Introduction to Information Assurance - S20

CSE 365


Course Info

Course Numbers: CSE 365 (88662) and CSE 365 (94333)
Meeting Times: Tuesday and Thursday, 10:30am–11:45am (Class Zoom)

Instructor: Prof. Adam Doupé
Office: BYENG 472
Office Hours: TBA

Course Discord: Join the discord

Course Description

This course will provide students with a basic and comprehensive understanding of the problems of information assurance (IA) and the solutions to these problems, especially the security of information on computers and networks. This course will focus on the IA technology as well as IA policy, management, legal, and ethical aspects1.


Computer Information Systems BS major, Computer Systems Engineering BSE major, Computer Science BS major, or Industrial Engineering BSE major; CIS 235, CSE 220, or CSE 240 with C or better.

Recommended Textbook

All material for the course will be provided in lecture, however we will use an excellent textbook as supplementary material.

Introduction to Computer Security.
Matt Bishop
ISBN: 0321247442

Course Communication

b All announcements and communications for the class will take place through the class piazza.

Student may use the class piazza to ask questions or clarifications, and the TA, Instructor, or other students can answer. Note that the advice in “How to Ask Questions the Smart Way” will increase the chances of getting your question answered. While I highly encourage students to help each other on piazza, please do not go overboard and send your fellow student code (this will be considered cheating). It is better to point out their mistake or direct them to a resource that can help solve their problem, rather than giving them the answer. Note that sharing solutions or answers is expressly prohibited and will result in academic sanctions.

Questions meant for the professor and/or TAs should be addressed as a private post on the class piazza.

Note that if you email us directly, and we deem it necessary and helpful, we will post our reply on the class Piazza (including context necessary from your email).

Course Topics

  • Security Objectives
  • Security Mechanisms
  • Security Attacks and Threats
  • Access Control
  • Cryptography
  • Authentication
  • Network Security
  • Web Security
  • System Security
  • IA Policy and Management
  • Risk Assessment and Risk Management
  • Assurance
  • Privacy and Anonymity
  • Legal and Ethical Issues


Students will be evaluated on their performance on homework, exams, and in class Capture the Flag (CTF) competitions.

Homework Assignments

There will be three–seven homework assignments in the course, covering the material presented in the lectures.

Midterm Exam

There will be a midterm exam. The exam will cover the material discussed from the lectures and the assignments. No notes or outside material/devices will be allowed.

Final Exam

There will be a final exam that will cover all material presented throughout the course, with an emphasis on material from the second half of the class. No notes or outside material/devices will be allowed.


Area Weight %
Homework 65
CTFs 5
Midterm Exam 15
Final Exam 15

The preliminary thresholds for assigning a letter grade are the following:

Letter Grade     Threshold
A+ 100
A 93
A- 90
B+ 86
B 83
B- 80
C+ 74
C 70

I reserve the right to curve the grades (by lowering the thresholds), depending on the circumstances.

Update on Grading Scheme (4/28/20)

Letter grade and Y grade options

In ASU’s grading scheme, a “Y” grade is generally used as a grade for successfully completed internships, projects, readings and conference, research, seminars, theses, dissertations, and workshops. A “Y” grade is essentially equivalent to a pass grade (but does not affect your GPA calculation), while the default is a letter grade. Given the current circumstances, students have the option to request that they be graded with the Y grade option. The deadline to make the request will be May 5th, 11:59pm. If a student does not request to be graded with the “Y” grade option by the deadline, the default is the letter grade option. Details of how to request Y grading are available on the course piazza.

To earn a “Y” grade, the student should earn the equivalent of “C” or above. If the student’s score in the course does not meet the minimum threshold for a “C” grade, the assigned grade will be “D”. This applies to the “Y” grade option and the letter grade option. Note that it is not clear how graduate programs will look at a “Y” grade on the transcript, so you should weigh your decision carefully.

As a recap:

  • Letter grade option:
    Same as above

  • Y grade option:
    If overall average at or above “C” threshold: “Y” grade
    If overall average below “C” threshold: “D” grade

Homework Due Dates and Exam Dates

Homework due dates and exam dates will be posted well in advance on the class website and announced in class.

For each day an assignment is late, a 20% deduction will be assessed. Exams will be given in class and are closed book and closed note. Makeup exams are typically not given unless under extenuating circumstances. Laptops, phones, calculators, and other smart devices are not allowed during exams.

If an exam date conflicts with a religious holiday (in accordance with ACD 304-04) or other university sanctioned activities (in accordance with ACD 304-02) you should let me know at least two weeks before the exam date to schedule a makeup exam.

Special Accommodations

Students requesting disability accommodations should register with the Disability Resource Center (DRC) and present the instructor with appropriate documentation from the DRC.

Plagiarism and Cheating

Plagiarism or any form of cheating in assignments, projects, or exams is subject to serious academic penalty. To understand your responsibilities as a student read: ASU Student Code of Conduct and ASU Student Academic Integrity Policy.

You are allowed to use code snippets that you find online (StackOverflow or otherwise) provided that you provide, as part of a comment in your source code, the source of the code. These snippets should not constitute a significant part of your code. Using another student’s code, past or present, even with a citation is a violation of the academic integrity policy.

There is a zero tolerance policy in this class: any violation of the academic integrity policy will result in a zero on the assignment and the violation will be reported to the Dean’s office. Plagiarism is taken very seriously in this course. To date, the professor has issued 27 academic integrity policy violations.

Examples of academic integrity violations include (but are not limited to):

  • Sharing code with a fellow student (even if it’s only a few lines).

  • Collaborating on code with a fellow student.

  • Submitting another students code as your own.

  • Submitting a prior student’s code as your own.

Posting your assignment code online is expressly forbidden, and will be considered a violation of the academic integrity policy. Note that this includes working out of a public Github repo. The Github Student Developer Pack provides cool stuff in addition to the free unlimited private repositories that Github provides. If you want to impress employers with your coding abilities, create an open-source project that is done outside of class.

Syllabus Update

Information in the syllabus, may be subject to change with reasonable advance notice.

  1. © Copyright 2019 Adam Doupé as to this syllabus, all lectures, and course-related written materials. During this course students are prohibited from making audio, video, digital, or other recordings during class, or selling notes to or being paid for taking notes by any person or commercial firm without the express written permission of the faculty member teaching this course.