Course syllabus

EDA491 / DIT071 Network security lp4 vt19 (7.5 hp)

Course is offered by the department of Computer Science and Engineering.

Contact details

  • Teachers
    • Associate professor Tomas Olovsson -
  • Responsible for lab work
    • Thomas Rosenstatter -
  • Teaching assistants
    • Carlo Brunetta -
    • Georgia Tsaloli -
    • Charalampos Stylianopoulos -

Preferred communication is to use Canvas in communication with the teaching staff.

Course purpose

This course is part of a security specialization offered by the department which consists of four courses: Computer security, Network security, Language-based security and Cryptography.

We begin the course by looking at weaknesses that have plagued networked systems for years. We continue with countermeasures like firewalls and intrusion detection systems, and investigate how security protocols such as SSL/TLS, SSH and IPsec work in detail and what makes them secure. The course also gives a survey of cryptographic tools and explains how they can be utilized in protocols and applications, for example how to provide secure user authentication over a public network.

Knowledge about possible threats and countermeasures is important not only for the network security specialist but also for application programmers and everyone else who wants to understand what level of security a system and an application can offer. By knowing the problems, future systems can be designed to be much more secure and reliable than today.

This course covers the underlying principles and techniques for network and communication security. Practical examples of security problems and principles for countermeasures are given. The course also surveys cryptographic and other tools used to provide security and reviews how these tools are utilized in protocols and applications.


Prerequisites for this course are good knowledge of communication principles and protocols (TCP, IP, ICMP, ARP, etc.) You must have taken at least one communications course before this course. We also recommend that you have taken the course Computer Security which shows how to think regarding security and discusses security issues in a wider perspective. Other relevant courses are Computer Networks and Cryptography which will make some topics easier to understand.

Course design

The course consists of a series of lectures and laborative exercises. The laborative exercises focus on network scanning, building firewalls, configuration of an intrusion detection system (IDS) and practical work with analyzing the SSL/TLS protocol. One laboration contains a written report to be handed in.

Lecture Schedule

Lectures will be held:

  • Tuesdays 13:15 - 15:00, HC3
  • Thursdays 13:15 - 15:00, HC3
  • Fridays 13:15 - 15:00, HC3

Not all lecture times will be used, please see the lecture schedule or TimeEdit for details. There may be some topic changes during the course so the order of the lectures may be changed during the course.

Slides from the lectures will normally be available for download before the lecture, but please note that minor changes should be expected. The final version will be placed here shortly after each lecture with fixed typos, etc.

LAB Schedule

The course has four lab assignments (in room EDIT 4225) that are mandatory. One of the assignments also requires a written report to be handed in. The labs have to be done in groups of two (not one, not three). Lab sessions will be available three times a week and need to be booked in advance. The sessions can be used to ask questions, to demonstrate the tasks and to do the lab in case you are not able to do the assignment remotely. Details for lab bookings and how to sign up for groups can be found on the Lab Introduction. The lab is available:

  • Mondays 08:00 - 11:45
  • Tuesdays 17:15 - 21:00
  • Thursdays 08:00 - 11:45

Course literature

The course consists of the following material

  • Text book including web chapters (see lecture plan for details)
  • Mandatory reading material, presented under Modules 
  • Material from lectures (slides)
  • Reading related to the labs

Text book:


William Stallings: Cryptography and Network Security, seventh edition ISBN 978-1-292-15858-7 or sixth edition ISBN 978-0-273-79335-9. The difference is that in the latest edition chapter 17.3 about TLS does not exist but has been integrated with the rest of the text in chapter 17.

The book has a companion web page with student resources and useful links if you want to know more about a subject. There is an errata sheet for the book that you may want to check, and the book also has online chapters that are used in the course. You need the code printed in your book to access them.

This book is shared with the Cryptography course. The book is to a large extent followed during the lectures, but some topics are missing or not deep enough so additional material is used in some lectures, see reading list below.

It is also possible to use the book Network Security Essentials, also by William Stallings. It contains the same chapters but the cryptography part is omitted. Although it is almost half the size, the price is almost the same as for the full book. The book is also available as an e-book, ISBN 978-0-273-79376-2.

Learning objectives

Learning objectives:

  • Have a good understanding of how applications can communicate securely and what tools and protocols exist in order to offer different levels of security
  • Have detailed knowledge and the ability to critically analyze and design secure networks, applications and systems
  • Have a fundamental understanding of what makes systems vulnerable and be able to predict new attack methods before they become a reality
  • Have enough knowledge to evaluate protocols and ability to draw conclusions about the level of security they can offer
  • Understand what impact the selection of different protocols and security architectures can have to an application or a system
  • Have an understanding of research work in the field by reading conference and research reports in related areas

Link to the syllabus on Studieportalen: Chalmers and GU


The examination will be in English and the grades are 3, 4, and 5 (for GU G, VG) and based on the exam. To pass the course, all laboratory work including a written report must be passed. No material is allowed at the exam except for an English dictionary in paper form (i.e. no electronic aids).

Signing up for written hall examinations is mandatory in order to be able allowed to take the exam. This is done in Ladok and can only be done during the sign-up period. Sign-up is mandatory to be allowed to enter the examination hall. GU-students find more information here and Chalmers-students here.

Examination dates 2019/20 are:

  • June 3, 2019   08:30 - 12:30    M building
  • Aug 30, 2019   14:00 - 18:00
  • Oct 11,  2019   14:00 - 18:00  (Friday afternoon)

    Course summary:

    Date Details Due