Network Security Diagram


  • Apr. 19: Evan and Sarah signed up for April 30, Shary signed up for April 30, Erik signed up for April 25.
  • Apr. 17: David and Klevis volunteered to present their research project on April 30
  • Apr. 6: Ryan volunteered to present his research project on April 25

Course Information

CS 525: Network Security
Time: Spring Semester, Mondays and Wednesdays, 4:00pm to 5:20pm
Location: Fuller Labs 311

Course Description

This course examines the intersection of computer networking and security, which holds many challenging problems and opportunities for research. With guidance from the professor, students will survey recent network security publications, develop a novel research project, and produce their own research paper. Reading and project topics will include online attacks (such as drive-by downloads), cybercrime (such as phishing), and techniques and mechanisms to protect Internet infrastructure and users.

(Prerequisite: a strong background in computer networking and systems, either at the undergraduate or graduate level. Students may take the course concurrently with CS513, even though that is their only background, but the early portion of the course may be challenging.)

Instructor Information

Instructor: Craig Shue
Email: cshue at
Office: Fuller Labs 236
Office Hours: Walk-ins welcome. Appointments also available, if desired.

Course Policies and Procedures

The following represent the official policies and procedures for the course. Please review this information and, if you have questions, discuss them with the professor as soon as possible.

Deadline Schedule

We democratically concluded on a schedule proposal on Jan. 25. The following are the dates we selected:

  • Feb. 3: Literature Review due
  • Feb. 10: Methodology Section for Paper due
  • Mar. 16: Results Section for Paper due
  • Apr. 6: Conclusion Section for Paper due
  • Apr. 13: Introduction Section for Paper due
  • Apr. 20: Abstract Section for Paper due
  • Apr. 25, 30: In-class Presentations of Research Project

Course Grading

This course will introduce students to reading scientific literature and approaches to do novel research in network security. The course will be less structured to allow for flexibility in pursuing research. Further, this grading criteria may be slightly adjusted to accommodate additional exercises that are deemed helpful by the instructor. There will be two main areas for grading:

  • Class Participation (50%): We will study about two research papers in detail in each class. Students are required to send a critical review of the relevant papers by 9am on the day of class. The review must be transmitted by plain-text email to the instructor with a subject line of "CS 525 - Readings [LECTURE NUMBER] - [TOPIC]". Each class will involve a combination of: presentation of material by the instructor, student presentation(s), and a discussion of critical issues raised in the paper(s). The class participation grade component will be judged on criteria including: quality of participation in class discussions, class presentation(s), and critical review of papers. Additional mini-assignments, such as creating a basic LaTeX/BibTeX document, will be counted under class participation.

  • Research Project (50%): The research project will be done in small teams and each team will work on a separate research problem. Students will have the flexibility to either choose from the problems suggested by the instructor or formulate their own with the help of the instructor. Projects will involve additional project-specific background reading and the project progress will be monitored through weekly meetings throughout the semester. Each project is expected to produce a publication-quality report at completion. The project grade componet criteria includes: literature review, implementation of experiments/measurements, findings of the project, project report, and presentation of the project. Well conducted projects that, through no fault of the students, yield negative results (e.g., the hypothesis does not hold) will not be penalized for course grading but they may not be well received by the research community when peer-review publication is pursued.

Official Communication

Class discussion, class hand-outs, emails to the student's WPI email account, and the course Web pages are avenues for official course communication. Students are responsible for any information posted through these venues.


This course may use some features of MyWPI, such as the grade book and forums.

Late Submission

Late reading reviews will not be graded. In pursuing the research projects, deadlines may be agreed upon by the team and instructor to help checkpoint the work. Team members must notify the instructor in advance if a deadline will be infeasible to avoid penalties.

Student Disabilities

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you have medical information to share with me, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible. If you have not already done so, students with disabilities who believe that they may need accommodations in this class are encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS) as soon as possible to ensure that such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion. This office is located in the West St. House (157 West St) and their phone number is 508.831.4908.

Academic Honesty

The WPI Academic Honesty Policy describes types of academic dishonesty and requirements in documentation. In the case of academic dishonesty, I am required to report the incident to the Dean of Student Affairs. Further, my penalty for academic dishonesty is to assign a NR grade for the course.