Network Security

CS 254 – Winter 2024


Instructor: Emiliano De Cristofaro,
Credits: 4
Pre-Requisites:  Undergraduate Computer Security CS 165 or equivalent – not negotiable
Lectures: MoWe: 8:00–9:20AM, Spieth Hall 2200
Resources: Piazza for class material, discussions, etc.
Office hours:


This grad class covers foundational work and current topics in network security, introducing the security problems in the networking domain, attacks and defenses, vulnerabilities in various network protocols.

Topics include protocol security of various networking protocols and applications (e.g., DNS, SSL/TLS, BGP, etc.), and covers a few advanced topics such as vulnerabilities in modern Web applications, distributed denial of service, etc.

The class features a mix of lectures and student-led presentations based on research papers aimed at discussing classic/emerging network-level attacks and defenses, vulnerabilities in network protocols at various layers, and special topics such as Web privacy, Internet measurements, censorship, cybercrime.

Overall, students will gain a solid understanding of the fundamentals in network security.

Tentative Topic List

See the schedule and reading list for details (check back often). Please get in touch if you have questions or suggestions.



You will conduct a research project during the quarter. Students are encouraged to work in a small group of size 2 to 3. However, individual project is allowed and the output will be considered corresponding to that.

See the project page for details (check back often).

Ethics, Law, and University Policies

Please respect the rights and privacy of others. Be aware that Federal and State laws criminalize computer intrusion and wiretapping. When in doubt, ask me.

Also, see University of California Electronic Communications Policy