ECEN 5014 Computer Security & Privacy

Winter 2016

Course info

In this course, we will discuss and read papers on a wide range of systems security topics including: anonymity, application security, cryptocurrencies, government surveillance, physical security, private communication, side-channel attacks, and more.

Location: ECEE 1B32
Time: Tue/Thu 6:30pm - 7:45pm
Professor: Eric Wustrow <> ECOT 352
Office Hours: Wed 1-2pm or by appointment


This course will include reading 3-4 papers per week, with written reviews and in-class discussion on the topics. Each student must complete an open-ended final project on a security topic, with the goal of submitting it to a computer security conference or workshop. In addition, each student must pick and present a security tool, trick or attack during the semester.

Paper reviews

For each paper we read, please submit a short (~100-200 word) summary that describes the paper, and some of your comments about the paper; for example, insights, questions, future directions, or what lessons are learned, etc. Please send these to with the subject "5014 reading", and include your review as inline text in the email. It's ok to include both reviews in the same email, just make the separation clear.

Final Project

Each group will give a 10-15 minute presentation in class (Tue, Apr 26), describing what problem they are solving, how they solved it, and anything they plan to do by the due date of the final project. There will be a couple minutes for Q&A for each group. Final papers will be due Friday, Apr 29Tuesday, May 3, 11:59PM MDT. Please submit papers in USENIX format as a single PDF, 5-8 pages in length, including references.

In-class presentations

Each student will pick a topic (or propose a new one!) and present it to the class. Presentations should be 10-15 minutes, and we will have a short Q&A session. Send your top 2 choices to me ( by class on Thursday, Jan 14.


Date Topic Readings
Tue, Jan 12 Crypto No reading

Crypto Notes
Thu, Jan 14 Crypto The Moral Character of Cryptographic Work Rogaway
No response required
Tue, Jan 19 Crypto Failures TLS presentation

Null Prefix Attack Marlinspike

Lucky Thirteen: Breaking the TLS and DTLS Record Protocols AlFardan and Paterson
Thu, Jan 21 Crypto Failures The Most Dangerous Code in the World: Validating SSL Certificates in Non-Browser Software Georgiev, Iyengar, Jana, Anubhai, Boneh, and Shmatikov

Imperfect Forward Secrecy: How Diffie-Hellman Fails in Practice Adrian, Bhargavan, Durumeric, Gaudry, Green, Halderman, Heninger, Springall, Thomé, Valenta, VanderSloot, Wustrow, Zanella-Béguelin, and Zimmermann
Tue, Jan 26 Web Tracking Third-Party Web Tracking: Policy and Technology Mayer and Mitchell
Thu, Jan 28 Web Tracking "You Might Also Like:" Privacy Risks of Collaborative Filtering Calandrino, Kilzer, Narayanan, Felten, and Shmatikov

Selling Off Privacy at Auction Olejnik, Minh-Dung, and Castelluccia
Tue, Feb 2 Anonymity Dining cryptographers networks presentation

Tor: The Second-Generation Onion Router Dingledine, Mathewson, and Syverson

Users Get Routed: Traffic Correlation on Tor by Realistic Adversaries Johnson, Wacek, Jansen, Sherr, and Syverson
Thu, Feb 4 Anonymity/Censorship Examining How the Great Firewall Discovers Hidden Circumvention Servers Ensafi, Fifield, Winter, Feamster, Weaver, and Paxson

Scramblesuit: A Polymorphic Network Protocol to Circumvent Censorship Winter, Pulls, and Fuss
Tue, Feb 9 Anticensorship DNS tunneling presentation

Protocol Misidentifcation Made Easy with Format-Transforming Encryption Dyer, Coull, Ristenpart, and Shrimpton

StegoTorus: A Camouflage Proxy for the Tor Anonymity System Weinberg, Wang, Yegneswaran, Briesemeister, Cheung, Wang, and Boneh
Thu, Feb 11 Anticensorship Telex: Anticensorship in the Network Infrastructure Wustrow, Wolchok, Goldberg, and Halderman

Blocking-resistant communication through domain fronting Fifield, Lan, Hynes, Wegmann, and Paxson
Tue, Feb 16 No class No class - go see Edward Snowden speak instead!
Thu, Feb 18 Network Security Increased DNS Forgery Resistance Through 0x20-Bit Encoding Dagon, Antonakakis, Vixie, Jinmei, and Lee

Your Botnet is My Botnet: Analysis of a Botnet Takeover Stone-Gross, Cova, Cavallaro, Gilbert, Szydlowski, Kemmerer, Kruegel, and Vigna
Tue, Feb 23 Application Security Application Security presentation

Smashing the Stack for Fun and Profit Aleph One

The Geometry of Innocent Flesh on the Bone: Return-into-libc without Function Calls (on the x86) Shacham
Thu, Feb 25 Web Security Web security presentation

I Still Know What You Visited Last Summer: Leaking browsing history via user interaction and side channel attacks Weinberg, Chen, Jayarman, and Jackson

Protecting Browsers from DNS Rebinding Attacks Jackson, Barth, Bortz, Shao, and Boneh
Tue, Mar 1 Secure Communication Off-the-Record Communication, or, Why Not To Use PGP Borisov, Goldberg, and Brewer

SoK: Secure Messaging Unger, Dechand, Bonneau, Fahl, Perl, Goldberg, and Smith
Thu, Mar 3 Data at Rest Lest We Remember: Cold Boot Attacks on Encryption Keys Halderman, Schoen, Heninger, Clarkson, Paul, Calandrino, Feldman, Appelbaum, and Felten
Tue, Mar 8 Usability Why Johnny Can't Encrypt: A Usability Evaluation of PGP 5.0 Whitten and Tygar

Alice in Warningland: A Large-Scale Field Study of Browser Security Warning Effectiveness Akhawe and Felt
Thu, Mar 10 Final Project Proposals
Tue, Mar 15 Government Backdoors Post-Quantum Crypto presentation

On the Practical Exploitability of Dual EC in TLS Implementations Checkoway, Fredrikson, Niederhagen, Everspaugh, Green, Lange, Ristenpart, Bernstein, Maskiewicz, and Shacham

Keys under doormats Abelson, Anderson, Bellovin, Benaloh, Blaze, Diffie, Gilmore, Green, Landau, Neumann, Rivest, Schiller, Schneier, Specter, and Weitzner
Thu, Mar 17 Government Threats Decoding the Summer of Snowden Sanchez

W32.Stuxnet Dossier Falliere, Murchu, and Chien
Tue, Mar 22 No Class Spring Break
Thu, Mar 24 No Class Spring Break
Tue, Mar 29 Hardware Security Stealthy Dopant-Level Hardware Trojans Becker, Regazzoni, Paar, and Burleson

Designing and implementing malicious hardware King, Tucek, Cozzie, Grier, Jiang, and Zhou
Thu, Mar 31 The Cloud Hey, You, Get Off of My Cloud! Exploring Information Leakage in Third-Party Compute Clouds Ristenpart, Tromer, Shacham, and Savage
Tue, Apr 5 Theoretical Privacy Oblivious RAM presentation

Differential Privacy Dwork

Robust De-anonymization of Large Sparse Datasets Narayanan and Shmatikov
Thu, Apr 7 Medical Privacy Final project checkpoint due

Security and Privacy for Implantable Medical Devices Halperin, Heydt-Benjamin, Fu, Kohno, and Maisel
Tue, Apr 12 Cryptocurrency Bitcoin Nakamoto

Majority is not enough: Bitcoin mining is vulnerable Eyal and Sirer
Thu, Apr 14 Cryptocurrency Zero-knowledge proofs presentation

Zerocoin Miers, Garman, Green, and Rubin
Tue, Apr 19 Electromagnetics Emission Security Anderson
Thu, Apr 21 Side Channels Remote Physical Device Fingerprinting Kohno, Broido, and Claffy

Get Your Hands Off My Laptop: Physical Side-Channel Key-Extraction Attacks On PCs Genkin, Pipman, and Tromer
Tue, Apr 26 Final Project Presentations
Thu, Apr 28 Physical Security Cryptology and Physical Security: Rights Amplification in Master-Keyed Mechanical Locks Blaze