Engin Kirda

For correspondence, send a mail to

Office hours: Mondays, 4-5pm, ISEC 617

Teaching Assistants

Ali Akhavani

Lab hours: Tuesdays (2-3pm), Thursdays (2-3pm), ISEC 617


  1. 11.21.2023 Challenge 7 and 8 are now online.
  2. 11.07.2023 Challenge 6 is now online.
  3. 10.31.2023 Challenge 5 is now online.
  4. 10.17.2023 Challenge 4 is now online.
  5. 10.03.2023 Challenge 3 is now online.
  6. 09.26.2023 Challenge 2 is now online.
  7. 09.18.2023 Challenge 1 is now online.
  8. 09.17.2023 Account information has been generated and sent. Piazza has been set up.
  9. 09.15.2023 Accounts have been generated, but the information has not been sent yet. We will do so over the weekend. Stay tuned and check Canvas.
  10. 09.11.2023 The website has been updated.
  11. 09.07.2023 The course website will be updated in the next couple of days.


Internet security has become part of everyday life where security problems impact practical aspects of our lives. Even though there is a considerable corpus of knowledge about tools and techniques to protect systems, information about what are the actual vulnerabilities and how they are exploited is not generally available. This situation hampers the effectiveness of security research and practice. Understanding the details of attacks is a prerequisite for the design and implementation of secure systems.

This course deals with common programming, configuration, and design mistakes and ways to detect and avoid them. Examples are used to highlight general error classes, such as stack and heap overflows. Possible protection and detection techniques are examined. The course includes a number of practical lab assignments where participants are required to apply their knowledge as well as a discussion of the current research in the field. Students will learn how the security of systems can be violated, and how such attacks can be detected and prevented.

The course aims to make the students "security aware", and gain an in-depth understanding about security issues.

Some Topics

Operating system security and vulnerabilities
- (UNIX, Windows, stack and heap overflows)
Windows Security
Memory corruption
- (Buffer overflows, Heap overflows, Format string issues, etc.))
Reverse engineering and binary analysis
Malicious code
- (Viruses, Worms, Botnets, APTs, etc.)
Language security
Web security


Significant Programming experience
- (This course is not for you if you are a beginner)
Knowledge of C/C++ useful
Basic SQL knowledge
Basic web programming knowledge

Dates and Times

Mondays, 6-9pm

Slides, Material, and Schedule

All course materials will be available on Canvas.

  • 12.04.2023 // Final
  • 11.27.2023 // Class 10
  • 11.20.2023 // Class 9 // Quiz 3
  • 11.13.2023 // Class 8
  • 11.06.2023 // Class 7 // Quiz 2 // Slides and video lecture available on Canvas
  • 10.30.2023 // Class 6 // Slides available on Canvas
  • 10.23.2023 // Midterm
  • 10.16.2023 // Class 5 // Slides available on Canvas
  • 10.09.2023 // Indigenous People's Day, no class
  • 10.02.2023 // Class 4 // Quiz 1 // Slides available on Canvas
  • 09.25.2023 // Class 3 // Slides available on Canvas
  • 09.18.2023 // Class 2 // Slides and video lecture available on Canvas
  • 09.11.2023 // Class 1 // Slides and video lecture available on Canvas

Practical Challenges (Assignments)

Students will "need" to solve a set of practical challenges (assignments) in the lab part of the course. For more information on the challenges and the grading, check this page.


  • 10%: 3 Quizzes
  • 25%: Midterm exam
  • 25%: Final exam
  • 5%: Participation
  • 35%: 8 practical security challenges

  • Registration

    Registration details will be announced via e-mail to the registered participants.

    Last Modified: Tue Nov 21 18:20:49 2023 EDT