Network Security Diagram

Course Information

CS 2000-Level: Independent Study for Cyber Defense Competition
Time: B Term, Tuesdays and Fridays, 4:00pm to 4:50pm
Location: Fuller Labs 311

Course Description

Cyber defense competitions can be an excellent learning opportuntiy for students, crossing a wide range of technical and business planning topics. In this independent study, we will explore a variety of security topics to best prepare students for competing in a regional cyber security competition.

(Prerequisite: basic user experience with computers.)

Instructor Information

Instructor: Craig Shue
Email: cshue at
Office: Fuller Labs 236

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.

Unregistered Students

Unlike regularly scheduled courses at WPI, students are encouraged to attend classes for which they are interested, even if they are not enrolled in the independent study (ISP). Students who want to practice for the competition team should attend what they can and are encouraged to practice via quizzes and projects.

While we are happy to keep scores to let you see how you are doing on class activities, students must be enrolled in the ISP at the start of the class to receive credit. We will not be able to retroactively enroll students in the ISP.

Student Led Instruction

This independent study is a student-led instruction experience. Students will be responsible for learning the background in particular areas and leading discussion on the topics. Students will create the quizzes and assignments for each other and the students will be responsible for peer grading. The course instructor will provide overall course management and structure.

By continuing in this ISP, you acknowledge and accept that 50% of the course grade will be based off of peer grading feedback.

Major Components

Rather than ensuring all students have the exact same background, this ISP will allow students to become advanced in a particular area, have intermediate proficiency in multiple areas, and have basic competency in the remaining areas. Students will lead discussion, write quizzes, and create practical projects in their advanced area. To show intermediate competency, they will complete projects in areas other than their advanced area. For basic competency, students will listen to projects and complete quizzes on the topic.

Class Schedule

The following schedule will be used for the class:

Oct. 27Networking Basics: Link, Network, and Transport LayersCraig
Oct. 30Networking: Understanding Traffic (packet captures and monitoring)Craig
Nov. 3Networking: Cisco IOS controls, flashing/backups, and ACLsChristopher Jackson, Cem Unsal
Nov. 6Systems: Hardening WindowsJack Marabello, Alexander Titus
Nov. 10Systems: Hardening Linux/UnixGriffin Bishop, Keith Colbert
Nov. 13Assessing Yourself: Scanning yourself with penetration testing toolsKhoi Doan, Linh Hoang
Nov. 17Domain Management: Active DirectoryCalvin Figuereo-Supraner
Nov. 20Essential Services: DNS, Email, Remote Shells, File TransferTanuj Sane, Hugh Whelan
Dec. 1Forensics: Detecting a CompromiseDan Chao, Corey Dixon, Binam Kayastha
Dec. 4Applications: HTML, SQL/Databases, Web ServersAnkit Kumar, Akshit Soota
Dec. 8Advanced: Virtualization and MigrationAbby Harrison, Christopher Pierce
Dec. 11Disabling Persistence: Identifying and denying accessEric Cheng, Devan Coleman
Dec. 15Business: Writing Policy, professionalism, and being cool under pressureCraig

Course Grading

Grades for the course are in three main areas:

  • Advanced Knowledge (50%): Students will be required to present on a topic showing advanced knowledge in that area. The students will prepare an overview of the topic to students, a study guide, and a quiz for the topic. Students will be primarily graded based on their demonstration of mastery of the topic and ability to share and reinforce the knowledge with peers.
  • Intermediate Competency (25%): Students must complete projects on three topics (excluding their area of Advanced Knowledge). These achievements must be "notarized" by a peer that attests that the student has adequately completed the project. For each of the projects, the student must have a different notary.
  • Basic Competency (25%): Students will complete quizzes on the topics presented by other students. These short quizzes will demonstrate the student has learned the topic well. These quizzes will be graded by the student's peers.

Important Resources

Students are strongly encouraged to read the following materials:

Official Communication

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

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 an F grade for the course.