COINS IT Security Exercise
Study plans 2016-2017 - IMT6007 - 5 ECTS



On the basis of


Expected learning outcomes

After having completed the course, students are expected to have mastered the following learning outcomes:


  • State of the art in discovery and exploitation of IT system vulnerabilities
  • Capability and limits of validation of training methods


  • Source code inspection under time pressure
  • Ability to find and exploit vulnerabilities in software and systems
  • Development of novel attack methods and tools
  • Assessment, selection and application of automated vulnerability discovery and removal approaches
  • Ability to determine limits, assess relevance and impact of group security exercises for the improvement of secure software development

General competence

  • Ability to collaborate and communicate in a team of skilled researchers with diverse backgrounds


  • Vulnerabilities in software
  • Methods of manual and automated software inspection
  • Participation in an IT security exercise
  • Hosting a public IT security exercise
  • Secure software development
  • Validation of training approaches; motivation, relevance and impact

Teaching Methods


Teaching Methods (additional text)

  • Active participation in an IT security exercise, producing write-ups for found and exploited vulnerabilities.
  • Individual reflection about relevance of vulnerabilities with respect to actual occurrence in the field, presence in exercises, focus in teaching material.
  • Development of teaching material to improve software development training.

Form(s) of Assessment


Form(s) of Assessment (additional text)

Portfolio assessment - students select for inclusion in their portfolio:

  1. an assessment categorizing challenges in a CTF competition according to vulnerability taxonomies and relating challenges to security vulnerabilities in the field AND
  2. ONE of the following two options:
    • a write-up for one of the solved challenges in a CTF competition AND a documentation of training material/processes/tools to improve the learning experience of software architects and developers AND a (short) survey of approaches to validate training approaches in applied IT security
    • a documentation on a hosted CTF competition by the students AND a reflection report on how that competition could improve developer training and how its impact on learning has been (or should be) validated

Grading Scale


External/internal examiner

External or internal examiner.

External examiner within 5 years period, next time at latest in 2019.

Re-sit examination

Whole course must be re-taken.

Examination support


Coursework Requirements

Two obligatory exercises must be passed. An obligatory exercise will usually consist of a write-up that is not included in the portfolio.

Teaching Materials

Scientific articles and hand-outs provided by lecturers.

Additional information

An exercise needs to have been recognized by the COINS Research School of Computer and Information Security as fulfilling the requirements of Ph.D. training as laid out in the COINS project application.