IT660: Network Security

Instructor: Dr. Lixin Tao,,
  GC Office: GC416A, (914)422-4463
PLV Office: G320, (914)773-3449

Lectures: 100% online through Pace Blackboard at

Office Hours: Daily two hours online, Mondays 4PM - 9PM upon appointment at office GC416A

Syllabus: Network security overview; symmetric encryption and message confidentiality; public-key cryptography and message authentication; authentication applications; electronic mail security; IP security; network management security; intruders; malicious software; and firewalls.

Learning Objectives

After taking this course, a student should be able to

  • Understand the secret-key and public-key cryptosystems as foundation of network security
  • Understand Kerberos and X.509 for authentication
  • Understand PGP and S/MIME for electronic mail security
  • Understand the IP security architecture including authentication header and encapsulating security payload
  • Understand Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) as well as Secure Electronic Transaction (SET)
  • Conduct research in the related areas and apply the knowledge in securing specific IT environments


  • Network Security Essentials: Applications and Standards, 3rd Edition , William Stallings, Prentice Hall 2007, ISBN 0-13-238033-1
  • Class notes and course material posted in Pace Blackboard 

Bi-Weekly Course Assignments

Every two weeks, read file WhatToDoWeeksXand(X+1).pdf under Discussion Board|WeeksXand(X+1) (X will be replaced by a number) to see which tasks you need to finish for the two weeks. The bi-weekly assignments will cover reading assignments, discussion questions and project assignments. The bi-weekly course assignments will be posted on the Sunday of the first week of the period. Unless otherwise specified, all the tasks specified in a course assignment must be completed within the same two-week period and submitted by the Sunday of the second week of the period. A one-hour open-book online quiz will be conducted on the Friday of the second week of each period, from 8pm to 9pm , through the Blackboard to check your understanding of the fundamental concepts and practices covered by the assignments for the two-week period.

Assignments Submission

The submission deadline will be strictly enforced. Each working day after the submission deadline would incur a 10% penalty on the assignment's grade. All files for a period's assignments should be zipped into a single file and submitted by attaching the solution zip file in a public reply message to the proper assignment thread in the Discussion Board .

Participating in Course Discussions

Every two weeks the instructor may post one or more questions in Pace Blackboard Discussion Board ( Discussion Board|WeeksXand(X+1) ). Students will conduct discussion on the posted questions by replying to the questions in the Discussion Board within two weeks from the posting of the questions. You can also comment on other student's responses. You can get credit by asking questions and help answering questions. A grade will be assigned in each two-week period to each student based on the student's number and quality of participation in the Discussion Board . All postings must be formal with proper syntax and style, with citations to textbook pages or class notes to back up the arguments.

Grading Scheme

Assignments 30%
Discussion 30% (Item DGs in Blackboard grade records)
Quizzes 40%

Couse Calendar

1 Java warm up, software installation Java tutorial , Ch. 1
2, 3 Fundamental security concepts, S-DES, DES, 3DES, stream ciphers Ch. 1 and 2
4, 5 RC4, RSA, MAC, CA, message hash value, key management, digital signature Ch. 2 and 3
6, 7 Kerberos, X.509, public key infrastructure Ch. 4
8, 9 PGP, S/MIME, email authentication and confidentiality Ch. 5
10. 11 IP security infrastructure, authentication header, encapsulating security payloads Ch. 6
12, 13, 14 IPSec, SSL, TLS, SET Ch. 7


Selected Public Course Material


Current teaching schedule and course material are avaialble in Pace Blackboard.


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Copyright ©2006 Lixin Tao