Fall 2017

Prof. Charles Nicholas
ITE 356
Office hours: MW 2-3pm,
but check this site because my schedule may change week to week

Course information

Wednesday, 7-9:25pm, beginning August 30, 2017.
(the official time may be listed as 7:10-9:40, but we will start at 7pm!)

ROOM CHANGE: meeting in UC 302 Wednesday September 6, and PUP 206 September 13 and thereafter.
Sherman 151 on August 30 only
Lecture Hall 7 or 8 on September 6. These lecture halls are next to each other, on the ground floor of ITE.
Beginning September 13 and for the rest of the semester, we'll meet in ITE 227.


Interest in cyberdefense, including inter-collegiate competition. Computer Science background equivalent to Data Structures CMSC 341 is assumed.

Permission of the instrcutor is required in order to enroll. Send email to nicholas@umbc.edu from your UMBC email address, and tell me your name AND (your date of birth or your student ID). You may attend the class sessions even if you are not enrolled!

At this point, everybody who has asked for permission has been responded to. If you have not received permission, contact me again...

This is NOT an entry-level systems or security course. Students are expected to have a working knowledge of the Windows and Unix operating systems, networks, and/or software development techniques, along with interest if not experience in planning and conducting both penetration testing and countermeasures development.



Reading List

We will develop the reading list as we go. Students should know how to use the UMBC Library research port and other facilities to get access to papers they want. I suggest using a paper management system such as Mendeley. Suggestions for improving this list are welcome.

Textbook(s): None

The following book(s) are not required, but may be helpful:

Cyberoperations, by Mike O'Leary

Windows Internals, Parts 1 and 2, by Mark Russinovich

Be careful when dowloading "free" copies of this or similar books! Additional resources, varying in quality, can be found on Wikibooks and other places.

Course Policies


Students enrolled in CMSC 491 will be expected to attend and participate in the weekly Cyberdawg meetings, including the prep work that may be announed before or after each class session. Also, to suggest resources that could be added to this site, such as on-line tutorials, tools, YouTubes, and so forth.

Students enrolled in CMSC 791 will be subject to the same expectations as students in 491, but in addition, will be expected to prepare material that may be useful in future offerings of this or similar courses.


Abuse of Resources PAY ATTENTION TO THIS!

Abuse of the knowledge or experience you gain in this course may subject you to discipline under UMBC policy and/or criminal prosecution. Do not expect your status as a student to protect you if you break the law! Hacking into campus computers (other than systems approved for such a purpose) is a violation of UMBC policy, and may result in disciplinary action possibly including expulsion, in addition to possible criminal charges.

Academic Honesty

Academic dishonesty of any kind will be handled in accordance with University policy.

"By enrolling in this course, each student assumes the responsibilities of an active participant in UMBC's scholarly community, in which everyone's academic work and behavior are held to the highest standards of honesty. Cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, and helping others to commit these acts are all forms of academic dishonesty, and they are wrong. Academic misconduct could result in disciplinary action that may include, but is not limited to, suspension or dismissal. To read the full Student Academic Conduct Policy, consult the UMBC Student Handbook, the Faculty Handbook, or the UMBC Policies section of the UMBC Directory." [Statement adopted by UMBC's Undergraduate Council and Provost's Office.]



A collection of resources will be made available.. Suggestions are welcome!

This web site's URL should be https://www.csee.umbc.edu/courses/undergraduate/CMSC491activeCyber/