CS 294: Privacy and Security Enhancing Technologies

Dawn Song
Soda Hall 320
Lecture Times
Monday & Wednesday, 1:00-2:30pm

Course Description

  1. Malicious Code Defense: Malicious code such as worms, botnets, spyware, rootkits is wreaking havoc on the Internet. What are the technical reasons causing the prevalence of malicious code on the Internet today? What techniques can we design and develop to defend against it?
  2. OS and Web Security: Operating Systems need to provide a secure platform for applications. Similarly, the web browser needs to provide a secure platform for web applications which are becoming increasingly important. What are the fundamental security properties that an OS or a web browser should provide? What techniques can we design and develop to achieve them? In addition, new Internet algorithms and services such as pay per click ads, recommender systems and reputation systems are on the rise. Economic incentives lead to real-world attacks. What new security issues may these services face? What techniques can we design and develop to protect them?
  3. Privacy Enhancing Technologies: Huge volumes of data containing sensitive/private information are being collected and stored by various sensors/monitoring systems, auditing systems, etc. Examples include electronic records in health care systems and location information in ubiquitous computing applications. How can we protect users' privacy and at the same time enable effective sharing and utilization of the distributed data? And how can we provide desirable services to users and protect their privacy even when the servers are untrusted?
These are among the most pressing security and privacy questions to be addressed today. By covering state-of-the-art research discoveries and results, this class endeavors to find answers to these questions. The goal of this class is twofold: (1) to arm students with a set of core techniques they can use to address security and privacy issues in their research areas, (2) to introduce students to important research questions and prepare them to conduct additional research in these areas.

Course Schedule

Here's the course schedule and reading list.


Students are expected to do a 2-person semester-long group project on relevant research topics. More details coming soon.


20% Class particpation
20% Paper summaries
60% Class project