Homework 1

Due: April 5, 2016
Points: 40


Remember to justify your answers where appropriate.

  1. (10 points) In discussion section, you will be given a pre-class survey to complete during the section. This survey asks you questions about robust coding. Please answer the questions as best you can. The answers will not be graded! Our goal is to see where the gaps are, and to tailor parts of the class to focus on that material.

    Also, the teacher will not be told individuals’ scores; he will simply be told whether you took the survey. He will also be told the overall results, but not any individual results.

    Thus, you will either receive full credit for this question, or no credit.

  2. (10 points) Please go to the “Tests and Quizzes” section of the class page in SmartSite and do the first quiz. It asks you to list 5 topics that you would like to hear about in this class.

  3. (20 points) This assignment tries to put you in the right frame of mind for the human element of computer security.

    Please select any non-computer science book or movie that takes a point of view and twists it unexpectedly. The twist may be an invalidation of an assumption, exploiting a weakness in a system, an unusual view of a situation that reveals something previously unknown, or that shows the situation is not as it seems. Then, write at most 1 page, about the twist and how it relates to the assumptions that characters in the book or movie (or the readers or viewers) make, as well as how the twist illustrates the (mis)placement of trust.

    Please use proper English when writing your paragraphs. Remember that we may not have read the book or seen the movie, so review as much as necessary for us to understand the nature of the twist.

Extra Credit

  1. (20 points) An organization makes each lead system administrator responsible for the security of the system he or she runs. However, the management determines what programs are to be on the system and how they are to be configured.
    1. Describe the security problem(s) that this division of power would create.
    2. How would you fix them?

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Matt Bishop
Office: 2209 Watershed Sciences
Phone: +1 (530) 752-8060
Email: mabishop@ucdavis.edu
ECS 153, Computer Security
Version of March 28, 2016 at 11:26PM

You can also obtain a PDF version of this.