CYBER 262 Section 001: Cyber Defense Studio

University Park

Fall 2019


Class Time & Room

Tu & TH 1:35 pm – 2:50 pm; E206 Westgate

Course Schedule

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Professor Peng Liu


305A SSB Building

Office Hours

Friday: 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm or by appointment

Phone / Fax

(814) 863-0641 / 865-6426




Zitong Shang


305 SSB Building

Office Hours






Course Overview:

CYBER 262 is an introductory studio course on cyber defense. It is a required core course for all Cybersecurity Operations and Analysis majors. The objective of the course is to provide the students with lab-based learning on applying the programming skills and the basic computer/security concepts the students have learned before taking this course to solving a selected set of concrete cybersecurity problems. Accordingly, this CYBER 262 course will be a sequence of in-classroom cyber-defense exercises focusing on (a) learning (key cyber-defense concepts) by doing;  (b) skill development.  The course will cover the following cybersecurity problems:


·       Behavior-based intrusion detection: In this module, the students will apply their programming skills to implement a simple log-analysis-based intrusion detector.   

·       Control-hijacking attacks: In this module, the students will conduct ethical hacking experiments on buffer overflow attack, Return-to-Libc attack, and format string attack.

·       Vulnerability analysis: In this module, the students will apply their debugging skills to conduct vulnerability-oriented core-dump analysis.


For each of the three modules, these will be a set of individual assignments, not group assignments. More details about these assignments can be found in the Assignments section of the Penn State Canvas website of this course.

In addition, two “Capture the Flag” internal security contests will be held at the end of the first module and the third module, respectively.  These two security contests will be performed by each group of students.  More details about the security contests can be found in the Assignments section of the Penn State Canvas website of this course. 

The prerequisite for the course is CYBER 100: Computer System Literacy.

Course Objectives:

The objectives of this course are as follows:


Course Materials:

Required Reading Materials:

·       Chapters 4-6 out of the following textbook:

o   Wenliang Du, Computer Security: A Hands-on Approach, 2017. 

Other Materials:

Examinations and Assignments:

This course will have:



Assignment Type




3 Individual Assignments in Module 1

   -- Each assignment 5%


3 Individual Assignments in Module 2

   -- Each assignment 8%


3 Individual Assignments in Module 3

   -- Each assignment 5%


Security contest #1


Security Contest #2





Grading Scale
Grades will be assigned based on the following scale:




93% to 100%


90% to 92.9%


87% to 89.9%


83% to 86.9%


80% to 82.9%


77% to 79.9%


70% to 76.9%


60% to 69.9%


less than 60%

 Course Policies:

Classes, Exams, and Assignments:

·        Security Contests: There will be NO make-up security contests unless an official excuse (document) is submitted and pre-approved by the instructor.

·       Late Policy: Starting right after the required submission date of any assignment, 20% of the grade will be deducted per day up to two days. NO points will be given to submissions more than two days late. A documented chronic condition which could affect this policy must be immediately brought to the attention of the instructor.

·       Attendance: Attendance of students to all classes is required. 

·        Readings: Students are expected to read the materials that will be discussed in the class before the class meeting.

       Academic Integrity: 

·        According to the Penn State Principles and University Code of Conduct: Academic integrity is a basic guiding principle for all academic activity at Penn State University, allowing the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest, and responsible manner.  In according with the University’s Code of Conduct, you must not engage in or tolerate academic dishonesty.  This includes, but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, fabrication of information or citations, facilitating acts of academic dishonesty by others, unauthorized possession of examinations, submitting work of another person, or work previously used without informing the instructor, or tampering with the academic work of other students.

·        Any violation of academic integrity will be investigated, and where warranted, punitive action will be taken.  For every incident when a penalty of any kind is assessed, a report must be filed.  This form is used for both undergraduate and graduate courses.  This report must be signed by both the instructor and the student, and then submitted to the Dean’s office.

           Affirmative Action & Sexual Harassment: 

·        The Pennsylvania State University is committed to a policy that all persons shall have equal access to programs, facilities, admission, and employment without regard to personal characteristics not related to ability, performance, or qualifications as determined by University policy or by Commonwealth or Federal authorities.  Penn State does not discriminate against any person because of age, ancestry, color, disability or handicap, national origin, race, religious creed, gender, sexual orientation, or veteran status.  Direct all inquiries to the Affirmative Action Office, 211 Willard Building.

          Americans with Disabilities Act:

·        IST welcomes persons with disabilities to all of its classes, programs, and events.  If you need accommodations, or have questions about access to buildings where IST activities are held, please contact us in advance of your participation or visit.  If you need assistance during a class, program, or event, please contact the member of our staff or faculty in charge.

          An Invitation to Students with Learning Disabilities: 

·        It is Penn State’s policy to not discriminate against qualified students with documented disabilities in its educational programs.  If you have a disability-related need for modifications in your testing or learning situation, your instructor should be notified during the first week of classes so that your needs can be accommodated.  You will be asked to present documentation from the Office of Disability Services (located in 116 Bouclé Building, 863-1807) that describes the nature of your disability and the recommended remedy.  You may refer to the Nondiscrimination Policy in the Student Guide to University Policies and Rules.