COMP 116: Introduction to Computer Security

Tufts University Department of Computer Science, Fall 2018

NOTE: For the summer online course syllabus, go here


Teaching Assistants

The official list of TAs and office hours is on Piazza. Hours are good until the last day of classes, Thursday, December 6th.

Class Time and Location



Hardware and Software for This Class (on your personal computer)

Absolute Requirements

Strongly Recommended Requirements


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.

All labs in this course are posted on Canvas,

My scripted class notes are available at (added supplement to slide decks)

Date Agenda Deliverables
Tuesday, September 4th
  • Lab 1 Posted (available on Canvas), Due on Tuesday, September 11th at 11:59 PM: Working with the Command Line
Thursday, September 6th  
Tuesday, September 11th
  • Lab 2 Posted (available on Canvas), Due on Thursday, September 20th at 11:59 PM: Packet Sleuth
Thursday, September 13th  
Tuesday, September 18th  
Thursday, September 20th
Tuesday, September 25th  
Thursday, September 27th
Tuesday, October 2nd
  • Lab 4 Posted (available on Canvas), Due on Tuesday, October 23rd at 11:59 PM: Snake Oil, The Incident Alarm
Thursday, October 4th  
Thursday, October 11th
Tuesday, October 16th Quiz 1
Thursday, October 18th  
Tuesday, October 23rd  
Thursday, October 25th Web Security, Part III: Cross-Site Request Forgery, Directory Traversal, Command Execution, Local and Remote File Inclusion
  • Lab 6 Assigned, Due on Halloween: The XSS Game
  • Lab 7 Assigned, Due on Halloween: Gain Access to Website
Tuesday, October 30th    
Thursday, November 1st The Annual Capture The Flags (CTF) Game in Halligan 102  
Tuesday, November 6th
  • Lab 9 Assigned (available on Canvas), Due on Thursday, November 15th: Technical Risk Analysis and Static Analysis
Thursday, November 8th  
Tuesday, November 13th  
Thursday, November 15th  
  • Lab 10 Assigned (available on Canvas), Due on Thursday, November 29th: Malware Analysis
  • Practice Quiz 2
Tuesday, November 27th
  • Incident Handling and Forensics
Thursday, November 29th Quiz 2
Tuesday, December 4th    
Thursday, December 6th The Future Does Not Look Very Bright  

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

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.