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Department of Computer Science, Unit Catalogue 2011/12

CM50209: Security and integrity

Click here for further information Credits: 6
Click here for further information Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Click here for further information Period: Semester 2
Click here for further information Assessment: CW 100%
Click here for further information Supplementary Assessment: CM50209 Mandatory Extra Work (where allowed by programme regulations)
Click here for further information Requisites:
Click here for further information Description: Aims:
(a) To develop an understanding of the difficulties of security - everyone wants it but no-one can define it.
(b) To develop the ability to analyse the security threats to a proposed design.
(c) To develop the ability to propose realistic counter-measures, where available.

Learning Outcomes:
After taking this unit, the student should be able to:
(1) describe common security models;
(2) discuss what it means for a given system to be 'secure';
(3) identify security weaknesses in proposed systems.

Critical thinking (F, A). Defensive analysis and programming (T, F, A).

Philosophical, legal, ethical issues. What is a person? Passwords, user ids and biometrics. What are authorisation and delegation? What are data? Security against theft, destruction, interception, tampering. Some thoughts on physical security. Data Protection Act, Freedom of Information Act, Regulatory and Investigatory Powers Act. Military/government requirements for security.
Security within a computer. Hardware support for security: states and memory protection. memory mapping, virtual memory and security. The Unix Security model: chown, chgrp, setuid and chroot. Strengths and weaknesses of the Unix security model: common attacks.
The Multics security model. Capabilities.
Security within Databases. Protection against loss - two-phase commit. Protection against statistical queries: Denning's model.
Security within networks. 'Man in the middle' attacks. What does the 's' in https signify?
Case studies: Internet worm. Power attacks and other covert channels. A chain can be weaker than its weakest link: the Crouch-Davenport attack.
Click here for further informationProgramme availability:

CM50209 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Computer Science
  • TSCM-AFM23 : MSc Internet Systems and Security (Full-time)

CM50209 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Computer Science
  • RSCM-AFD02 : Doctor of Engineering (EngD) in Digital Media (Full-time)
  • USCM-AFM01 : MComp (hons) Computer Science (Full-time) - Year 4
  • USCM-AKM02 : MComp (hons) Computer Science (Full-time with Thick Sandwich Placement) - Year 5
  • USCM-AAM02 : MComp (hons) Computer Science with Study Year Abroad (Full-time with Study Year Abroad) - Year 5
  • TSCM-AFM19 : MSc Human Computer Interaction (Full-time)
  • TSCM-AFM21 : MSc Software Systems (Full-time)

NB. Programmes and units are subject to change at any time, in accordance with normal University procedures.