General Information

Instructor Matt Bishop; office: 3059 Kemper Hall; phone: 752-8060
Email:; web:
Office hours: to be arranged, by appointment or by chance
Lectures TuTh 9:00-10:20AM in 3 Temporary Classroom
Discussion Sections F4:10PM-5:00PM in 166 Chemistry
Course Outline Introduce basic ideas of computer security; present security issues involving the web, systems, and programs; teach you how to be a "critical consumer" of security products
Course Goals Some goals we hope you achieve:
  1. learn what computer security is;
  2. learn how to write a program without common security problems;
  3. learn how to evaluate the security of a system or program;
  4. learn how about Internet security; and
  5. see how security arises in everyday life.
Prerequisites The prerequisites for this course are ECS 30 or equivalent programming skills, and Math 21C.
Text none; papers and other material given out in class
Computers All registered students have been given an account on the computer science instructional machines in the basement. If you have not done so already, please change your password from the default as soon as you can. If it is not changed within a week, your account will be disabled and you will have to see a system programmer to have it reset.
Class Web Site The class web site is on MyUCDavis. To access it, go to and log in using your campus-wide login and password. Then go to ECS 155 in your schedule. Handouts and other documents will be posted there. I will also post announcements there, too.
If you do not have access to MyUCDavis, you can go to the alternate web site at You can download the handouts from that site, but you cannot look at your grades there.
Class Newsgroup Information about this class, homework assignments, and so forth, will be posted to the newsgroup ucd.class.ecs155. Read this newsgroup daily! I'll use it to put out important information. Please do not post to this newsgroup. If you want to post things about the class, please use the appropriate discussion newsgroup (ucd.class.ecs155.d). Discussing something in that newsgroup is perfectly fair.
Homework All work is due at 11:55PM on the date stated on the homework, unless otherwise stated. See the handout All About Homework for more information.
Extra Credit Extra credit in this course will be tallied separately from regular scores. If you end up on a borderline between two grades at the end of the course, extra credit will count in your favor. However, failure to do 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!
25% Homework25% Midterm exam
25% Programs25% Final exam
Exams Midterm -- Tuesday, November 1, 2005 in class
Final -- Tuesday, December 13, 2005, 10:30AM-12:30PM
These are open handout/open notes exams. 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 mine). In particular, forgetting the time or place of an exam is not an excuse for missing it!

Academic Integrity

Please see the Fall 2005 Class Schedule and Room Directory for a general discussion of this. In particular, for this course:
  • All work submitted for credit must be your own. You may discuss your assignments with classmates, with instructors, or with teaching assistants or readers in the course to get ideas or a critique of your ideas, but the ideas and words you submit must be your own. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, collaboration is considered cheating and will be dealt with accordingly.
  • For written homework, you must write up your own solutions and may neither read nor copy another student's solutions.
  • For programs, you must create and type in your own code and document it yourself. Note that you are free to seek help while debugging a program once it is written.

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 me for clarification beforehand if the above rules are not clear.

Here is a PDF version of this document.