EECS 765, Fall 2019

Introduction to Cryptography and Computer Security

Course Goals

The overall goal of the course is to provide a solid theoretical foundation and hands-on experience in applying the theory to practice for cryptography, computer and communication security. The course materials cover common attack techniques, application of cryptography in security, authentication and authorization, network security, enterprise network defense, web security, and economics of cybersecurity. Besides the mechanisms for enhancing security that will be taught, a significant part of the course is dedicated to discussions on how design flaws in a system can be exploited to compromise security and, in general, the circumstances that lead to things going wrong. Students will have the opportunity to work on course projects that cover both the defense and offense aspects in the cyber space. Interesting research topics may be derived from course projects.

Course Schedule

Updated on a regular basis. Use your KU Online ID (all numeric is not correct) and password to access the slides and other materials.

Aug 27, 2019 Lecture 1


Supplemental readings:
  • (Optional) Textbook: M. Bishop. 2019. Computer Security, 2nd Edition - Chapter 1
slides, video
Aug 29, 2019 Lecture 2

Buffer Overflow Exploit
The source code getscore.c The sample score file score.txt
Supporting older ciphers and key exchange protocols on newer SSH clients.
Virtual machine used in the demonstration redhat8.

Supplemental readings:
slides, video
Sep 3, 2019 Lecture 3

Buffer Overflow Exploit (continued)

Supplemental readings:
Sep 5, 2019 Programming Assignment 1 (Lecture 4) Remote Buffer Overflow Attack pa1, video
Sep 10, 2019 Lecture 5 Mitigation of Buffer Overflow Exploits slides, video
Sep 12, 2019 Lecture 6

Mitigation of Buffer Overflow Exploits (continued)

Reading Assignment Evaluation Sheet

Reading assignment 1 (Group 1): The Geometry of Innocent Flesh on the Bone:
Return-into-libc without Function Calls (on the x86).

Reading Assignment 2 (Group 2): Hacking Blind.

Supplemental readings:
slides, video
Sep 17, 2019 Lecture 7

Basic Cryptography

Reading assignment 3 (Group 3): Framing Signals - A Return to Portable Shellcode.

Reading Assignment 4 (Group 4): ASLR-Guard: Stopping Address Space Leakage for Code Reuse Attacks.

Supplemental readings:
  • (Optional) Textbook: M. Bishop. 2019. Computer Security, 2nd Edition - Chapter 10
slides, video
Sep 19, 2019 Lecture 8


Supplemental readings:
  • (Optional) Textbook: M. Bishop. 2019. Computer Security, 2nd Edition - Chapter 13
slides, video
Sep 24, 2019 Programming Assignment 2 (Lecture 9)

Windows Remote Buffer Overflow Attack

Reading assignment 5 (Group 5): Modeling and Discovering Vulnerabilities with Code Property Graphs.

Reading Assignment 6 (Group 6): Timely Rerandomization for Mitigating Memory Disclosures.

Reading Assignment 7 (Group 7): How to Make ASLR Win the Clone Wars: Runtime Re-Randomization.

Reading Assignment 8 (Group 8): Shuffler: fast and deployable continuous code re-randomization.

pa2, slides, video
Sep 26, 2019 Lecture 10

Practical Authentication Protocols

Supplemental readings:
slides, video
Oct 1, 2019 Lecture 11

Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

Reading assignment 9 (Group 9): FuzziFication: Anti-Fuzzing Techniques

Reading assignment 10 (Group 10): RAZOR: A Framework for Post-deployment Software Debloating

slides, video
Oct 3, 2019 Homework 1
(Lecture 12)

Authentication in a Distributed Environment (Kerberos)

Supplemental readings:
hw1, slides, video
Oct 8, 2019 Presentations
(Lecture 13)

Reading Assignment Presentations:

Reading Assignment 1 (Group 1): slides

Reading Assignment 2 (Group 2): slides

Oct 10, 2019 Presentations
(Lecture 14)

Reading Assignment Presentations:

Reading Assignment 3 (Group 3): slides

Reading Assignment 4 (Group 4): slides

Oct 15, 2019 Fall Break
(No Lecture)
Enjoy the break!
Oct 17, 2019 Programming Assignment 3
(Lecture 15)

Heap Buffer Overflow Attacks
The source code: heap.c
The exploit code: heap_exploit.c

Supplemental readings:
pa3, slides, hw1-feedback, video
Oct 22, 2019 Final Report
(Lecture 16)

Public-Key Infrastructure (PKI)

Final Report - Requirements, Guidelines, and Example Topics
Report Topics Due: Nov. 5, 2019
Final Report Due: Dec. 12, 2019

Supplemental readings:
final-report, slides, video
Oct 24, 2019 Lecture 17

Introduction to Network Security

Supplemental readings:
slides, video
Oct 29, 2019 Presentations
(Lecture 18)

Reading Assignment Presentations:

Reading Assignment 5 (Group 5): slides

Reading Assignment 6 (Group 6): slides

Oct 31, 2019 Lecture 19

Windows Exception Overwrite Attack

Supplemental readings:
slides, video
Nov 5, 2019 Programming Assignment 4
(Lecture 20)

Windows Exception Overwrite Attack (continued)

pa4, video
Nov 7, 2019 Lecture 21

DNS Security

Supplemental readings:
slides, video
Nov 12, 2019 Lecture 22

Return Oriented Programming
Virtual machine used in the demonstration Ubuntu-16-04LTS

Supplemental readings:
slides, video
Nov 14, 2019 Programming Assignment 5
(Lecture 23)
ROP and Heap Spray pa5, slides, video
Nov 19, 2019 Presentations
(Lecture 24)

Reading Assignment Presentations:

Reading Assignment 7 (Group 7): slides

Reading Assignment 8 (Group 8): slides

pa4-pa5 slides, video
Nov 21, 2019 Presentations
(Lecture 25)

Reading Assignment Presentations:

Reading Assignment 9 (Group 9): slides

Reading Assignment 10 (Group 10): slides

Nov 26, 2019 Lecture 26

No in-class lecture, please watch the recorded video

slides, video
Nov 28, 2018 Thanksgiving
(No Lecture)
Happy Thanksgiving!
Dec 3, 2019 Homework 2
(Lecture 27)
Software Vulnerabilities hw2, slides, video
Dec 5, 2019 Lecture 28

Discussion: Firewalls, PA5, and Final Report

slides, video
Dec 10, 2019 Lecture 29

Final Exam Review

slides, video
Dec 12, 2019 Final Report
(Lecture 30)

Advice and Q&A
Final Report Due: Today (Dec 12) at 11:59PM Central Time

slides, video
Dec 20, 2019 Final Exam

Friday 1:30 - 4:00 pm in LEA2111


Instructor and Course Meeting Times

Lectures Tuesday & Thursday 1:00pm - 2:15pm, LEA2111
Instructor Alex Bardas
Office: 2040 Eaton Hall
Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 2:30pm - 3:30pm, and by email appointment
: alexbardas ku edu
Grader Yousif Dafalla
Office: 3041 Eaton Hall
Office Hours: Monday 2:15pm - 3:15pm, and by email appointment
: yousif.dafalla ku edu


EECS 678 and (EECS 780 or EECS 563), or the instructor's approval. In other words, a basic understanding of computer systems, including operating systems, networking, compilers, data structures, etc. This is a course that is primarily targeted at graduate students and at junior/senior-level undergraduate students in computer science and computer engineering.

Optional Textbook

Matt Bishop. 2019 Computer Security [Art and Science], 2nd Edition. Addison-Wesley Professional.

Important Dates

See the KU Registrar for important dates involving adding, drops, and refund information.


There will be on average one assignment per week, which could be a written homework, a programming project, or a reading assignment. At the end of the semester, you must also turn in a final report that focuses on a specific problem in computer and information security. The topics for the report will be seeked out by the students and approved by the instructor. There will also be a final exam. The break down of the final score of the course is:
Programming assignments & homeworks 50%
Final exam 25%
Final report 15%
Class participation
(includes reading assignments)
Grading scheme. (The instructor also intends to curve raw scores at the end of the semester)
A 90% +
A- 88% - 89%
B+ 86% - 87%
B 80% - 85%
B- 78% - 79%
C+ 76% - 77%
C 70% - 75%
C- 60% - 69%
D/F   0% - 59%

Assignment Submission

Usually assignments are due at 11:59PM Central Time via Blackboard (unless otherwise specified) according to the date posted in the assignment. In general, expect a 20% per day penalty for late submissions. One minute or 23 hours still count as a whole late day. Each calendar day counts as a late day. In case a solution will be made available by the instructor, late submissions will no longer be accepted.

Student Outcomes

After successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

Academic Integrity

Cheating and plagiarism will not be tolerated and will be treated severely whenever found. Unless an assignment explicitly states otherwise, all work submitted for credit must be the student's own and is subject to the provisions of the University of Kansas policies. Sharing your work or copying is cheating, and submitting a work that is not all yours is also considered cheating. Any cheating activities will result in an F for the course for all parties involved. Reports of such detected academic misconduct will also be made to your major department, school/college, and university, which oftentimes will result in more serious sanctions. Students should review the university policy on Academic conduct. "Academic integrity is a central value in higher education. It rests on two principles: first, that academic work is represented truthfully as to its source and its accuracy, and second, that academic results are obtained by fair and authorized means. Academic misconduct occurs when these values are not respected. Academic misconduct at KU is defined in the University Senate Rules and Regulations." -- KU Student Affairs
From Section 2.6.1 of the University Senate Rules and Regulations: Academic misconduct by a student shall include, but not be limited to, disruption of classes; threatening an instructor or fellow student in an academic setting, giving or receiving of unauthorized aid on examinations or in the preparation of notebooks, themes, reports or other assignments; knowingly misrepresenting the source of any academic work; unauthorized change of grades; unauthorized use of University approvals or forging of signatures; falsification of research results, plagiarizing of another’s work; violation of regulations or ethical codes for the treatment of human and animal subjects; or otherwise acting dishonestly in research.

Citing Sources: If you use any code, such as a library or existing codebase, you must cite it. Not doing so is considered plagiarism and cheating.

See Lecture 1 slides and video for more details on the collaboration policy. If you are in doubt, please ask.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

The Academic Achievement & Access Center (AAAC) coordinates academic accommodations and services for all eligible KU students with disabilities. If you have a disability for which you wish to request accommodations and have not contacted the AAAC, please do so as soon as possible. They are located in 22 Strong Hall and can be reached at 785-864-4064 (V/TTY). More information can be found on the Student Access Services website. Please contact the instructor privately in regard to your needs in this course.

Expectation of Classroom Conduct

The instructor, Alexandru G. Bardas, considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. Activities within the University of Kansas community, including this course, are governed by the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities. It is the instructor's expectation that ALL students experience this classroom as a safe environment.

Concealed Carry. Individuals who choose to carry concealed handguns are solely responsible to do so in a safe and secure manner in strict conformity with state and federal laws and KU weapons policy. Safety measures outlined in the KU weapons policy specify that a concealed handgun:

Notice of Copyright and Commercial Note-taking

All lectures and course materials carry a copyright of several authors, including Xinming Ou and Alexandru G. Bardas. Some additional content is adapted from the BlackHat Exploit Laboratory (thanks to Saumil Shah and S.K. Chong for kindly permitting the use of those materials in this course). Pursuant to the University of Kansas’ Policy on Commercial Note-Taking Ventures, commercial note-taking is not permitted in EECS 765 - Introduction to Cryptography and Computer Security (Fall 2019). Lecture notes and course materials may be taken for personal use, for the purpose of mastering the course material, and may not be sold to any person or entity in any form. Any student engaged in or contributing to the commercial exchange of notes or course materials will be subject to discipline, including academic misconduct charges, in accordance with University policy. Please note: note-taking provided by a student volunteer for a student with a disability, as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA, is not the same as commercial note-taking and is not covered under this policy.


The course materials are adapted from a previous version of the course taught by Xinming (Simon) Ou together with Xiaolong (Daniel) Wang. Some additional materials are adapted from the BlackHat Exploit Laboratory (thanks to Saumil Shah and S.K. Chong who kindly permit the use of their materials).