FIT2058 - Semester 1 , 2007 unit guide

Semester 1, 2007

Chief Examiner

Nandita Bhattacharjee


Caulfield : Dr Nandita Bhattacharjee


The aim of this subject is to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to identify security problems which may arise in a networked computing environment and to explore modern security technologies that may be used to prevent or resolve such security problems. The unit will cover: Fundamentals of cryptography; Security threats and counter-measures in a computing and communications system; Standard security techniques for achieving confidentiality and authenticity; Communication security; Database security; Operating system security; Wireless security; Email security; Computer viruses and Malicious codes.


To provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to identify security problems which may arise in a networked computing environment and to
explore modern security technologies that may be used to prevent or resolve such security problems. On completion of this subject, students will be able to:
- Identify the threats to the security of a network computing system;
- Describe the operation of computer viruses, worms and other nuisance/destructive programs and understand the counter-measures, which can be taken to protect systems against these programs;
- Describe a range of access control policies and select appropriate mechanisms to implement each of the policies;
- Differentiate between a range of standard security techniques in terms of the security they provide and the resources required;
- Understand and assess the performance of commonly used security algorithms and protocols;
- Apply standard security techniques to information transmitted over communication lines or stored in a database in order to provide confidentiality,
authenticity and integrity;
- Understand the issues involved in information and network security in wireless and mobile environments;
- Be able to assess the performance of security systems in wireless and mobile environments.


Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed FIT1005 Networks and Data Communications or equivalent.

Unit relationships

FIT2058 is a core unit in the Security major in the Bachelor of Information Technology and Systems. It is co-taught as FIT2058. It is also co-taught with CSE2500(BComp) and CPE2007(BNetwork Comp) as part of the teaching-out strategy for these units. It is an elective for the other BITS majors.

The unit gives the basics of computer security, fundamentals of cryptography, including OS security, Database security, Web security, Email security, etc. From here students can proceed to more advanced security subjects of the Masters degrees.


Texts and software

Required text(s)

No prescribed text.

Textbook availability


Software requirements

There is no software requirement

Hardware requirements


Recommended reading

Gollmann Dieter, Computer Security, Second Edition, John Wiley & Sons Ltd., 2006.

William Stallings, Network Security Essentials: Applications and Standards, Third Edition, Prentice-Hall, 2007.

Pfleeger, C.P.& Pfleeger S. L., Security in Computing, Fourth Edition, Prentice-Hall, 2007.

Library access

You may need to access the Monash library either personally to be able to satisfactorily complete the subject.  Be sure to obtain a copy of the Library Guide, and if necessary, the instructions for remote access from the library website.

Study resources

Study resources for FIT2058 are:

The FIT2058 web site on MUSO, where lecture slides, weekly tutorial requirements, assignment specifications, sample solutions and supplementary material will be posted.

Unit website

Structure and organisation

Week Topics Key Dates
1 Introduction to Security
2 Risk Analsyis
3 Authentication
4 Access Control
5 Cryptography
6 Public Key Cryptography
Non teaching week
7 Examples of Encryption
8 Database Security Unit Test
9 Network Security
10 Email Security
11 Computer Virus & Malicious Code
12 Web and Mobile System Security Laboratory Assignment
13 Revision


The timetable for on-campus classes for this unit can be viewed in Allocate+


Assessment weighting

Examination (2 Hours) 60%

Unit Test in week 8 15%

Laboratory Assignment: 25%

The laboratory exercise will provide the students with practical understanding of the mechanisms and algorithms employed in the discipline. As part of the laboratory exercise each student will make a presentation of the solution to an assigned problem to the entire tutorial group during the weeks 7 to 11, submitting a detailed report of the presentation, which forms the laboratory assignment.

Assessment Policy

To pass this unit you must:

Obtain an overall 50% in the unit with a hurdle requirement of minimum of 40% in each of the following

  1. the laboratory assignment
  2. Exam

Your score for the unit will be calculated by:

Total marks = 0.6E + 0.15 UT + 0.25L,

where E = exam marks/100

UT = Unit Test marks /100

L = Laboratory Assignment marks /100

provided the hurdle requirement of minimum each of 40% in E and L. Failure to cross the hurdle will result in total marks of 44.

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Due Date Weighting
Unit Test in week 8 week 8 lecture 15%
Laboratory Assignment: week 12 25 %
The exam is 2 hours long and is closed book. Exam period (S1/07) starts on 07/06/07 60 %

Assignment specifications will be made available FIT2058 Website.

Assignment Submission

Laboratory Assignment will be submitted both electronically and via a paper hard copy in the scheduled tutorial class.

Extensions and late submissions

Late submission of assignments

Assignments received after the due date will be not be accepted.

This policy is strict because comments or guidance will be given on assignments as they are returned, and sample solutions may also be published and distributed, after assignment marking or with the returned assignment. 


It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are seldom regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. 

Requests for extensions must be made by 'email to the unit lecturer' at least two days before the due date. You will be asked to forward original medical certificates in cases of illness, and may be asked to provide other forms of documentation where necessary. A copy of the email or other written communication of an extension must be attached to the assignment submission.

Grading of assessment

Assignments, and the unit, will be marked and allocated a grade according to the following scale:

Grade Percentage/description
HD High Distinction - very high levels of achievement, demonstrated knowledge and understanding, skills in application and high standards of work encompassing all aspects of the tasks.
In the 80+% range of marks for the assignment.
D Distinction - high levels of achievement, but not of the same standards. May have a weakness in one particular aspect, or overall standards may not be quite as high.
In the 70-79% range.
C Credit - sound pass displaying good knowledge or application skills, but some weaknesses in the quality, range or demonstration of understanding.
In the 60-69% range.
P Pass acceptable standard, showing an adequate basic knowledge, understanding or skills, but with definite limitations on the extent of such understanding or application. Some parts may be incomplete.
In the 50-59% range.
N Not satisfactory failure to meet the basic requirements of the assessment.
Below 50%.

Assignment return

We will aim to have assignment results made available to you within two weeks after assignment receipt.


Feedback to you

You will receive feedback on your work and progress in this unit. This feedback may be provided through your participation in tutorials and class discussions, as well as through your assignment submissions. It may come in the form of individual advice, marks and comments, or it may be provided as comment or reflection targeted at the group. It may be provided through personal interactions, such as interviews and on-line forums, or through other mechanisms such as on-line self-tests and publication of grade distributions.

Feedback from you

You will be asked to provide feedback to the Faculty through a Unit Evaluation survey at the end of the semester. You may also be asked to complete surveys to help teaching staff improve the unit and unit delivery. Your input to such surveys is very important to the faculty and the teaching staff in maintaining relevant and high quality learning experiences for our students.

And if you are having problems

It is essential that you take action immediately if you realise that you have a problem with your study. The semester is short, so we can help you best if you let us know as soon as problems arise. Regardless of whether the problem is related directly to your progress in the unit, if it is likely to interfere with your progress you should discuss it with your lecturer or a Community Service counsellor as soon as possible.

Plagiarism and cheating

Plagiarism and cheating are regarded as very serious offences. In cases where cheating  has been confirmed, students have been severely penalised, from losing all marks for an assignment, to facing disciplinary action at the Faculty level. While we would wish that all our students adhere to sound ethical conduct and honesty, I will ask you to acquaint yourself with Student Rights and Responsibilities and the Faculty regulations that apply to students detected cheating as these will be applied in all detected cases.

In this University, cheating means seeking to obtain an unfair advantage in any examination or any other written or practical work to be submitted or completed by a student for assessment. It includes the use, or attempted use, of any means to gain an unfair advantage for any assessable work in the unit, where the means is contrary to the instructions for such work. 

When you submit an individual assessment item, such as a program, a report, an essay, assignment or other piece of work, under your name you are understood to be stating that this is your own work. If a submission is identical with, or similar to, someone else's work, an assumption of cheating may arise. If you are planning on working with another student, it is acceptable to undertake research together, and discuss problems, but it is not acceptable to jointly develop or share solutions unless this is specified by your lecturer. 

Intentionally providing students with your solutions to assignments is classified as "assisting to cheat" and students who do this may be subject to disciplinary action. You should take reasonable care that your solution is not accidentally or deliberately obtained by other students. For example, do not leave copies of your work in progress on the hard drives of shared computers, and do not show your work to other students. If you believe this may have happened, please be sure to contact your lecturer as soon as possible.

Cheating also includes taking into an examination any material contrary to the regulations, including any bilingual dictionary, whether or not with the intention of using it to obtain an advantage.

Plagiarism involves the false representation of another person's ideas, or findings, as your own by either copying material or paraphrasing without citing sources. It is both professional and ethical to reference clearly the ideas and information that you have used from another writer. If the source is not identified, then you have plagiarised work of the other author. Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty that is insulting to the reader and grossly unfair to your student colleagues.


Communication methods

Preferred method of communication for students in the unit is via email to tutor or lecturer.


Notices related to the unit during the semester will be placed on the Latest News or announcements in the Unit Website. Check this regularly. Failure to read the Notices is not regarded as grounds for special consideration.

Consultation Times

Lecturer Consultation time: Fridays 4PM - 5PM.

Prior appointments via email are essential for consultations

If direct communication with your unit adviser/lecturer or tutor outside of consultation periods is needed you may contact the lecturer and/or tutors at:

Dr Nandita Bhattacharjee
Phone +61 3 990 53293
Fax +61 3 990 55157

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All email communication to you from your lecturer will occur through your Monash student email address. Please ensure that you read it regularly, or forward your email to your main address. Also check that your contact information registered with the University is up to date in My.Monash.

Last updated: Feb 16, 2007