COMP 116: Introduction to Computer Security

Tufts University Department of Computer Science, Fall 2017

NOTE: For the summer online course syllabus, go here


Teaching Assistants

Class Time and Location



Hardward and Software Requirements (on your personal computer)


Class participation encompasses a variety of activities, all with the same purpose. To earn high grades for class participation, you must show that you are actively engaged in managing your own learning, developing new skills, and developing new ways of programming and problem-solving. You can be engaged in a variety of ways:

Nobody has to do all of these things; you can earn top grades for class participation by doing just a few things well. In particular, nobody is required to speak in class, but everybody should be prepared to answer questions if called upon.

Professional interactions with other students and with course staff are the same as those which are expected in any workplace. It is also professional for you to recognize that a member of the course staff may be present but not actually available to talk about COMP 116.


Schedule is subject to change. Given the nature of this subject, changes to schedule will happen.

Date Agenda Deliverables
Tuesday, September 5th
Thursday, September 7th  
Tuesday, September 12th Lab 3 Assigned, Due Thursday, September 21st: Packet Sleuth
Thursday, September 14th  
Tuesday, September 19th Lab 4 Assigned, Due Tuesday, September 26th: Reconnaisance
Thursday, September 21st  
Tuesday, September 26th
Thursday, September 28th
Tuesday, October 3rd Lab 6 Assigned, Due Wednesday, November 1st: The Fall 2017 Password Cracking Contest
Thursday, October 5th Guest Speaker: Ashley Hedberg (Tufts Class of 2015, COMP 116 Class of Fall 2013), Software Engineer at Google  
Tuesday, October 10th  
Thursday, October 12th
Tuesday, October 17th Details on the annual Capture The Flags (CTF) game
Thursday, October 19th Quiz 1
Tuesday, October 24th
Thursday, October 26th The Annual Capture The Flags (CTF) Game in Halligan 102  
Tuesday, October 31st Reverse Engineering. Guest Speaker: Lindsay Kaye, ‎Lead Software Systems Engineer at MITRE  
Thursday, November 2nd Credential-Probing Attacks. Guest Speaker: Bill Langengberg (Tufts Class of 2001), Technical Manager of Engineering at TripAdvisor  
Tuesday, November 7th NO CLASS  
Thursday, November 9th Lab 9 Assigned, Due Thursday, November 16th: Technical Risk Analysis and Static Analysis
Tuesday, November 14th  
Thursday, November 16th
  • Incident Handling and Forensics
Tuesday, November 21st NO CLASS  
Tuesday, November 28th  
Thursday, November 30th Quiz 2
Tuesday, December 5th  
Thursday, December 7th  

Course Policies

Student Accessibility Services (SAS)

If you have a disability that requires reasonable accommodations, please contact the Student Accessibility Services office at or 617-627-4539 to make an appointment with an SAS representative to determine appropriate accommodations. Please be aware that accommodations cannot be enacted retroactively, making timeliness a critical aspect for their provision. Please note that accommodation letters will no longer be on Trunk. Rather it is your responsibility to hand deliver them to me. For more details, see

Electronic Devices

Laptops or mobile devices are not allowed to be used in class unless specified. Phones must be silent. You are allowed to politely step outside of the class to take phone calls (e.g., for emergencies, job offers).

Late Policy

A lab that is submitted electronically will typically be due at 11:59 PM on Thursday. We will grant an automatic extension of 24 hours to you at no cost (i.e., grace period). A lab submitted after the grace period will not be accepted.

An lab is expected to be submitted on time. However, we recognize that the exigencies of college life occasionally interfere with on-time submission. If you have difficulty getting the lab in on time, you have two options:

  1. For ordinary difficulties, each student is automatically issued three (3) "extension tokens." By expending an extension token, you can get an automatic 24-hour extension on all deadlines associated with a single lab. To use an extension token, you must e-mail me at Thus must be sent before the lab is due and not during the grace period. At most two extension tokens may be expended on any single lab. When you are out of tokens, late labs will no longer be accepted: it will be returned ungraded, and you will receive no credit for the work.
  2. If a serious illness affects your ability to complete the lab on time, your first step is to report the illness using the "Illness Notification Form" that is available in WebCenter for Students. We will make suitable arrangements. For extraordinary difficulties, such as bereavement, family emergencies, or other extraordinary unpleasant events, your first step should be to make contact with your associate dean for undergraduate education. You must take this step before the lab is due. Ask your dean to drop me an email or give me a call, and we will make special arrangements that are suited to your circumstances.

Please understand that extension tokens are meant to be used. That is, you will not receive any special bonus at the end of the course if you do not use any of your extension tokens.

Solutions to Labs and Examinations

Some solutions to labs and examinations may be posted on Piazza.