Skip Navigation

Course Details

Course Details

Course Code: ISSC461 Course ID: 2644 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

This course is a study of Network Security attacks and countermeasures. This course examines various security technologies, such as: intrusion detection, authentication, session hijacking, sniffing, spoofing, denial of service, buffer overflow attack, port scanning, encryption, IPSec, DES encryption, triple DES encryption, message digest 5 algorithm, point-to-point tunneling protocol (PPTP), layer 2 tunneling protocol (L2TP), Kerberos, RSA Pretty Good Privacy(PGP), Secure Shell (SSH), Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI), Network Address Translation (NAT), proxies, content filters, public/private keys, Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), Virtual Private Networks (VPN), security policies, security tokens, digital certificates, viruses, worms, Trojan horses, virus scanners, virus protection, vulnerability assessment, and vulnerability scanners.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
08/31/20 - 01/29/21 02/01/21 - 03/28/21 Winter 2021 Session I 8 Week session
09/28/20 - 02/26/21 03/01/21 - 04/25/21 Winter 2021 Session D 8 Week session
10/26/20 - 04/02/21 04/05/21 - 05/30/21 Spring 2021 Session B 8 Week session
11/30/20 - 04/30/21 05/03/21 - 06/27/21 Spring 2021 Session I 8 Week session
12/28/20 - 06/04/21 06/07/21 - 08/01/21 Spring 2021 Session D 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

The successful student will fulfill the following learning objectives:

  1. Evaluate the various types of security attacks and exploits.
  2. Examine the process used by hackers to launch an attack.
  3. Profile the various types of security policies; also appraise the domain, objective, and scope of each type of policy.
  4. Appraise various security technologies, such as packet filtering, Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI), proxy technology, Network Address Translation (NAT), Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) authentication, and encryption.
  5. Evaluate the concepts and the functionality of firewalls and routers.
  6. Illustrate how firewalls and routers can implement network security.
  7. Evaluate the goals, benefits, and strategies of VPNs as well as the scope, advantages, and limitations of the different types of VPNs.
  8. Assess the benefits, risks, and layered-defense architecture associated with wireless LANs.
  9. Evaluate the functionality, the features, and the limitations of Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS)
  10. Discuss the role of security assessments, penetration testing, and security plans in establishing network security.

Assignment Requirements

This course has a strong writing component. The goal is to organize, synthesize, and demonstrate your comprehension of core concepts investigated during this course by applying a combination of the terms, concepts, and details you have learned in a systematic way. As important as "the details" that you analyze and arrange in your writing, however, are the conclusions you draw from those details, and your predictions, responses to, and ultimate interpretation of those details.

Forum Postings:

Each week a Forum question will be provided for a discussion of the week's readings. A specific assignment for posting on the Forum will be announced each week. The assignments may involve discussion or debate. The number of postings required each week will vary and will be announced in the assignment for the week. In most cases, you will be required to post at least one original post and two follow-ups to your classmates' posts.

Your first post each week must be posted by Wednesday at midnight EST. Please try not to be late with this post because your classmates will be relying on you to post on time to give them a post to respond to later in the week. All follow-up posts must be posted by Sunday at midnight EST.

Research Paper:

You will be required to write one research paper this semester. The specifications are as follows:

  1. 8-10 pages (double-spaced) Times New Roman 12 pt font.
  2. Choose any topic related to the course and write about the latest developments and issues.
  3. Use at least five references outside of your textbook (you may use your textbook too, but are not required to).
  4. In addition to the required number of pages for the assignment, you must also Include a reference page (bibliography), written in APA style and a title page. Be sure to give all of your papers a descriptive title!
  5. You must get your topic approved by the end of Week 2.
  6. You must provide a 1-page outline of your paper by the end of Week 3. Your outline must include citations to three references (other than your textbook) and a brief summary of at least three references that you will use in your paper.
  7. You must submit a rough draft at the end of Week 5. This is to be a complete paper, meeting the page requirements – not a partially completed paper. Points will be deducted for short or incomplete papers. Your rough draft will not be graded by the rubric, but helpful feedback will be provided to indicate where you are falling short. You may correct any deficiencies before resubmitting your final draft at the end of Week 7.
  8. Typewritten in double-spaced format with a readable style and font and submitted inside the electronic classroom (unless classroom access is not possible and other arrangements have been approved by the professor).
  9. Page margins Top, Bottom, Left Side and Right Side = 1 inch, with reasonable accommodation being made for special situations
  10. Your paper must be in your own words, representing original work. Paraphrases of others’ work must include attributions to the authors. Limit quotations to an average of no more than 3-5 lines, and use quotations sparingly! It is always better to paraphrase than to directly quote.

Attack Project Paper

Vulnerability and Attack Analysis Plan

For this course you will assess an organization, collect information, pinpoint vulnerabilities and come up with an attack plan that should work in theory. This project is not meant to be carried out but is meant to build a plan that will be used without actually taking the steps to perform the attack.

This project will be performed in two phases, the first will be an outline of the plan with a summary of tasks to be completed. The second is a group paper that will reveal all of the details of the attack.

The Outline of the Attack Plan

Develop an attack plan that covers these criteria:

  1. Choose a company/organization for analysis/attack.
  2. Give summary information about the organization. Remember, you have to think like an intruder – what information do you think would be relevant?
  3. Find tools on the web that could help you find information about systems/networks, etc. that could be used to find vulnerable points. Remember, you have to find this info, use tools to look for more information and vulnerabilities that you could exploit. Name these tools and what they can do to help.
  4. Is social engineering an option here? What methods could you use to gather sensitive information? What questions might you ask? What kind of messages could you send? What are some physical security flaws (if any) do you think would be an option or not relevant?
  5. This outline can be presented in a PowerPoint presentation, complete with illustrations, and references. For illustrations, screenshots can be used to display various techniques you might employ.
  6. This presentation should be at least 12-15 slides, any style you wish and must have references to information you use. Keep in mind, this is not meant to be very detailed, this is just an outline of the plan. The details will go in the paper.

The Paper

The Attack Project Paper will be like a report of the analysis and attack strategy.

  1. First you will report the information you gathered on the organization.
  2. Then you will list the tools, give a details description of each and give a description of how you used it.
  3. What sort of attacks would work in this case? Give some examples and how you would carry them out.
  4. What social engineering and physical security aspects were discovered/devised? Give a detailed explanation.
  5. With all of these methods for finding information, using it to gain access to the organizations systems; what methods could you employ to help secure these vulnerabilities? What suggestions would you make to the organization if you were a penetration tester?

This paper is not a traditional paper since it will look more like a report. However, make sure you format the paper in this way:

  1. Title page with the name of the course, name of the project, student’s name, date and any other relevant information.
  2. Give a summary of what we are about to read (this is like an abstract)
  3. Make sure to include a table of contents.
  4. Label the criteria in sections to break it up and organize the paper.
  5. Make sure to have a reference page.
NameGrade %
Forums 32.00 %
Week 1 Forum 4.00 %
Week 2 Forum 4.00 %
Week 3 Forum 4.00 %
Week 4 Forum 4.00 %
Week 5 Forum 4.00 %
Week 6 Forum 4.00 %
Week 7 Forum 4.00 %
Week 8 Forum 4.00 %
Research Paper Topic 1.00 %
Week 1: Research Paper Topic 1.00 %
Research Paper - Outline 4.00 %
Week 3: Research Paper Outline 4.00 %
Attack Project Presentation 15.00 %
Week 4: Attack Project Presentation 15.00 %
Research Paper Draft 8.00 %
Week 5: Research Paper Rough Draft 8.00 %
Research Paper 20.00 %
Week 7: Research Paper 20.00 %
Attack Project Paper 20.00 %
Week 8: Attack Project Paper 20.00 %

The VitalSource e-book is provided via the APUS Bookstore. Please visit for more information.

Selected Bibliography

Bejtlich, R. (2005). Extrusion detection: security monitoring for internal intrusions. Boston: Addison-Wesley Professional.

Bejtlich, R. (2004). The Tao of network security monitoring: beyond intrusion detection. Boston: Addison-Wesley Professional.

Crothers, T. (2002). Implementing intrusion detection systems: a hands-on guide for securing the network. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Endorf, C., Schultz, G., & Mellander, J. (2003). Intrusion detection and prevention. Emeryville, CA: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media.

Holden, G. (2003). Guide to firewalls and network security: intrusion detection and VPNs. Boston: Course Technology.

Jones, K., Bejtlich, R., & Rose, C. (2005). Real digital forensics: computer security and incident response. Boston: Addison-Wesley Professional.

Kruegel, C., Valeur, F., & Vigna, G. (2004). Intrusion detection and correlation: challenges and solutions. New York: Springer.

Northcutt, S., & Novak, J. (2002). Network intrusion detection. 3rd ed. Indianapolis, IN: Sams.

Northcutt, S., Zeltser, L., Winters , S., & Fredrick, K. (2002). Inside network perimeter security: the definitive guide to firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), routers, and intrusion detection systems. Indianapolis, IN: Sams.

Tulloch, M. (2003). Microsoft encyclopedia of security. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Press.

Book Title:Analyzing Computer Security: A Threat/Vulnerability/Countermeasure Approach - e-book available in the APUS Online Library
Publication Info:Pearson Lib
Unit Cost:$115.00

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.