Course Syllabus
Department of Computer Science
The George Washington University
Csci 6547.10 - Wireless and Mobile Security

General Course Information
Meeting time:
Class Webpage:
Mon 12:45PM-3:15PM
OM 312
Class Webpage
Instructor Information
Office hours:
Xiuzhen Cheng
SEH 5860
202 994 9751
202 994 4875
cheng AT
10:00AM-12:00PM, Monday.
TA Information
Office hours:
Chunqiang Hu

chu AT
4:00PM-6:00PM, Friday
Course Description and Objective
This course will address various issues (attacks and defense strategies) in wireless and mobile security, including WEP and WPA, wireless jamming attacks, and movile privacy. It is intended for Master or Doctoral students who are interested in the current development of wireless and mobile security.

The goal of this course is to familiarize students with the issues and technologies involved in designing a wireless and mobile system that is robust against various attacks. Students will gain an understanding of the various ways in which wireless networks can be attacked and tradeoffs in protecting networks. At the end of this course, students will have a broad knowledge of the state-of-the-art and open problems in wireless and mobile security, thus enhancing their potential to do research or pursue a career in this rapidly developing area.

No teextbook is required.

   For Background Knowledge:

  • Cryptography and Network Security: Principles and Practice, by William Stallings, Prentice Hall; 6th edition; March 16, 2013.
   Other References:
  • "Wirelss Network Security: A Beginner's Guide", by Tyler Wrightson, McGraw-Hill; 1st Edition; Apr 30, 2012.
  • "802.11 Wireless Networks: The Definitive Guide", by Matthew Gast, O'reilly Mideia; 2nd Edition; October 2011.
  • "Hacking Exposed Wireless", by Johnny Cache, Joshua Wright, and Vincent Liu, McGraw-Hill Osborne Media; 2nd Edition; July 2010.
  • "Wi-Foo: The Secrets of Wireless Hacking" by Andrew Vladimirov, Konstantin V. Gavrillenko, and Andrei A. Mikhailovsky, Addision-Wesley Professional; 1st Edition, July 2004.
Csci 6431 Computer Networks; Csci 6331 Cryptography.
Method of Instruction
The course will be taught mainly through lectures, in-class discussions, and projects. The material in the course is drawn mainly from research literature. To actively participate in the in-class discussion (required), you need to study the papers before class. These papers will be on-line at least one-week ahead of time. More supplimentary reading materials will be put on the course webpage. Students are strongly recommended to scrutinize part or all of them.

Students are expected to attend all classes and participate in class discussions. The best way to get the most out of this course is to read the papers thoroughly before class and come prepared to engage in lively discussions.

In addition to class participation and discussions, students are required to do projects independently. We will have three projects that are strongly related to the course material.

Method of Evaluation
Grades will be computed based on the projects only.

Final letter grade will be curved based on the distribution of the overall scores. However, you may expect the following tentative grading scale to evaluate your performance: A's,A-'s:90-100%, B+'s,B's,B-'s:80-89%, C+'s,C's,C-'s:70-79%, D+'s,D's,D-'s:60-69%.

Course Outline and Schedule (Tentative)
       Topics Week
       Syllabus; Introduction to Wireless Networks Jan 12
       802.11 WEP and WPA; First Project Jan 26, Feb 2, Feb 9, and Feb 23
       Wireless Jamming Attacks; Second Project Mar 2, Mar 16, Mar 23, and Mar 30
       Wireless and Mobile Privacy; Third Project Apr 6, Apr 13, Apr 20, Apr 27, Apr 29
Academic Integrity Policy
All examinations and other graded work products and assignments are to be completed in accordance with GW Code of Academic Integrity.