Introduction to Information Security
Study plans 2016-2017 - IMT6011 - 5 ECTS

Expected learning outcomes

The module (mandatory for doctoral students in the programme) is intended to provide additional insights into the information security domain for doctoral students in Information Security beyond their immediate area of specialisation.

To this end two areas of information security that are distinct from the candidate's specialisation are to be identified, where the two areas should normally also not overlap. For each area (including but not limited to those identified below), a sub-area is to be chosen, and primary and secondary literature to be studied to elaborate a seminar paper. In one of the areas, the sub-area chosen should be such that a reasonable overview of the state of the art in the research specialisation can be achieved and described, whilst a second area may follow a somewhat wider remit and rely more on secondary literature. The results will be a synopsis and survey of the two respective sub-areas, combined with individual perspective and reflection by the candidate.


On concluding the module, candidates

  • can identify relevant primary and secondary research literature in the respective areas chosen by the candidate, forming an insight into the state of the art in an unfamiliar area
  • can synthesise the state of the art and articulate key research problems and methods in the respective areas chosen by the candidate
  • are able to evaluate the merits and contributions of research articles in the respective areas chosen by the candidate 


On concluding the module, candidates

  • will be able to summarise the state of the art in the respective areas chosen by the candidate
  • can outline key methods employed by research in the respective areas chosen by the candidate and state relative merits
  • can identify main strands of inquiry and key results in the respective areas chosen by the candidate

General Competence:

On concluding the module, candidates

  • can appraise the merit of research methods and quality of research in the sub-areas studied also in relation to the candidate's own specialisation area
  • is able to cogently discuss the state of the art in the chosen areas for the seminar papers
  • is able to identify gaps in the state of the art in the respective areas chosen by the candidate


Key results in the theory and modelling of information security

  • Network security
  • Operating system security
  • Human factors in security
  • Security engineering and assurance
  • Cyber-physical systems security
  • Cryptography and cryptanalysis
  • Database security
  • Information security management
  • Anonymity and privacy

Teaching Methods


Teaching Methods (additional text)

  • Individual discussions
  • Seminars
  • Literature study

Form(s) of Assessment


Form(s) of Assessment (additional text)

Two seminar papers are to be provided by the candidate and are marked separately by the examiner on a Pass/Fail scale. Both papers must be completed successfully to secure an overall Pass grade.

Grading Scale


External/internal examiner

Internal examiner, external examiner every 3 years, next time at latest in 2017.

Re-sit examination

New seminar papers must be provided.

Examination support

Not applicable

Coursework Requirements

Students are required to prepare a term paper on one of the subject areas covered in the course in coordination with and approved by the lecturer and must provide a presentation of results and findings in a seminar. The delivery date for the term paper is arranged individually to match the seminar schedule.

Teaching Materials

The textbooks, monographs, and research articles are determined by the
respective sub-area chosen for the seminar papers and will normally need
to reflect the state of the art in the area. The following identifies a
small number of seminal papers and texts in selected areas only.

Suggested textbooks:
 - O. Goldreich: Foundations of Cryptography (2 vols.), Cambridge University Press, 2001-2004
 - W. Diffie and M. Hellman: New Directions in Cryptography. IEEE
 Transactions on Information Theory 22(6):644-654 (1976)
 - R. L. Rivest, A. Shamir,, and L. Adleman: A method for obtaining
 digital signatures and public-key cryptosystems. Communications of the
 ACM 21(2):120-126 (1978)
 - E. Bertino and R. Sandhu: Database Security - Concepts, Approaches, and
 Challenges. IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing
 2(1):2-19 (2005)
 - J. Vaidya and C. Clifton: Privacy-Preserving Decision Trees over
 Vertically Partitioned Data. ACM Transactions on Knowledge Discovery from
 Data 2(3):14 (2008)
 - K. Thompson: Reflections on Trusting Trust Communications of the ACM
 27(8):761-763 (1984)
 - J. Feigenbaum, A. Johnson, and P. Syverson: A Model of Onion Routing
 with Provable Anonymity" Proceedings of the 11th International Conference
 Financial Cryptography and Data Security (FC 2007), Vol. 4886 of Lecture
 Notes in Computer Science. Trinidad/Tobago, Feb. 2007, Springer-Verlag.
 - E. Peeters, F.-X. Standaert, and J.-J. Quisquater: Power and
 Electromagnetic Analysis: Improved Model, Consequences, and Comparisons
 Integration: The VLSI Journal 40(1):52-60 (2007)
 - D. Agrawal, B. Archambeault, J. R. Rao, and P. Rohatgi: The EM
 Side-Channel(s) Proceedings of Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded
 Systems (CHES 2002), Vol. 2523 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science,
 Lausanne, Switzerland, Sep. 2002, Springer-Verlag.
 - A. Mishra: Security and Quality of Service in Ad Hoc Wireless Networks,
 Cambridge University Press, 2010
 - S.K. Das, K. Kant, N. Zhang: Handbook on Securing Cyber-Physical
 Critical Infrastructure. Elsevier, 2012

Additional information

Students must choose two areas for preparing seminar papers at the beginning of the semester in co-ordination with the course responsible;
abstracts must be submitted to Fronter no later than five weeks after the start of the semester. Final versions of both papers must be submitted at the end of the semester via Fronter. Both seminar papers must be submitted and successfully passed to complete the module successfully overall.

The course will be limited to 12 students except by arrangement with the lecturer.