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Computer Security

Code 11568
Year 3
Semester S1
ECTS Credits 6
Workload PL(30H)/T(30H)
Scientific area Informatics
Entry requirements ---
Mode of delivery Face-to-face instruction
Work placements Not applicable.
Learning outcomes The objectives of this course unit are to introduce and practice the correct use of information security related concepts and mechanisms, as well as to study security vulnerabilities in systems interconnected via computer networks, and audit tools and mitigation techniques for these vulnerabilities.
At the end of this course unit the student should be able to:
Study computer security problems from a practical and contemporary perspective, as well as describing and implementing best practices and solutions that minimize the impact of potential threats, or search for these solutions independently;
Configure security tools, including firewalls and intrusion detection systems;
Integrating mechanisms of information security in software applications he/she is developing;
Properly utilize encryption algorithms, authentication mechanisms, digital signatures, protection systems and administrative domains and implementation of secure virtual private networks.
Syllabus 1. Symmetric and Asymmetric Encryption
1.1. Symmetric Key Algorithms
1.2. Asymmetric Key Algorithms
1.3. Modes of Operation for Block Ciphers
1.3. Problems Associated with the Distribution and Agreement of Encryption Keys: the Diffie-Hellman Key Agreement Protocol
1.4. Hash Functions and Data Origin Authentication Codes

2. Usage and Management of Public Keys
2.1 Public Key Infrastructure; Web of Trust
2.2. Case Study: PGP (Pretty Good Privacy)
2.3. Digital Signatures
2.4. Case Study: Portuguese Citizen Card

3. Vulnerabilities
3.1 Vulnerabilities on Distributed Systems
3.2 Vulnerabilities and Attacks on Local Area Networks and Large Scale

4. Firewalls - Mode of Operation and Configuration

5. Intrusion Detection Systems

6. Virtual Private Networks - SSL / TLS and IPSec

7. Wireless Network Security 802.11
Main Bibliography 1. Main References
André Zúquete, Segurança em Redes Informáticas, FCA - Editora de Informática, 3ª Ed. (actualizada e aumentada), 2010.
William Stallings e Lawrie Brown, Computer Security: Principles and Practice, Prentice Hall 2008.
Alfred J. Menezes, Paul C. van Oorschot and Scott A. Vanstone, Handbook of Applied Cryptography, CRC Press. (disponível on-line em

2. Secondary References
João Amado, Hackers, Técnicas de Defesa e de Ataque, FCA - Editora de Informática, 3ª Ed. (actualizada e aumentada), 2006.
Henrique São Mamede, Segurança Informática nas Organizações, FCA - Editora de Informática, 2006.
William Stallings, Cryptography and Network Security, 4/E, Prentice Hall, 2006.
Teaching Methodologies and Assessment Criteria The contents of this Course Unit are discussed in lecture classes and the practical part of those contents is explored in laboratory classes. Each type of class has two hours of weekly contact. The practical classes have lab guides that students perform in the computers of the lab, which include the usage of several technologies related with information and network security. Moreover, the proposed practical works(individual and group) are designed so that the students develop their technical skills via the development of secure software applications.
Evaluation is performed resorting to 3 main elements:
- 1 written test for knowledge evaluation (worth 50% of the final grade);
- 1 practical test for evaluation of practical procedures in laboratory context (worth 20% of the final grade);
- 1 practical team work with technical report and a presentation (worth 30% of the final grade).
Language Portuguese. Tutorial support is available in English.
Last updated on: 2020-01-20

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