Engin Kirda

For correspondence, send a mail to

Office Hours: Thursdays 4-5pm, 617 ISEC

Teaching Assistants

Kenan Akisik and Sharad Boni

TA Hours: Mondays (3pm-5pm, 466B WVH), Tuesdays (3pm-5pm, 466B WVH), Wednesdays (10am-12pm, 466B WVH) Fridays (10am-12pm, 166 WVH)


  1. 11.16.2017 Challenge 8 is online.
  2. 11.08.2017 Challenge 7 is online.
  3. 11.02.2017 Challenge 6 is online.
  4. 10.19.2017 Challenge 5 is online.
  5. 10.05.2017 Challenge 4 is online.
  6. 09.28.2017 Challenge 3 is online.
  7. 09.21.2017 Challenge 2 is online.
  8. 09.14.2017 Challenge 1 is online.
  9. 09.13.2017 Registration and account information has been sent to participants.
  10. 09.10.2017 The course schedule has been updated.
  11. 09.03.2017 The course website is now online.
  12. 08.04.2017 The course website is online. More information coming at the beginning of September.


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

Behrakis 030, 6-9pm, Thursdays

Slides, Material, and Schedule

Use your course credentials to access the material below.

Here are videos to the demos in class.

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.


The course grade will be based on:

  • 10%: 3 Quizzes
  • 27%: Midterm exam
  • 30%: Final exam
  • 3%: Participation
  • 30%: 8 practical security challenges

  • Registration

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

    Last Modified: Fri Dec 1 17:06:50 2017 EDT