The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Security Engineering Related ECE Courses

ECE 547/647: Security Engineering (UG/G) — This course surveys recent advances in Security Engineering, and provides  examples drawn from recent research at UMASS and elsewhere.  Security Engineering is a multi-disciplinary field combining technical aspects of Applied Cryptography, Computer Engineering, and Networking as well as issues from Psychology, Sociology, Policy and Economics. Several guest lectures will be presented by experts in these disciplines. The graduate version 647 will involve a more extensive and sophisticated project while the undergraduate version 547 will be more of a survey course with an implementation project.

ECE 544/644: Trustworthy Computing (UG/G) — The Internet age of universal electronic connectivity is vital for every aspect of our lives and our economy. It enables businesses, transportation, electronic banking, health records, as well as entertainment. To maintain the integrity of the Internet, it is vital to protect and defend this infrastructure from malicious viruses, worms, eavesdropping, electronic fraud, denial-of-service attacks etc. In this course we introduce the fundamentals of network security as well as provide a practical survey of network security applications and standards as implemented on the Internet and for corporate networks.

ECE 556/656: Introduction to Cryptography (UG/G) — A course on the theory and practice of cryptography. The main focus is on how crypto algorithms and protocols work, and how they can be applied in the real world. The topics to be covered include: Stream ciphers and pseudo-random number generators; Symmetric ciphers: Data Encryption Standard (DES) and Advanced Encryption Standard (AES); Public-key cryptography; Asymmetric algorithms: RSA, ElGamal and Elliptic curves; Digital signatures and Message Authentication codes; Hash functions, security services and key distribution; Side-channel attacks on cryptographic systems.

ECE 591CF: Cybersecurity Lecture Series — This course is a one-credit seminar on security research across departments at UMass. Each presentation will cover an active research topic at UMass in a way that assumes only a basic background in security. External speakers may also be invited. Note that this course is not intended to be an introduction to cybersecurity, and will not teach the fundamentals of security in a way that would be useful as a foundation for future security coursework. The intended audience is graduate and advanced undergraduate students, as well as faculty. Meets with CS/MATH 591CF. May be taken repeatedly for credit up to 2 times. This course does not count toward any requirements for the EE or CSE major or minor.

ECE 396F/696F: Embedded Capture the Flag (UG/G) — MITRE's eCTF (embedded capture-the-flag) is an embedded security competition that puts participants through the experience of trying to create a secure system and then learning from their mistakes. The main target is a real physical embedded device, which opens the scope of the challenge to include physical/proximal access attacks. The eCTF is a two-phase competition with attack and defense components. In the first phase, competitors design and implement a secure system based on a set of challenge requirements. The second phase involves analyzing and attacking the other teams’ designs.

ECE 371: Introduction to Security Engineering (UG) with Lab and Honors section — This novel course presents an introduction to the topic of security engineering by building on  analytical and experimental computer engineering techniques, and then applying them to security problems.  Security is playing an increasing role in computer engineering and society at large. Security engineering crosses several disciplines of computer engineering including hardware, software, cryptography, experimental methods as well as broader topics such as management, economics, risk analysis, policy and human factors. A junior-level course in security engineering provides early exposure to these topics, giving an example of the value and techniques of multi-disciplinary study. It also provides an exciting and motivating topic for students of all backgrounds with a very compelling career path. The Honors section 371H focuses on Machine Learning security issues.