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CSC3412 System and Security Administration

Semester 1, 2014 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Agric, Comp and Environ Sciences

Contents on this page


Examiner: Leigh Brookshaw
Moderator: Zhongwei Zhang

Other requisites

Recommended pre-requisite: CSC2408 and CSC2404


System and security administration is management and configuration of one or more computers with multiple operating systems, multiple hardware architectures, multiple software suites, together with the shared resources necessary, such as wired and wireless networks, to make them work effectively and securely. System administration requires an understanding of how computer systems work, an attention to detail, problem solving, people skills, security and planning. Computers which function as servers may run Unix-like systems, although others run proprietary software such as Novell, IBM or Microsoft.


This course introduces students to the administration of computer systems and computer networks. Coverage includes system administration tools, security techniques, system initialisation, resource management, backups, performance measurement, and network and security administration. Further topics include documentation policy development and disaster recovery. Practical work requires use of Unix- like operating systems on dedicated Intel-architecture PCs or equivalent hardware and software negotiated with the lecturer prior to commencement of the semester.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an intermediate level of understanding of general principles of computer system administration (Assignment 1, Exam);
  2. apply security techniques to enhance computer system security and communication (Assignment 1, Exam);
  3. select, install, and configure applications on an Open Source operating system (Assignment 1 and 2, Exam);
  4. manage and implement a system for backup and recovery (Assignment 2, Exam);
  5. maintain routing tables and firewalls (Assignment 2, Exam);
  6. demonstrate an appreciation for the intrusion detection systems and techniques (Assignment 2, Exam).


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction 10.00
2. Linux basics 15.00
3. System Programming 5.00
4. Encryption, Authentication Techniques 10.00
5. File system, Partitioning 10.00
6. Security, monitoring, audit 10.00
7. Resource management 5.00
8. Network services, DNS, FTP,SSH,SAMBA 15.00
9. Data and network security 20.00

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. (

  • Nemeth,E., Snyder, G., Hein, T., Whaley, B 2012, Unix and Linux System Administration Handbook, 4th edn, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ. ISBN 978-0-13-148005-6.
  • 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.
  • This course requires access to the GNU/Linux Operating System to run the course software. Debian GNU/Linux can be installed from the Department of Mathematics and Computing's GNU/Linux DVD. The DVD is available from the USQ Bookshop.

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.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Examinations 2.00
Lectures 26.00
Private Study 110.00
Tutorials 26.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 60 12 31 Mar 2014
ASSIGNMENT 2 60 12 12 May 2014
ASSIGNMENT 3 60 12 09 Jun 2014
2 HR OPEN EXAMINATION 100 64 End S1 (see note 1)

  1. Examination dates will be available during the Semester. Please refer to the examination timetable when published.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories 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 complete each of the assessment items satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for each assessment item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  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:
    In an Open Examination, candidates may have access to any material during the examination except the following: electronic communication devices, bulky materials, devices requiring mains power and material likely to disturb other students.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  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. 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.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. If requested, students will be required to provide a copy of assignments submitted for assessment purposes. Such copies should be despatched to USQ within 24 hours of receipt of a request being made.

Other requirements

  1. Computer requirements: Students must have exclusive and fully privileged access to an Intel x 86 architecture PC with at least 500MB free disk space and an unused disk partition.

  2. To complete the examination satisfactorily, students must obtain at least half of the marks available for the examination.