University of Southern California


CS530L - Security Systems
lab component
David Morgan

see "Syllabus" link for email address

German "Enigma" cryptographic device




Lab policies

Student lab times

CS530 main class

DETER net testbed
  get/use an account

a vi cheat sheet


Cryptography & Key Mgmt



Application security

Packet sniffing

Firewalls (DETER)

Intrusion detection

Arp spoofing (DETER)

Tunnels and vpns (DETER)

Computer forensics (DETER)





FALL 2016
lecture 4:30p - 5:20p Fri OHE122

Until recent years, information systems security was the limited focus of the military and the financial communities. With the recent explosive growth and merging of telecommunications and computing, security has become an integral element of any reliable and robust information systems environment. This class will cover information systems security at the graduate level. Students should have a basic understanding of networking and operating systems prior to attending the class.

Calendar adjustments for midterm - you will be free of lab activity, and lab lecture, during the week of your midterm exam. It's scheduled for October 7, two weeks from today. Next Friday as usual I will lecture on the upcoming topic, packet sniffing. But then afterward we will hold no labs in the midterm week. Performing the packet sniffing lab will be deferred till the week of October 10. Also deferred will be my lecture on the topic after that, I will not give it on October 7 but rather October 14. (9/23)

DETER accounts - will be created. DETER is a remote network testbed. Several of the remaining labs will be done on that platform (meaning you will not attend the OHE412 lab physically in those weeks). Account creation auto-generates an email message advising you what your user account name and initial password will be. You need to change the password upon first use, and DETER needs that to be done within 72 hours. Please be on the lookout for such an email message and follow its instructions. Please see the links at left under the heading "DETER net testbed." (9/23)

Wednesday lab students - may download this file to help them do the authentication exercise on a plain vanilla copy of kali linux, as explained in an email sent to you today. (9/18)

RSA key size recommendations - are given in a link that appeared on my slides. That link has been superseded. by  this one, should you be interested.
NSA key size recommendations were newly published in January by NSA's Information Assurance Directorate. Encryptioni technologies' adequacy depends on key lengths. It diminishes as computers become faster and altogether new computing technologies emerge. NSA is anticipating, in particular, the maturation of quantum computing and its effect on public-key cryptography.
Student Glenn Johnson researched this and called it to our attention. (9/18)

Email filter rule keywords used for managing the 10 reports you submit are:


for the respective labs we do over 10 weeks. Please be sure to embed these keywords in the titles of the email messages in which you will submit your work. (9/9)

Lab timeslot assignments, version 2 - can be viewed at the link entitled "Student lab times" at left. Thank you for your messages and input. I have tried to put all students in a feasible timeslot, but it's probably not perfect. Please let me know if we need further adjustments. (9/5)

My RSA lecture available online - Here are online slides, with my narration,  from the portion of today's lecture covering the steps and math of the RSA algorithm. They are closely related to the lab activity you'll do next week. You may listen to them if you like (it would definitely help) before coming to the lab next week. (9/2)

Lab timeslot assignments - can be viewed at the link entitled "Student lab times" at left. Please check them for sanity and let me know of any anolamies. (9/1)
  - meetings start next week. No Friday meetings will be held this afternoon.
  - handling changes to this list - will be done on a batch basis, rather than one-by-one whenever I receive individual requests. I have received change requests already. I will let them accumulate, then address them all together possibly on the weekend or early next week, then re-publish a final list thereafter. If you have a reaction to your lab slot assignment please communicate it to me now. Please I do not want to hear requests for a different timeslot than the one you got, if you offered the one you got on the web form in the first place (i.e., please don't tell me you changed your mind; if I can't trust what you told me I can't trust what you tell me). (9/2)

Please see me - bokka, jha, mohammed, narasimha, ramaswamy, sidhwani
You have expressed availability for only a single lab timeslot among the seven choices, and that timeslot has been eliminated (will not be held). 

Also - ma, rohela
All of the timeslots for which you have expressed availability have been eliminated. 

Please let me know your availability for the four timeslots that will be held:

Wed 12:00
Thu 12:00
Fri 13:30
Fri 15:00

so that I can try to place you. (9/1)

Online student availability questionnaire is up    at

Please go there and express your schedule availability for labs. You will type in your name, but note the form only accepts names typed precisely as they appear on the student list I obtained from USC, which you can examine on the form. Look yourself up on that list and enter your name into the form. Please do so as soon as possible.This is version 0.1, please let me know if you find any problems. Thanks. (8/27)

Slides from today's lecture in color or greyscale.(8/26)

First homework tasks -
 1) check this website regularly in the next few days for announcement of availability of a web URL where you can indicate your timeslot availability. Respond as soon as possible please.
 2) as a tourist, visit the informational links listed at left under the heading "DETER net testbed". Gain initial familiarity with DETER at tourist level. We will arrange DETER accounts for you shortly.
 3) visit link at left entitled "Cryptography" under the heading "Labs." Our upcoming initial lab topic will be on the subject of cryptography. My lecture on the subject will be September 2, with corresponding lab exercise (the first one) performed the following week. (8/26)

Which machine do we use, for which lab? - the various lab activities were developed to work on one or another of the 4 virtual machines installed in the lab. The instructions for each lab should tell you on which platform to do it. As a matter of record, here are the platforms corresponding the activities.


The calendar is subject to later adjustment, which would be announced here and in lecture. (8/26)

Strong recommendation - each week, preview or scan (visually) the lab instructions in advance before your lab session. It will enable you to do the exercises more efficiently, with greater understanding, and ensure you can finish before the lab ends. (8/26)

Support questions - try the "Labs" category of the discussion board found on DEN/Blackboard for CS530. If it's a question of general interest (maybe somebody else has the same question in mind) put it there. Alternatively, or for more specifically personal questions, email address, shared by me and the lab graders. (8/26)

Your graders - Ankit Sultania and Nikita Padalia. Both took CS530 last year. Both are helpful and familiar with the lab exercises you will do. (8/26)

Lab location - room OHE406. The hardware-identical computers in this room have removable SSD drives. You will be assigned a drive. You will insert it in one of the computers when you arrive at the lab each week. You will put it in a locker afterward, where it will be stored for you until the following week's session. (8/26)

DEN students - most if not all of the lab exercises are performed in VMware virtual machines. We will make available images of the same vm's that are installed in the lab, for you to install on your machine. You will then be able to run that vm using VMware player, which is distributed free from The lab handouts (instructions) will be posted online, here on this website, weekly. I intend to distribute the vm images to you via download, details to be communicated to you by email. (These are not for the consumption of on-campus students.) (8/26)