Edward W. Felten, felten at cs dot princeton dotedu, (609) 258-5906, 302 Sherrerd Hall

Teaching Assistants

To be determined.

Office Hours

To be determined.

Discussion site

We are using Piazza for questions and discussions about the course. Please register with Piazza and join the conversation on the COS 432 page there.


There is no required or suggested textbook in this course, because there is no one book that covers the right material in an up-to-date fashion. Here are some good books about security, in case you’re interested.

* Ross J. Anderson, Security Engineering. [Covers security in general, with many non-computing examples.]
* Dieter Gollmann, Computer Security. [General security textbook. Good for what it covers, but doesn’t cover everything.]
* David Kahn, The Codebreakers. [History of cryptography. Not very technical.]
* Steven Levy, Crypto. [History of cryptography since 1970. Non-technical.]
* Niels Ferguson and Bruce Schneier, Practical Cryptography. [Focused coverage of applied cryptography, not the most rigorous.]
* Bruce Schneier, Applied Cryptography. [Very broad coverage of crypto and its applications. Approachable but not as rigorous as Stinson.]
* Douglas R. Stinson, Cryptography Theory and Practice (2nd edition). [Cryptography textbook. Math-intensive.]
* John Viega and Gary McGraw, Building Secure Software. [How to write software that will have fewer security bugs.]

There are several good books about cryptography, but relatively few good ones about other computer security topics


Mondays and Wednesdays, 11:00-12:20, room to be determined.

Homework Policy

Homework will be due at the beginning of class. Late homework will lose 10% of its value for every day of lateness. Homework more than seven days late will not be accepted.

No homework extensions will be given except in extraordinary circumstances (such as documented illness), and then only if the official university procedures are followed.

Unless the assignment explicitly states otherwise, you may not collaborate with other students on the homework. (Of course, if it is a group assignment, you should collaborate within your group!) If you make use of outside sources, you should disclose that fact and cite the sources, as you would in any scholarly work.

Grading Criteria

Grades will be computed by the following formula: 70% homework; 20% final exam; 10% subjective factors such as attendance and class participation.