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Monash University

FIT5163 Information and computer security - Semester 2, 2013

This unit provides students with in depth coverage of a range of security problems in information systems, namely physical security, network security and software security. Within these areas, topics covered include risk analysis, authentication, access control, and a range of cryptographic techniques. It looks at various management issues, including use and abuse of encryption, distributed systems authentication, contingency planning, auditing, logging and integrity management. A range of security applications are used as examples.

Mode of Delivery

Caulfield (Day)

Contact Hours

2 hrs lectures/wk, 2 hrs tutorials/wk

Workload requirements

Student workload commitments per week are:

  • two-hour lecture and
  • two-hour tutorial (requiring advance preparation)
  • a minimum of 2-3 hours of personal study per one hour of contact time in order to satisfy the reading and assessment expectations.

Unit Relationships


FIT4016, CSE4892


Introductory knowledge of computing at the undergraduate level is assumed.

Chief Examiner

Campus Lecturer


Nandita Bhattacharjee

Academic Overview

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this unit students will:
  • have knowledge of risks, threats and the goals of information security;
  • understand various controls and their effectiveness for information security in an organisation;
  • be able to evaluate the effectiveness (both in terms of performance and limitations) of individual control techniques;
  • match the risk against controls and evaluate their applicability.

Unit Schedule

Week Activities Assessment
0   No formal assessment or activities are undertaken in week 0
1 Introduction to information security  
2 Principles of encryption  
3 Cryptography I  
4 Cryptography II Class test 1 during the Lecture
5 Authentication  
6 Access control  
7 Introduction to number theory  
8 Public key cryptography Class test 2 during the Lecture
9 Biometrics  
10 Integrity & non-repudiation Assignment Report due 3PM, 11 October 2013
11 Key management & distributed authentication Assignment Presentation Week 11 Tutorial
12 Software security Class test 3 during the Lecture
  SWOT VAC No formal assessment is undertaken in SWOT VAC
  Examination period LINK to Assessment Policy: http://policy.monash.edu.au/policy-bank/

*Unit Schedule details will be maintained and communicated to you via your learning system.

Assessment Summary

Examination (3 hours): 60%; In-semester assessment: 40%

Assessment Task Value Due Date
Class tests 20% Weeks 4, 8 and 12 Lectures
Group assignment - Biometrics in Cryptography 20% (Report 14%, Presentation 6%) Report due 3PM, 11 October 2013, Presentations due Week 11 Tutorial
Examination 1 60% To be advised

Teaching Approach

Lecture and tutorials or problem classes
This teaching and learning approach provides facilitated learning, practical exploration and peer learning.

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Policy

Faculty Policy - Unit Assessment Hurdles (http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/staff/edgov/policies/assessment-examinations/unit-assessment-hurdles.html)

Academic Integrity - Please see the Demystifying Citing and Referencing tutorial at http://lib.monash.edu/tutorials/citing/

Assessment Tasks


  • Assessment task 1
    Class tests
    Three Class tests will be conducted on the topics covered in this unit.  They will be held during lectures.  Each Class test will have a weighting of 10%.  The best two scores will constitute an assessment total of 20%.
    Criteria for assessment:

    Quality of answers in response to test questions.

    How well understanding of lecture material covered is demonstrated.

    Due date:
    Weeks 4, 8 and 12 Lectures
  • Assessment task 2
    Group assignment - Biometrics in Cryptography
    In this assignment students will be working in groups of two or three members. This assignment explores how the iris image of an individual can be used to generate the key for private key cryptography. In other words, we would like to integrate the biometric, in this case the iris with cryptography so that security of the system authentication as well as information security can be achieved.

    Details of the tasks will be provided in the assignment handout. A comprehensive report is due in Week 10. Students presentations on the assignment is due in Week 11 Tutorials.
    20% (Report 14%, Presentation 6%)
    Criteria for assessment:

    How well understanding of the allocated task is demonstrated.

    Each student completes an allocated task that contributes to the final report, and receives marks for that task. Students will give individual presentations of their allocated task. Peer review will assess peer learning and peer support.

    Due date:
    Report due 3PM, 11 October 2013, Presentations due Week 11 Tutorial


  • Examination 1
    3 hours
    Type (open/closed book):
    Closed book
    Electronic devices allowed in the exam:

Learning resources

Reading list

  1. Cryptography and Network Security: Principles and Practice. William Stallings, 5th Edition, 2011. Prentice Hall.
  2. Computer Security: Principles and Practice William Stallings and Lawrie Brown, 2012, Prentice Hall.
  3. Security Engineering: A guide to building dependable distributed systems. Ross J. Anderson, 2nd Edition, 2008, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Monash Library Unit Reading List

Feedback to you

Types of feedback you can expect to receive in this unit are:
  • Informal feedback on progress in labs/tutes
  • Test results and feedback
  • Other: Answers to discussion sheets & individual student meetings

Extensions and penalties

Returning assignments

Assignment submission

It is a University requirement (http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/conduct/plagiarism-procedures.html) for students to submit an assignment coversheet for each assessment item. Faculty Assignment coversheets can be found at http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/forms/. Please check with your Lecturer on the submission method for your assignment coversheet (e.g. attach a file to the online assignment submission, hand-in a hard copy, or use an online quiz). Please note that it is your responsibility to retain copies of your assessments.

Online submission

If Electronic Submission has been approved for your unit, please submit your work via the learning system for this unit, which you can access via links in the my.monash portal.

Other Information


Graduate Attributes Policy

Student services

Monash University Library

Disability Liaison Unit

Students who have a disability or medical condition are welcome to contact the Disability Liaison Unit to discuss academic support services. Disability Liaison Officers (DLOs) visit all Victorian campuses on a regular basis.

Your feedback to Us

Previous Student Evaluations of this Unit

Students were very happy with the unit overall. Student feedback highlighted the following strengths:

  • intellectually stimulating
  • regular useful feedback
  • tutorials and laboratory tasks
  • assessments and assessment strategies
  • active participation

This feedback can be used to strengthen the learning outcomes further by increasing the depth of some topics in cryptography.

If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to

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