CS78 - Secure Server Installation & Administration

David Morgan



I am enthusiastic about this subject. Because you chose to join this course you must be too. Good to have you here. It should be fun.

Course particulars



Required textbooks

Practical Unix & Internet Security, 3rd Edition; Simson Garfinkel, Gene Spafford, Alan Schwartz, O'Reilly & Associates, 2003, ISBN 0596003234

Secrets and Lies, 15th Anniversary Edition; Bruce Schneier, John Wiley and Sons, 2015, ISBN 9781119092438

Catalog description

In this course students will study network service administration. This course covers physical BIOS and bootloader security, password strength and cracking, file system permissions, authentication mechanisms, remote backup and logging, and installation strategies as machine-level security considerations. A variety of particular service applications like Apache (web service) and BIND (name service) are then studied, emphasizing their strengths, weaknesses, and how to configure them for security through wrappers, file system access jails, and other mechanisms.


Topic outline

These topics are candidates for the course. We will cover many though not all of them.


A=90%    B=80%    C=70%    D=60%

Percentages are approximate. Grade determination can also depend on non-numeric factors and is ultimately at my discretion. There will be a mix of homework and examinations. Each will be weighted, and the weighted average used to determine course grade.


Website http://homepage.smc.edu/morgan_david/cs78/ I will make extensive use of this website to communicate with you. You are responsible for awareness of the information posted there, e.g., announcements, grade reports, assignments. Access the website from any internet-connected browser.

.To reach me outside class: 


Other books worth recommendation:

SSH, The Secure Shell: The Definitive Guide, Daniel J. Barrett, Richard Silverman, Robert G. Byrnes
O'Reilly & Associates, 2nd edition, 2005, ISBN 059600895

Applied Cryptography, Bruce Schneier, John Wiley & Sons, 2nd edition, 1996

Practical Cryptography, Niels Ferguson and Bruce Schneier, John Wiley & Sons, 2003

Cryptography and Network Security, William Stallings, Prentice Hall

The Tao of Network Security Monitoring: Beyond Intrusion Detection, Richard Bejtlich,
Prentice Hall, 2nd edition, July 2004, ISBN 0321246772

Office hours - I don't maintain an office at SMC. As such I can't have traditional "office hours" in the literal sense. But equivalently if you want to talk, I will be happy to stay and do so after any class meeting. On a by-appointment basis I can also come a half-hour early on any class meeting day. For that, please email me a request to do so.

Student learning outcomes - Install Linux with awareness and control of its own security level, and adjust and harden existing systems. Implement ongoing administrative practices to follow in order to minimize likelihood of problems arising.

Students with Disabilities - I am happy to make academic adjustments for students with documented disabilities. Please contact the Center for Students with Disabilities if this applies to you. The Center for Students with Disabilities is located in Room 101 of the Admission/Student Services Complex, next to Admissions. For more information, call (310) 434-4265 or (310) 434-4273.

Certificates this course helps you earn - CS78 is a component course in the computer science department's Networking Certificate. For more information on these certificates, please visit our department Web site at: http://www.smc.edu/csis

Semester dates and calendar -



Student codes of conduct -