Dr. Greg Bernstein

January 12th, 2022

Course Basics

Course Syllabus

  • The course syllabus explains the rules for this course
  • It is posted on Blackboard and will not change except under extraordinary circumstances
  • You and I are responsible for conforming to it. These slides are just a summary.

Class, Professor, and Website

CS671 Catalog Description

Security principles, scope and vulnerabilities of Cyberspace, the problem of identity, privacy, malicious software, data security, cryptography, authentication in distributed systems, e-mail security, network security, wireless security, offensive security. Programming assignments and review of literature.


  • (CS 471 or) M.S. Computer Science major.

This is a general course on cybersecurity. Networking is not a prerequisite and will be reviewed, the department has a separate course on cryptography.


The tentative course schedule is in the syllabus and maintained only at https://www.grotto-networking.com/CyberSecurity/CyberSec.html

Text, Resources, and Software

Course Text Book 1

Due to most text books being out of date we will be using a variety of freely available resources these include:

  1. The Cyber Security Body Of Knowledge This comprises approximately 20 recent documents on many important topics in cybersecurity. We will cover a portion of these.
  2. National Cybersecurity Training & Education (NCyTE) Center Has resources on many important cybersecurity topics aimed at all levels of education.
  3. NIST: Computer Security Resource Center The (US) National Institute of Standards and Technology publishes many standards, guides, etc. in the area of cybersecurity we will get “hands on” with some of these.
  4. CIS Controls The Center for Internet Security (CIS) publishes a very good prioritized list and document of security controls with explanations appropriate to different types of enterprises.

Supplemental texts

Supplemental Readings, Podcasts, and Videos may be assigned throughout the course. In particular we will get our case studies for the first 2/3 of the course from the Darknet Diaries podcast. We will also use various rigorous security blogs for our case studies.

Online Course Compute and Networking Requirements

  • Laptop or desktop running modern version of Windows, MacOS, or Linux.

  • Ability to install required Open Source (free) security/development tools

  • Network connectivity and bandwidth: This course will be using Zoom for online course lectures and office hours.

Required Software

  • This course uses modern industry standard security and development tools
  • You are responsible for installing these tools on the computer that you will be using for this course.
  • All these tools are free and Open Source.

Your Development Environment

your development environment is your responsibility!

  • I cannot configure your computer for you.

  • I will encourage students to help each other with their development environments.

  • Most problems encountered with computers, software, or networks do not excuse late submissions of assignments or exams.

Programming Languages and Web Browsers

  • Programming for this course may be done in either Python or JavaScript only.
  • You will need an up to date version of either Chrome or Firefox

Version Control

  • Every programmer should be using version control for all but the smallest projects. In this class we will use git.

  • We also need a way to privately share many files between student and teacher/grader. For this we will use GitHub classroom.

  • Use is required for all submissions of homework and possibly exams.

Code Editors

I recommend using a good code editor with Markdown support for this course. Free editors include:

Student Learning Outcomes 1

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Apply Cybersecurity requirements to computer systems, networks, and applications.

  2. Utilize security applications and tools to creatively solve security problems.

  3. Recognize and distinguish the mechanisms, components and architecture of cybersecurity systems.

Student Learning Outcomes 2

  1. Analyze Cybersecurity problems, and identify and define the resources and requirements needed for its solution.

  2. Demonstrate communication skills in both written and oral form, work in a team environment, and independently/collaboratively acquire new cybersecurity skills through analysis of current computer science literature and industrial practices.

Course Assessments and Procedures


20% assignments, 20% each midterm, 30% Final, 10% participation. No extra credit can or will be assigned.

The grading scale is as follows: A 92.5%, A- 90.0%, B+ 87.5%, B 82.5%, B- 80.0%, C+ 77.5%, C 72.5%, C- 70.0%, D+ 67.5%, D 60.0%, F lower than 60%


  • Problems sets will be generally be assigned on a weekly basis and will be posted on the course website with a reminder sent through Blackboard.

  • We will be using GitHub classroom for almost all the work in this class.

  • Assignment submission will consist of a commit/push of programming resources to your private class repository on the properly named branch prior to the deadline.

Assignments 2

  • No email submissions or Blackboard submissions will be accepted!

  • Repository branch names will be given with the assignment and must be followed exactly or the assignment will not be graded.

  • A randomly selected subset or all of the problems will be graded for each assignment.


There will be two midterm examinations. The exams dates are scheduled for Wednesday February 23rd, 2022 and Wednesday April 6th, 2022.


Final per CSUEB final exam schedule section 1: Monday, May 9, 2022, 10:15AM-12:15PM; section 2: Wednesday, May 11, 2022, 8:00AM-10:00AM

Class Participation

Class participation credit can be earned in a number of ways:

  • Responding to in class polls and questions
  • Asking questions or participating in discussions

Class Courtesies and Expectations

  • Our primary modes of communication outside of class will be emails and office hours.
  • Appointments outside of normal office can be requested via email and will be accommodated as my schedule permits.
  • If you think an error has been made in grading, Send an brief email explaining the problem.

Zoom Classes and Office Hours

  • Audio and Chat questions are encouraged!!! This is the point of live instruction.
  • Start class with your microphone muted
  • Start office hours with your microphone on
  • Use video when you can and if you feel comfortable, I do like to see you but this is not required.

Office Hours

  • Office hours are shared amongst the many students in my class. Most times demand for my attention is moderate, but when there are many students waiting I will need to limit each students time to try to accommodate as many students as possible.

  • I will be encouraging students to help each other during office hours. Such assistance to your fellow students counts as “class participation”

Email Etiquette 1

  • Keep emails short as possible but no shorter. If you email me about a problem and then find a solution, let me know!
  • It can take a day or two for me to respond to emails though sometimes much quicker.
  • Emails sent for help the evening that assignments are due seldom get answered before the deadline.

Email Etiquette 2

We live in a multi-cultural world! At US universities there are certain customs and protocols that are typically observed.

  • Addressing your professor/instructor: Dr. Last_Name, Prof. Last_Name,
    1. Strictly speaking Dr. is for those with PhDs or MDs. Professor may be limited to those holding tenure track positions
    2. For me: Dr. Bernstein, Professor Bernstein, Dr. B., Prof. B.
  • Many students, many classes, one professor: You need to let me know which class and section you are in. In addition, your NetId makes sure I don’t get you confused with students with similar or identical names and give them credit for your work!

Email Etiquette 3

  • Don’t Addressing your professor/instructor:
    1. By your professors first name. This is considered overly informal and show lack of respect in US culture.
    2. “Sir”: Too formal and somewhat derogatory.
    3. “Respected Professor”: Never used in US culture;

Email Etiquette 4

  • “I have doubts on XYZ” sounds to native English speakers that you may not consider “XYZ” valid or good in some sense.

  • What is typically intended is “I do not understand XYZ”, and even better yet let me know the details of exactly you don’t understand.

General Information

Cheating and Academic dishonesty

Accommodations for students with disabilities

If you have a documented disability and wish to discuss academic accommodations, or if you would need assistance in the event of an emergency evacuation, please contact me as soon as possible. Students with disabilities needing accommodation should speak with the Accessibility Services.

Emergency information

California State University, East Bay is committed to being a safe and caring community. Your appropriate response in the event of an emergency can help save lives. Information on what to do in an emergency situation (earthquake, electrical outage, fire, extreme heat, severe storm, hazardous materials, terrorist attack) may be found at: http://www20.csueastbay.edu/af/departments/risk-management/ehs/emergency-management/index.html Please be familiar with these procedures. Information on this page is updated as required. Please review the information on a regular basis.

A Note on Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation (DHR)

Title IX and CSU policy prohibit discrimination, harassment and retaliation, including Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment or Sexual Violence. CSUEB encourages anyone experiencing such behavior to report their concerns immediately. CSUEB has both confidential and non-confidential resources and reporting options available to you. Non-confidential resources include faculty and staff, who are required to report all incidents and thus cannot promise confidentiality. Faculty and staff must provide the campus Title IX coordinator and or the DHR Administrator with relevant details such as the names of those involved in an incident. For confidential services, contact the Confidential Advocate at 510-885-3700 or go to the Student Health and Counseling Center. For 24-hour crisis services call the BAWAR hotline at 510-845-7273. For more information about policies and resources or reporting options, please visit the following websites: https://www.csueastbay.edu/riskmanagement/complaint.html, http://www.csueastbay.edu/titleix

Student Conduct

The University is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy living and learning environment for students, faculty, and staff. Each member of the campus community should choose behaviors that contribute toward this end http://www.csueastbay.edu/studentconduct/student-conduct.html.

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