USQ LogoCourse specification
The current and official versions of the course specifications are available on the web at
Please consult the web for updates that may occur during the year.

CSC8421 Network Security

Semester 2, 2013 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Maths and Computing
Version produced : 21 July 2014

Contents on this page


Examiner: Hua Wang
Moderator: Ron Addie


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: MCOP or MPIT or MCOT or MCTE or MSSC or MENC or MEPR or MENS or METC or MSST

Other requisites

Recommended prior study: Know basics of programming in C, C++, Java, or other high level language such as obtained in the courses CSC1401 or CSC2402, or possess basic knowledge of any field related to cryptology.


Network security has become an important and challenging goal in the design of computer networks that involves all activities to protect the value and ongoing usability of assets and the integrity and continuity of operations. An effective network security strategy requires identifying threats and then choosing the most effective set of tools to combat them. This course provides students with key knowledge about the nature and challenges of network security, it covers theory and practice of computer security, focusing in particular on the security aspects of the web and Internet. It surveys authentication, TCP/IP, SSL, IPSEC, TLS, PGP, S/MIME, SET cryptographic and security protocols and systems, remote access technologies, email and web security, firewalls, intrusion detection and forensic computing.


The course gives a broad overview of methods of implementing network security based on security technology in today's communication networks. Topics to be covered include the fundamentals of contemporary security approach and its application to network services, such as advanced cryptography, access control, distributed authentication, TCP/IP security, firewalls. New ideas in IPSec, Virtual Private Networks, intrusion detection systems, and advanced topics such as wireless security, identity management are provided.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Analyse and address a number of situations in which security in networks can be compromised;
  2. Understand and apply selected technologies used to ensure security;
  3. Apply the algorithms behind some current network security protocols;
  4. Demonstrate understanding of how insecure systems can be attacked;
  5. Understand firewalls and their applications;
  6. Demonstrate detailed knowledge of TCP/IP;
  7. Demonstrate detailed knowledge of identity management approaches;
  8. Design and develop techniques and algorithms that are used to implement network security protocols.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Overview of computer networks and protocols 10.00
2. Review of Network Security 10.00
3. Network threats 10.00
4. TCP/IP security 10.00
5. Firewalls 5.00
6. Prevention, detection and removal 15.00
7. Virtual Private Networks 10.00
8. Identity management 5.00
9. Privacy protection in Network 10.00
10. Network security applications 15.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • William Stallings 2007, Network Security Essentials: Applications and Standards, 3rd edn, Prentice Hall.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Cheswick, WR & Bellovin, SM 2003, Firewalls and internet security, 2nd edn, Addison-Wesley Professional.
  • Garfinkel, S & Spafford, G 2003, Practical unix and internet security, 3rd edn, O'Reilly & Associates.
    (Online from Library.)
  • William Stallings 2010, Cryptography and Network Security: Principles and Practice, 5th edn, Prentice Hall.
  • Finally, there are many relevant and interesting resources on the web, from newsgroups such as ci.crypt.research and comp.risks through hacker and CERT sites to organisations involved in crypto policy and, of course, researchers' home pages (

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Lectures 26.00
Private Study 50.00
Project Work 70.00
Tutorials 24.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
PROJECT PROPOSAL 10 10 13 Aug 2013

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. Students do not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to be awarded a passing grade in this course. Refer to Statement 4 below for the requirements to receive a passing grade in this course.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    As there are no examinations in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. It is studentsí responsibility to discuss possible projects with the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be produced within five days if required by the Examiner.

  3. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  4. In accordance with University Policy, the Examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  5. Supplementary assessment will be considered for offer by the Board of Examiners to a student who has undertaken all of the required summative assessments in a course who has failed to achieve a passing grade by 5% or less of the aggregated weighted marks or equivalent in the grading scale.

  6. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. The following temporary grade IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up) may be awarded.

Other requirements

  1. Students need to be conversant with and will require access to e-mail and internet access to UConnect for this course.

  2. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in the course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect to achieve the same grades as those students who do possess them.