Research Topics in Computer Security

COMP 790 – 149 – Fall 2023

The goal of this course is to give students a broad overview of research topics in the field of computer security. This involves reading and discussing both foundational and recent papers, and conducting a course research project.

Course Structure

Grades will be based upon the following:

Class Participation (20%)

Students are expected to contribute to class discussions following paper presentations. Students should be able to ask insightful questions and demonstrate that they have read and understand the assigned readings.

Paper Presentations (30%)

Students will give conference style talks on assigned papers. They will prepare slides and a 15 minute presentation on the papers.

Course Project (50%)

Students will conduct original research on a topic related to computer security over the course of the semester. Students will propose a project part-way through the class, and will submit a final report (6-12 pages) by the end of the course. Students will also give a conference style talk on their results during the final week of class. Working in groups is allowed, but a more substantial product is expected when working as a group.

Reading List

Welcome

Monday, August 21 — Welcome/Course Overview

Slides

Wednesday, August 23 — Instructor Presents

Slides

Binary Exploitation

Monday, August 28 — Stack Smashing

Wednesday, August 30 — Advanced Pwning

Nation State Attacks

Monday, September 4

No Class.

Wednesday, September 6 — Russia

Side-Channels

Monday, September 11

Wednesday, September 13

Cyber-Physical Systems

Monday, September 18 — Automotive Security

Wednesday, September 20

Web Security

Monday, September 25

No Class.

Wednesday, September 27 — Sandboxing

Memory

Monday, October 2 — Rowhammer

Wednesday, October 4 — Disturbance Effects/Forensics

Course Project Proposal Presentations

Monday, October 9

— Proposal Presentations

Wednesday, October 11

— Proposal Presentations Continued

Machine Learning

Monday, October 16

Wednesday, October 18

Botnets/Spam

Monday, October 23 — Botnets

Wednesday, October 25 — Spam

Crypto Fails/Privacy

Monday, October 30 — Real World Cryptography

Wednesday, November 1 — Privacy

Human Factors

Monday, November 6 — Usability

Wednesday, November 8 — Passwords

Tracking

Monday, November 13 — Anonymous Browsing

Wednesday, November 15 — Web/Device Tracking

Network Security

Monday, November 20

Wednesday, November 22

No Class.

Social Issues

Monday, November 27 — Vulnerable Populations

Wednesday, November 29

Course Project Presentations

Monday, December 4

— Final Presentations

Wednesday, December 6

— Final Presentations Continued