General Information


Matt Bishop
Office: 2209 Watershed Sciences
Phone: (530) 752-8060
Office Hours: W 9:00am–9:50am, Th 4:10–5:00pm, F 12:10pm–1:00pm

Teaching Assistants

Yeh-Cheng Chen, Email:
Office: 55 Kemper Hall
Office Hours: Tu 1:10pm–4:00pm
    Jonathan Vronsky, Email:
Office: 55 Kemper Hall
Office Hours: M 1:10pm–3:00pm, W 10:00am–10:50am


TuTh 19:00am–10:20am in 106 Wellman

Discussion Sections

ECS 153-A01: W 3:10pm–4:00pm in 108 Hoagland (Yeh-Cheng Chen)
ECS 153-A02: F 1:10pm–2:00pm in 1006 Giedt (Jonathan Vronsky)
ECS 153-A03: W 2:10pm–3:00pm in 166 Chemistry (Yeh-Cheng Chen)

Course Outline

Introduce principles, mechanisms, and implementations of computer security; learn how attacks work, how to defend against them, and how to design systems to withstand them

Course Goals

Some goals we hope you achieve:


The prerequisites for this course are ECS 150, Operating Systems, and ECS 152A, Computer Networks. Students who have not taken these courses are at a serious disadvantage in this class, and will be dropped unless the instructor approves them taking the class. To make your case, please email the instructor a letter stating which prerequisite you are missing and why it should be waived (for example, you have experience in networking but never took ECS 152A).


There is no text. Chapters of a textbook being updated will be made available on SmartSite.


All registered students have been given an account on the computer science instructional machines in the basement (the Computer Science Instructional Facility, CSIF).

Class Web Site

The class web site is on SmartSite. To access it, go to and log in using your campus login and password. Then go to ECS 153 in your schedule. Announcements, assignments, handouts, and grades will be posted there, and you must submit assignments there. The alternate web site, has everything except grades, and you cannot submit work there.


All homework is due at 11:55pm on the date stated on the homework, unless otherwise specified. The handout All About Homework discusses homework.

Extra Credit

Extra credit is tallied separately from regular scores. It counts in your favor if you end up on a borderline between two grades at the end of the course. But, not doing extra credit will never be counted against you, because grades are assigned on the basis of regular scores. You should do extra credit if you find it interesting and think that it might teach you something. Remember, though, it is not wise to skimp on the regular assignment in order to do extra credit!


Midterm: Thursday, April 28 in class
Final: Wednesday, June 8 at 10:30am–12:30am
These will be open book/open notes exams (but no computers are allowed). No early or late exam will be given; if you miss an exam for medical reasons (you must document this; no other excuses are acceptable), you may be allowed or required to take a make-up exam, or the other parts of the course will be counted proportionally more (the choice is the instructor’s). In particular, forgetting the time or place of an exam is not an excuse for missing it!


Homework     50%
Midterm Exam     25%
Final Exam     25%

Academic Integrity

The UC Davis Code of Academic Conduct, available at, applies to this class. In particular, for this course: A good analogy between appropriate discussion and inappropriate collaboration is the following: you and a fellow student work for competing software companies developing different products to meet a given specification. You and your competitor might choose to discuss product specifications and general techniques employed in your products, but you certainly would not discuss or exchange proprietary information revealing details of your products. Ask the instructor for clarification beforehand if the above rules are not clear.
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Matt Bishop
Office: 2209 Watershed Sciences
Phone: +1 (530) 752-8060
ECS 153, Computer Security
Version of March 29, 2016 at 12:12AM

You can also obtain a PDF version of this.