During this introductory course, geared for students new to cyber security, students will be introduced to fundamental security topics. Students will critically examine concepts such as basic networking, system administration, team dynamics and system security as well as identifying and applying basic security hardening techniques. Students will gain practical experience through a virtualized lab environment where they will be building a small corporate network. Students will also work as a team towards the completion of a semester long research project of their choosing.

Faculty Instructors

Faculty Instructors are responsible for administering the course in accordance with the University at Buffalo policies and this syllabus. Faculty Instructors also determine final course grades consistent with the grading policy in this syllabus.

Name Email Slack Username
Dave Murray djmurray@buffalo.edu djmurray
Kevin Cleary kpcleary@buffalo.edu cleary.kevin.p

Student Instructors

Student Instructors are responsible for running the class. Most questions, unless believed to be sensitive, should go to someone from this list.

Name Email Slack Username
Benjamin Kasman bjkasman@buffalo.edu Bjkasman
Cameron Levine crlevine@buffalo.edu cameron
Jered Geist jeredgei@buffalo.edu jered
Nick Brase nrbrase@buffalo.edu nickbrase
Stefan Jagroop stefanja@buffalo.edu stefanja
Stephen James sjames5@buffalo.edu stephenorjames

Course Resources

Website https://ubnetdef.org/courses/syssec
Slack Channel https://ubnetdef.slack.com
Wiki https://wiki.ubnetdef.org
vCenter Server cdr-vcenter1.cse.buffalo.edu
vCenter Client https://ubnetdef.org/vcenter

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course a student will be able to… Assessment
Learn Basic Security Concepts and Topics Course
Defend a Machine from Real-time Attackers Course
Work effectively in a team Project & Competitionss
Identify threats and vulnerabilities of systems Course
Effectively communicate via written reports and presentation skills Project and Final Presentation

Course Materials

Course Requirements


Attendance for all lectures is required. One absence or late arrival is permitted without penalty. Students arriving late or unprepared may also receive a penalty at the discretion of the instructor. Absences due to illness may be excused if the instructor is notified in advance, and the illness is documented by a physician or healthcare professional.

Competition Participation

All students are required to participate fully in a Cyber Security competition, as well as the UB Lockdown competition. Various competitions will be announced throughout the academic semester.

Homework Assignments

This list of homework assignments is subject to change.

Homework Due Date
Setup your teams webserver & Complete Over the Wire Bandit March 2, 2017 @ 6:00PM
1. Create a security group in Active Directory and add your User to it
2. Create a group policy that sets the desktop background (hint: google)
3. Apply this setting to the security group you created
4. Send screenshots of applied background and set group policy to ubnetdef@buffalo.edu
March 9, 2017 @ 6:00PM
Setup firewall rules as per Nicks lecture (see final slide of lecture for details) March 16, 2017 @ 6:00PM
Setup the LAN portion of your network as described in the project network diagram found on slack. April 6, 2017 @ 6:00PM
1. Setup the DMZ portion of your network as described in the project network diagram found on slack.
2. Document this process in the format discussed in class on April 7, and submit your report to Ubnetdef@buffalo.edu
April 13, 2017 @ 11:59PM

Getting Assistance

The best way to request assistance is to ask on the #syssec channel on UBNetDef’s slack. The instructors and mentors are constantly on the slack, so it’s likely you will get a response within 24-hours, if not less. If you do not have access to the UBNetDef slack, please contact an instructor.

Grading Policy

Systems Security Grading Scale
Active Class Participation & Attendance 25%
Competition Participation 25%
Class Project 25%
Final Presentation 15%
Peer Evaluations 10%
Total 100%

Course Conduct

Academic Integrity

Students must conduct their coursework in a manner that does not violate the University at Buffalo’s Academic Integrity Policy. Students found in violation of the Academic Integrity Policy will receive an F for the course.

Ethics Policy

As a student in cyber security, you are learning tools and given resources that are meant to help protect yourself and others. However, these tools and resources can also be used in malicious or illegal ways. It is imperative that while you are a representative of this class, and even well after, you perform any security education or training strictly inside our internal environment or a controlled and contained environment that you have prepared for yourself. Any activity outside of our internal environment is outside of our control and protection. If you are not sure what you’re doing, it is very easy to do something illegal without even knowing you are (even something as simple as port scanning outside our internal network). If you are unsure if something is allowed or not, contact one of the instructors or mentors. All network traffic inside our infrastructure will be monitored for malicious or suspicious activity and acted upon with severe consequences if such privileges are abused. You are being given an opportunity to learn, please do not waste it.

vCenter Usage

As a part of Systems Security, you are granted permissions to create Virtual Machines on the vCenter environment, for educational purposes. Any misuse of the environment will result in the immediate failure of the student.

Network Logging Disclaimer

All traffic that occurs within the vCenter environment is being logged for analysis purposes. Traffic captures (pcaps) may be shared with other individuals within UBNetDef for educational purposes only. We highly discourage logging into any personal or social networking websites on a Virtual Machine hosted in the vCenter environment.