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Computer Systems Security

Code: EIC0072     Acronym: SSIN

Classification Keyword
OFICIAL Operating Systems and Networks

Instance: 2014/2015 - 1S Ícone do Moodle

Active? Yes
Web Page: http://web.fe.up.pt/~jmcruz/ssi/
Responsible unit: Department of Informatics Engineering
Course/CS Responsible: Master in Informatics and Computing Engineering

Cycles of Study/Courses

Acronym No. of Students Study Plan Curricular Years Credits UCN Credits ECTS Contact hours Total Time
MIEIC 16 Syllabus since 2009/2010 5 - 6 56 162

Teaching - Hours

Recitations: 3,00
Type Teacher Classes Hour
Recitations Totals 1 3,00
José Manuel de Magalhães Cruz 3,00

Teaching language

Suitable for English-speaking students


This Course aims the study of IT security systems, in order to provide students with a basic understanding of the concepts and of the threats and defenses to the misuse and operational destruction of these systems.


Learning outcomes and competences

At the end of this course unit, the students that have passed should be able to: - describe the security fundamentals of computer systems; - specify a security policy for a typical computer system and select the adequate mechanisms for enforcing the policy and for verifying its compliance; - analise a typical communication channel and identify its associated main protection levels or the ones that should be in use; - study, program and operate some security devices and tecniques in real situations.

Working method


Pre-requirements (prior knowledge) and co-requirements (common knowledge)

Basic knowledge of programming, networks, operating systems and distributed systems.


Fundamentals. Security Policies. Cryptography: theory and applications. Security mechanisms and their use on the implementation of security policies. Security analyses and monitoring of a system. Practical aspects in networks, systems and in programming.

Mandatory literature

Matt Bishop; Introduction to Computer Security, Addison Wesley Professional, 2004. ISBN: 0-321-24744-2
Charlie Kaufman, Radia Perlman, Mike Speciner; Network Security: Private Communication in a Public World, Prentice Hall, 2002. ISBN: 0-13-046019-2

Complementary Bibliography

Stallings & Brown; Computer Security: Principles and Practice, Prentice Hall, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-13-600424-0
Pfleeger & Pfleeger; Security in Computing, 4/E, Prentice Hall, 2006. ISBN: 978-0-13-239077-4
Gollmann; Computer Security, 2/E, John Wiley, 2005. ISBN: 978-0-470-86293-3

Teaching methods and learning activities

The classes will consist of the exposition and discussion of contents, followed by the presentation of examples and complemented with periods of search and study of techniques and case studies published in the literature and in the Web. Presentation, by the students, of specific topics illustrating the security issues studied and materialised on the proposed mini projects.

Evaluation Type

Distributed evaluation with final exam

Assessment Components

Designation Weight (%)
Exame 50,00
Teste 10,00
Trabalho escrito 40,00
Total: 100,00

Amount of time allocated to each course unit

Designation Time (hours)
Elaboração de projeto 35,00
Estudo autónomo 90,00
Frequência das aulas 42,00
Total: 167,00

Eligibility for exams

As specified in the current FEUP's General Evaluation Rules.

Calculation formula of final grade

0,5 F + 0,5 E = 0,4 P + 0,1 T + 0,5 E where: F - distributed evaluation's grade E - written exam's grade P - mini project's grade T - mini test's grade

Examinations or Special Assignments

All through the course unit, the students are encouraged to make homework exercises, but that are not directly used for grading. Also along the course, groups of two students should perform a mini project specified in more detail in a separate document. These mini projects include: the study and planning of the assigned topic, to be presented at the end of the 1st month, the development of the theme out of classes' hours and the presentation of the final product in the final classes. The mini projects' themes and their assignment to the students will be validated by the teacher; members of the same group may have a different classification in this item, due to inequivocal differences of contribution in the global effort.

Special assessment (TE, DA, ...)

All components of evaluation apply to all students, whatever their enrollment type is, because a regular presence in the classroom is not required. The special examinations allowed by law consist of a written test identical to the exam in the normal evaluation period and the implementation of a mini project similar to those offered in the semester. The theme and the development time will be settled and presented to the student. The final grade is calculated by the following formula: 0,4 P + 0,6 E where: P - grade of mini project E - grade of written exam

Classification improvement

Classification improvement is possible, by choice of the student, in any of the assessment components: the component of the written test and the mini project. The written test will be identical to the exam in the normal evaluation period; a new mini project, similar to those offered in the semester, can be performed, or the mini project that the student worked on during the semester can also be improved. The theme of the new mini project and its development time (or the time of improving the previous work) will be settled and presented to the student. The final grade is calculated by the following formula: 0,4 P + 0,6 E where: P - grade of (new or previous) mini project E - grade of (new or previous) written exam


Pre-requirements: basic knowledge of programming, networks, operating systems and distributed systems. All examinations are individual, written, with no personal documentation allowed for consultation; the presentation of the mini project's specifications lasts, at the most, 15 minutes and the final presentation 30 minutes; the mini-test has a duration of 30 minutes, all written exams have a duration of 2 hours. Important comment: the student who shows dishonest academic behavior will be reported to the Director.

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