School of Computer Science

Module 06-17417 (2010)

Computer Security

Level 4/M

Tom Chothia Semester 1 10 credits
Co-ordinator: Tom Chothia
Reviewer: Marco Cova

The Module Description is a strict subset of this Syllabus Page.


The aims of this module are to:

  • present the goals of data confidentiality, integrity and availability
  • introduce the principal methods and techniques involved in designing and implementing secure systems

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:

  • demonstrate understanding of a range of problems of computer security, and the available solutions and tradeoffs
  • describe and apply secure methods for the transmission and storage of data
  • describe and evaluate security applications and techniques described in the literature

Teaching methods

20 hrs of lectures and seminars.


  • Sessional: 1.5 hr examination (100%).

Detailed Syllabus

Not all topics may be covered every year. 1. Threats, risk, vulnerabilities and impact 2. Fundamentals of cryptography * Symmetric-key encryption * Public-key encryption * Secure hash functions 3. Cryptography in practice * Key certificates * Secure protocols 4. Attacks and defences * Viruses, spyware and Trojan horses * Phishing * Vulnerabilities of wireless networking * Intrusion detection * Denial-of-service attacks 5. Applications of secure mechanisms * Trusted computing platforms * Digital cash * Steganography and digital watermarking * Language design

Programmes containing this module