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COMP 3261: Internet and Security Issues

This course presents the most practical of Internet/Intranet technologies and techniques to students. It covers Internet protocols, addressing and architecture, Intranet and Extranet design, installation and management, as well as all aspects of Internet/Intranet security and user/data authentication.

Learning outcomes

Students will have sound understanding of Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol suite and Internet/Intranet techniques, and have necessary knowledge and skills for network-related professions and advanced studies.

  • Classify computer network vulnerabilities and types of attacks.
  • Define security goals and their meanings.
  • Explain useful tools commonly used by an attacker.
  • Explain common techniques used for launching the Denial of Service and Distributed Denial of Service attacks, as well as techniques to prevent them.
  • Explain the characteristics of viruses, worms and malware.
  • Explain the basic concepts and techniques for protecting and designing a private network.
  • Identify types of firewall implementation suitable for differing security requirements.
  • Apply and explain simple filtering rules based on IP and TCP header information.
  • Distinguish between firewalls based on packet-filtering routers, application level gateways and circuit-level gateways.
  • Compare and contrast symmetric and asymmetric encryption systems and their vulnerability to attack, and explain the characteristics of hybrid systems.
  • Explain what is meant by data integrity, and give reasons for its importance.
  • Describe the use of hash functions, and explain the characteristics of one-way and collision-free functions.
  • Explain the role of third-party agents in the provision of authentication services.
  • Explain some widely-used techniques and protocols for secure communications.
  • Discuss the effectiveness of passwords in access control and the influence of human behaviour.
  • Be aware of future trends in the field of network security.

Course topics

  • Unit 1 - Introduction to Network Security
  • Unit 2 - Securing the Networks using Firewalls
  • Unit 3 - Securing the Data Transaction: Cryptography
  • Unit 4 - Securing the Data Transaction: Digital Signature, Security Protocols and Virtual Private Networks
  • Unit 5 - Web-based Security Issues and Emerging Areas of Network Security

Required text and materials

The following materials are required for this course:

  1. Stallings, W. (2017). Cryptography and network security: Principles and practice (7th ed.). Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.
    Type: Textbook. ISBN: 978-0-13-444428-4


Please be aware that should your course have a final exam, you are responsible for the fee to the online proctoring service, ProctorU, or to the in-person approved Testing Centre. Please contact with any questions about this.

To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course, and 50% or higher on the final mandatory exam.

Assignment 1: Network Security 10%
Assignment 2: Firewalls 10%
Assignment 3: Cryptography 10%
Assignment 4: Securing Data Transactions 10%
Assignment 5: Web-based Security and Biometric Authentication 10%
Final Exam (mandatory) 50%
Total 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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