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Secure Networks and Distributed Systems
- December 1st: I'm
going to require people to sign up for presentations by
tomorrow evening, after which I will assign time slots.
This is because someone will get the Monday slot and
will need the weekend to prepare. Those doing group projects
will need to present as a group, with roughly equal time for
each presenter. Thank you.
- November 11th:
Happy 11/11/11 day! Sorry for the late notice – due to
unforeseen circumstances, office hours are cancelled today
(11/11/2011). As previously announced, I'll be out of town
Monday, Tuesday, and most of Wednesday (no class those days),
but please email me if you would like to meet.
- November 8th: The
"schedule an appointment" feature using Google Calendar hasn't
been very popular, and it has a number of privacy issues, so
I'm discontinuing it's use. Please email for appointments or
come by regular office hours. Thanks everyone for helping me
try out new features!
- October 28th:
Please note that the paper for November 18th has changed
– there is now a much more technical and thorough
version, as well as a short less technical paper that preceded
it. The longer version is not required, but I would
suggest that after reading the short version, you at least
skim the technical version to see what was done to implement
the original plan.
- October 28th:
My office hours on Wednesday November 12th will be cut short
due to a conflict. I'll be around from 3pm to 4pm, unlike the
usual 3pm to 4:30pm. If you need to meet but can't make office
hours, please email me. Thanks!
- October 14th:
Please note the schedule change on November 7th. Class and
office hours are also cancelled on November 9th. Notice that
the order of papers also changed slightly. "SANE" will
not be on the 7th, while "Stealth Probing" will be on November
- October 10th:
I have to cancel Office hours on Wednesday, October 12th due
to a last-minute scheduling conflict. Sorry for the late
- October 9th: The
project process report due date was incorrect on the schedule
The correct date is October 24th. Same format as proposals
– just make changes to your proposal revision document
to reflect any progress, initial results, and/or schedule
changes that have happened since the revised report.
- October 7th: I'm
going to say this in class as well, but I wanted to clarify
grading of paper summaries as well as make a format change.
Finally, I've created a K-State Online drop box for anything
you wish to submit electronically, so you don't have to use
email. I have no preference to which method you use for
- Summaries are graded on a 0, check-minus, check, and
check-plus system. Check plus is by definition "extra,"
and a check is the expected grade. Please do not worry
about the check being (2/3) as far as raw score. I should
figure out a way to set K-State Online to
explicitly treat check-pluses as 2 regular points
plus one extra credit point. I will see if I can do this.
The way K-State Online currently displays your percentage
score is not correct – don't trust it!
- Summaries may not be the best way to keep track of
paper reading. After thinking about it, I think we should
change the paper "reports" from summaries to at least
two of one of the following (e.g. one technical
content question and one security problem, or two technical
questions, or two security problems):
To keep things more or less consistent, you have
the option to keep turning in old-style summaries if you
want. Any given paper you can turn in whatever you choose.
- A question about the technical content
of the paper, e.g. asking for clarification on
specific technical points, background, etc.
- A potential security problem with the
solution outlined in the paper, e.g. "this is
vulnerable to Sybil attacks which would overwhelm the
number of honest user identities.
Thanks again for all your helpful comments on the evaluation!
- October 3rd:
(See update on November 8th.)
hopefully make it easier to schedule appointments with me and
in general make me easier to find, I'm trying out Google
Calendar's "Appointment slots" feature. If it works as
advertised, you should just be able to click the schedule
appointment link either here or on my homepage, log in
with any Google Mail account, and you will see all available
appointment slots. Click on one to sign up.
There are some
downsides to this – you can't cancel or edit an
appointment unless you also use Google Calendar (but you can
add one with any Google Mail account, as far as I can see).
Also, since my schedule is displayed on my home page, the
title you give to your appointment and your Gmail address
which you used to make the appointment will all show up on
the public calendar. I can't see any way to turn this
off, and even if you set the event as "private" in your Google
Calendar, it still appears public on mine. Also, from early
testing it looks like even using the built-in "Cancel
Appointment" function doesn't work – the appointment
stays around until the owner (me) deletes it. I'm not sure if
the convenience is worth the hassle, but we'll see. Hopefully
bugs will be ironed out and this will be a good long-term
solution. For now, I'm making it available, Google's
bugs and all, so please use with caution (especially
in light of the privacy aspects of displaying your email and
event title to the entire world), and confirm over email if
something is very important. Let's see if this little
experiment works! Thanks.
- October 3rd:
Please note that class has been cancelled on October 26th, and
all presentations from October 26th to November 2nd have been
moved forward one class session. The schedule already reflects this
change. Sorry for the late notice and thanks to everyone whose
presentation had to be rescheduled.
- September 28th: I
realize that some papers take a while to read. Since there are
frequently 3 papers assigned per week, please please stop
reading a paper if it is taking more than 3 hours. Feel free
to mention this in your summary. The last thing I want to do
is make the reading assignments burdensome. (Thank you to the
anonymous person who brought this to my attention!)
- September 19th:
Remember: room change for one day one – on
Friday, September 30th we will meet in Nichols 316 conference room.
Same time as usual. Thanks.
7th: On project proposals: I would expect to see at
least 5 pages, similar in form to a paper we might read in
class. A sample outline: introduction (the problem being
addressed), background (related work), gap(s) in existing
work you want to address, what you expect to have at the end
of the project (at least a write-up of some kind, possibly
also runnable software) and a proposed timeline for
doing the work. 5 pages is a guideline: if everything you are
proposing fits into, say, 3 pages, I would suspect you didn't
look at enough background material. It's a heuristic, not an
iron-clad requirement or rule.
- September 7th:
Project ideas: last year there were several usability projects
to improve open source security software or implement a
security feature in a browser. Improving any of the systems we
cover in class or any of the papers in recent security
conferences (see project ideas for
conference listing) would be excellent, as long as the work
has not already been done since the paper was published (this
is why the background research section is crucial). I've also
seen a number of interesting projects that changed the
cryptographic primitives used by an existing projects to
improve efficiency, gain additional security properties, etc.
The Tor project also
lists a large number of desired improvements here.
- September 7th:
Please note the schedule change due to today's guest
- September 2nd:
Sorry, for the late notice – I'm not feeling well, so
office hours are cancelled today (9/2/2011). Please email me
if you would like to meet, or come to office hours next week,
which will be held as scheduled. Again, apologies for the late
- September 2nd:
Please note that there are no office hours on Friday,
September 16th, Wednesday October 19th, Friday October 23rd,
Wednesday October 26th, Friday November 11th, or Wednesday
November 16th. Please check back here for schedule changes.
- September 1st: The
deadline to sign up for paper presentations (September 9th) has been posted in
the schedule. I will assign papers
for those who do not sign up before the deadline.
- August 26th: The
assignment score breakdown has been posted in the syllabus.
Numeric grades will appear in K-State Online as assignments
are graded (in real time).
- August 24th: The
promised resources on how to read papers are up in the resources section.
- June 20th: Class
page posted; welcome!