion Detection technologies
  • Web security: server side (SQL, Xpath and code injections)
  • Web security: client side (Phishing, XSS)
  • Email security

Weekly teaching arrangements

2-hour lecture; 1-hour practical


6CCS3CIS - Cryptography and Information Security

Summative assessment

Details of the module's summative assessment/s
 Type  Weighting  Marking model
Written examination (2 hours)
Model 2 - Double marking

Formative assessment


e-Learning: 6CCS3AST on KEATS

Suggested reading/resources

    • Charlie Kaufman, Radia Perlman, Mike Speciner. Network Security. TBS (2002)
    • William Stallings. Cryptography and Network Security: Principles and Practice. Prentice Hall; 6th edition, (March 16, 2003)
    • David Basin, Patrick Schaller, Michael Schläpfer. Applied Information Security. Springer-Verlag (2011)
    • Dafydd Stuttard, Marcus Pinto. The Web Application Hacker's Handbook: Finding and Exploiting Security Flaws. John Wiley & Sons (2011)
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