CS 656 - Advanced
Topics in Security
Special Focus on Security in Cloud
emerging areas in computer security.
is a research oriented class that focuses on new and emerging
areas in computer security. In Spring 2013 we will investigate
different aspects of security in cloud computing.
computing is a fairly new and emerging paradigm that is
characterized by four major attributes:
multi-tenancy, in particular, introduces several novel security
challenges. These challenges arise from the co-residency of
machines (virtual machines, database engines etc.) and other
resources (such as hardware or storage) owned by different
customers that places these resources in the same privileged
position in the cloud with respect to one another. This makes
security vulnerabilities at the cloud infrastructure level
particularly critical to the cloud environment. A guest operating
system can exploit vulnerabilities in the hypervisor and run
processes on other guests or the host. Security breaches such as unauthorized connections,
unauthorized leakage of information, unmonitored login attempts,
malware propagation etc., can arise in one client and
potentially propagate to another easily. One such
exploit was demonstrated in a recent work1
where the internal cloud infrastructure was mapped to identify
where a target virtual machine (VM) is likely to reside and then
that information was used to mount cross-VM side-channel attacks
to extract sensitive information from the target VM. It is
therefore vitally important that proper security controls be
employed for the protection of tenant resources from
un-authorized disclosure and modification, segregation of
tenants from one another, and isolation of compute,
storage and network resources of the cloud provider from tenants.
- Multi-tenancy – a
single instance of software or other computing resource
serving several clients
- Massive scalability
– ability to support hundreds of thousands of clients at the
- Elasticity – ability
to grow or contract on demand
self-provisioning of resources – ability of a client/user to
setup operating environment without help from IT support staff
We will investigate
various aspects of security in Cloud Computing.
Ristenpart, E. Tromer, H. Shacham, and S. Savage. Hey, You, Get
Off of My Cloud! Exploring Information Leakage in Third-Party
Compute Clouds. In Proceedings of the 16th ACM Conference on
Computer and Communications Security, Chicago, IL, November
enrollment in CS
556 - Computer Security or
equivalent, or permission of instructor.
end of the course, students should be able to:
- Understand some of the major security challenges of cloud
computing that act as hindrance to widespread adoption.
- Learn about some of the newer techniques that scientists are
considering to protect cloud systems, their advantages and
- Learn how to critically evaluate security literature.
- Learn how to formulate and solve a research problem in
computer security and be able to present it.
The course is
geared toward graduate students in computer science, math, and
information technology students who already have exposure to
system design principles.
There is no required text for this course. You are expected to
read and understand the papers given in the Reading Assignments. Most
papers are self contained; however, often you will often have to
do additional reading to understand the material.
CS 656 Web Page:
When & Where
The class meets once a week for
2.5 hours to give ample time for discussion.
| Meeting Time and Location:
|| Tuesdays 2:00 pm - 4:30pm, COMSC
This is a
seminar type class.
The course has
the following components:
presentation: Every week, we will select two
papers to read. All students are required to read the papers.
One student will be responsible for presenting the paper and
leading the discussion in class. The student should prepare
for approximately an hour presentation of the paper (between
30 - 40 slides - more if needed) and related material (which
can be from other papers that the student identify).
participation: Students who are not
presenting in a particular class are expected to come prepared
to actively participate in the class discussion. By the
beginning of the class, the student is expected to write a
(minimum) 1 page review/critique of the paper and give it to
the instructor. The review should contain at least 5 questions
about the paper (and / or related relevant papers) that would
form the basis of the student's participation in the class.
Each student should do this review independently. It is
possible (and okay) that two students will have the same or
similar questions to ask.
exam: Each student has to write a
mini-research exam report based on 3 papers on the same topic
including the one presented by the student. The mini-research
exam report should be about 5 pages long.
- Term paper: Each student also
has to write and present a term paper.
tentative schedule for this class. Note that as the term
progresses we are most likely to digress quite a bit.
- January 22 - First
day of classes. Presentation by instructor. Discussion about
- January 29 - Paper
presentation. Term paper topic selection
- February 5 - Paper
- February 12 - Paper
- February 19 - No
class (Instructor traveling)
- February 26 - Paper
- March 5 - Paper
- March 12 - Paper
- March 19 - No class
- March 26 - Paper
- April 2 - Paper
- April 9 - Research
- April 16 Research
- April 23 - Paper presentation
- April 30 - Term
- May 7 - Term paper
grade for this course will be computed as follows:
|Mini Research Exam
|Term Paper Presentation
letter grades for the course are based on your final class
average. Grades are typically assigned according to the table
below. However, since this is a research oriented class, a good
term paper (of publishable quality, based on the subjective
judgment of the instructor) can get you an A in the class.
|96 and up
|82 to 88
|60 to 70
|92 to 96
|80 to 82
|90 to 92
|78 to 80
|88 to 90
|70 to 78
on cheating, plagiarism, incomplete grades, attendance,
discrimination, sexual harassment, and student grievances are
described in the
Student Information Guide (
http://www.CS.ColoState.EDU/advising/student-info.html). All other
matters follow the policies set in the current Colorado State
University General Catalog. Students are responsible for all
the information in these documents.
© 2013: Colorado State University
for CS656. All rights reserved.