CS155: Computer and Network Security


Spring 2024


The course covers principles of computer systems and network security. We will discuss various attack techniques and how to defend against them. Topics include network attacks and defenses, operating system holes, web security, e-mail, botnet, malware, social engineering attacks, privacy, and digital rights management. Course projects will focus on building reliable code and understanding attacks. The course is intended for junior and senior undergraduates and first year graduate students.


The course requires an understanding of operating systems, networking protocols, and a basic understanding of programming languages. Programming projects will be done primarily in C and JavaScript, but other languages may be needed.

Pre-requisites: CS110/CS111 (Principles of Computer Systems)

Textbook Information

There is no textbook for the class.
Instead, we will use research papers posted on the course syllabus page page for every lecture.

Lectures and Sections

  • All lectures will be recorded and made available on canvas.
  • There will occasionally be a discussion section. Time and location will be announced in class.
  • Attendance at the sections is optional.

Homework Assignments

  • There will be two written homework assignments and three programming projects.
  • You may collaborate when solving the written assignments, however when writing up the solutions you must do so on your own. Using generative AI tools (e.g., ChatCPT) to complete an assignment or exam (e.g. by entering exam or assignment questions) is not permitted.
  • All programming projects can be done in pairs.
  • Each programming project will be split into two separate deliverables. The second part is usually due a week after the first.
  • You must submit all assigned work electronically. Submission instructions will be provided.
  • Extensions:  Each student has a total of 72 extension hours throughout the quarter. This automatic extension can be spent in units of 24 hours on any of the assignments and projects. We will not accept submissions for any single assignment more than 72 hours after its regular deadline. The score for any late submission you make after you've used up your three free late days will be max(0, original_score * (1 - .25 * x)) where x is how many late days you've used after your three free ones.
  • Homework and projects will be due at 11:59pm PT on the specified deadline.
  • Regrade requests must be submitted at most three days after grades are released.
  • It is an honor code violation to consult solutions from previous offerings of CS155.
  • You must complete all the programming projects in order to pass the course.


The final exam will be held on Monday, June 10 and will be administered remotely over Gradescope. Students can take the exam during any three hour window between 6AM PT on June 10 and 5:59AM on June 11. SCPD students will take the final exam through Gradescope as well.


Final placement in the class will be determined by the following formula:

0.25 H + 0.5 P + 0.25 F

  • H is your average score on the two written homework assignments.
  • P is the weighted average grade on the three programming projects.
  • F is your final exam score.