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This course will cover the wide-ranging issues on advanced topics in computer, network, and systems security. Students will learn from security fundamentals to advanced topics in security.
This is a highly practical course in which lectures and lab work are integrated. It is designed to provide practical skills in building secure industry and Government systems as well as developing a range of penetration testing skills.Students need to be familiar with configuring Windows and Linux systems and will work in pairs in a lab environment and both build secure systems as well as test them for cyber security vulnerabilities. All software and hardware used will be industry grade equipment. All experiments are to be written up as individuals (but with shared results) and submitted according to a prescribed format.These six topics are fundamental to applied cybersecurity and students will be provided with background fundamentals and will then design and test Wireless/Mobile systems, VPNs, IoT, Smartcard Systems, Multi-factor authentication and reverse-shell engineering attacks in the cybersecurity lab.• Wireless/Mobile LANs – Vulnerabilities in mobile and wireless network architecture. Wireless Enterprise Architecture – design, setup and testing, Android and Bluetooth vulnerabilities. This lab focuses on graduates who will work in the area of wireless and mobile enterprise security and will be responsible for design, implementation, testing and addressing key cybersecurity issues in this framework.• VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) – design and setting up of VPNs for secure cloud access. We will build two types of VPNs in the lab – OpenVPN or a Linux Wireguard VPN and an industry-based IKEv2-VPN. We will test their operation with servers, firewalls and mobile client devices such as laptops and mobile phones.• IoT (IN)Security. IoT devices are becoming widely used in home automation, offices and in SCADA systems. We will experiment with IoT devices such as switches, lights, thermostats, video cameras, door locks, and music players. In particular we will see how traffic between the mobile device and IoT device can be intercepted and modified and in certain circumstances one can take control of these systems.• Smartcard technology is used in ticketing systems such as Oyster, Octopus, Snapper, Metro, Myki, Gallagher access and for contactless payment. libnfc is a software library run out of Kali Linux and used for smartcards. A set of python scripts will be used for carrying out basic security analysis functions on smartcards such as reading, writing and cracking. This work will then be interfaced with the Gallagher smartcard system as used within the UoC for physical security.• Multi-Factor Authentication including RSA hard and soft tokens and Google Authenticators. Active Directory, RSA multifactor authentication using hardware, software and mobile phone devices. Google Authentication using a RADIUS Server and PAM (Pluggable Authentication Module) to handle the Google Authenticator component of 2FA in conjunction with mobile phone authenticators.• Reverse Shell and Ransomware attacks: MSFvenom, EternalBlue, Mousejack and USB cable attacks. The Metasploit Framework is commonly used by pen testers and involves the setting up of listeners that create an environment (referred to as a Meterpreter) to manipulate compromised machines. In these labs we will see how this framework within Kali Linux can be used to attack (or indeed test the security) of a Windows 10 machines through to ransomware attacks which encrypt client databases.All six of these topics (both lectures and labs) will run in the specialist cybersecurity lab – Room 339 Erskine Building.The precise timetable for lecture-lab combinations will be released early February.
Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:understand and explain the concepts of wireless and mobile securitydesign and test VPNs for cloud operation which are immune to cyber-attacksunderstand the operation of IoT devices and how interception and modification of traffic can occur and be protected againstwork with and understand smartcard security and how it is used with the Gallagher system at UoC, Justice Precinct and Convention Centreexperiment with reverse shell engineering attacks – typical of those used to attack the UK National Health Servicebuild secure 2FA systems as used in UoC and Google involving both RSA and Google authenticatorsTalk to the Course Coordinator if you have issues with course changes, illness, special consideration, missed exams etc.
(1) COSC362 and (2) subject to approval by the Head of Department
Students must attend one activity from each section.
Please note that the course activity times advertised here are currently in draft form, to be finalised on Monday 30 January 2023 for S1 and whole year courses, and Monday 26 June 2023 for S2 courses. Please hold off enquiries about these times until those finalisation dates.
Covid-19 Update: Please refer to the course page on AKO | Learn for all information about your course, including lectures, labs, tutorials and assessments.
Course Information on Learn
Assessment: 60% Assignments40% Final Exam
The Computer Science department's grading policy states that in order to pass a course you must meet two requirements:1. You must achieve an average grade of at least 50% over all assessment items.2. You must achieve an average mark of at least 45% on invigilated assessment items.If you satisfy both these criteria, your grade will be determined by the following University-wide scale for converting marks to grades: an average mark of 50% is sufficient for a C- grade, an average mark of 55% earns a C grade, 60% earns a C+ grade and so forth. However if you do not satisfy both the passing criteria you will be given either a D or E grade depending on marks. Marks are sometimes scaled to achieve consistency between courses from year to year.Students may apply for special consideration if their performance in an assessment is affected by extenuating circumstances beyond their control.Applications for special consideration should be submitted via the Examinations Office website within five days of the assessment. Where an extension may be granted for an assessment, this will be decided by direct application to the Department and an application to the Examinations Office may not be required. Special consideration is not available for items worth less than 10% of the course.Students prevented by extenuating circumstances from completing the course after the final date for withdrawing, may apply for special consideration for late discontinuation of the course. Applications must be submitted to the Examinations Office within five days of the end of the main examination period for the semester.
Domestic fee $1,079.00
International Postgraduate fees
* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.
This course will not be offered if fewer than 5 people apply to enrol.
For further information see
Computer Science and Software Engineering