COSC 3410 Computer Security


Course Description: Students in this course will study the techniques for protecting data within a computer and protecting data as it moves through a network. Data and system security and reliability will be considered in a distributed environment. Topics will include encryption, authentication and digital signatures, threats to the computer system, and system reliability. Prerequisite: COSC 1560 and junior status.



Revised Course Plan


Additional Material

Course Materials:

Research Topic Suggestions  These are some helpful suggestions for your research paper or research project.  You can also choose a project that isn't on this list.

Vigenere Tableau  Here's a copy of the Vigenere tableau if you need it.

I've written a C++ program that implements the Vigenere cipher as an object class.  Here is the header with the declarations of the Vigenere class and here is the cpp control file.  Feel free to download the files and experiment with them.  All I ask is that you give me proper source citation for the work contained in the files.

Homework Assignments:

Week 1 Assignment

Week 2 Assignment [Holiday]

Week 3 Assignment

Week 4 Assignment

Week 5 Assignment

Week 6 Assignment

Week 7 Assignment


Helpful Links:


The Webster University Writing Center offers free and friendly writing advice to all students, staff, and faculty at Webster University. Their trained coaches will help with every stage of the writing process, from brainstorming ideas to documenting sources. They work with all levels of writers and projects, including reports; résumés and cover letters; admission essays and personal statements; summaries, critical analyses, and literature reviews; research and term papers; theses and dissertations; and more.

 OWL (On-line Writing Lab at Purdue University) provides a solid reference to using the American Psychological Association (APA) format in writing academic research papers. This is a very useful source for information in citing and annotating reference sources.

 SecurityFocus is a good all-around source for security information.  This site has security related articles and information ranging from basic to expert level.  Additionally, there are several useful mail-lists covering topics of interest like: Basics, UNIX, Windows, LINUX, viruses, ana vulnerabilities.

 Counterpane is the corporate site for Bruce Schneier's security firm.  This site has links to several security white papers by Bruce Schneier.  They also have a free monthly e-mail newsletter, Crypto-gram.

 Grisoft provides an excellent anti-virus program called AVG.  This quality product will protect your PC scanning your files, your system, and your e-mail.  The personal home version of AVG is FREE.

 Lavasoft provides an excellent spy-ware removal tool called Ad-aware.  This product has a free version for home use.

 PepiMK Software provides another excellent spy-ware removal tool called Spy-bot Search & Destroy.  This product has a free version for home use.