CPSC 527 - Computer Viruses and Malware
Special note for Fall 2015: I am currently on sabbatical and
I won't be looking at applications for CPSC 527 until mid-summer,
sorry (and I can't have GPAs calculated until after the winter
term marks are in anyway).
You may want to register in alternate courses and switch
your registration if your application is successful. Sorry for the
This course will focus on malicious software, or malware, such as
computer viruses, worms, and Trojan horses. Malware techniques will be
studied, along with countermeasures and so-called "benevolent"
malware. Legal and ethical issues will be covered, as will more
general computer and network security issues.
Course assignments will involve creating malware under controlled lab
conditions. Due to the inherent danger of this software, you may only
work on these assignments in the designated lab room for the course.
STRICT lab protocols will be in effect; failure to adhere to these
protocols will result in an "F" grade in the course.
You will be required to sign a form stating that you have read and
understood the lab protocols, and that you understand that misuse of
the information in this course can result in civil and criminal
penalties under the laws of Canada and of other countries.
Enrollment for Fall 2015
(Graduate students interested in CPSC 627 should contact me directly.)
Due to limited lab resources, there will be limited number of people
admitted to this course. The requirements are as follows:
- GPA of 3.0 or better
- must have 4th year standing in CPSC or higher
- must have completed CPSC 457 and CPSC 313 with a C- or better by the
time CPSC 527 starts
- must submit a one-page essay, explaining why you want to take this
course, and what your learning expectations from it are. These
essays will be be used in
part to decide entry into the course.
Deadline for essay submission: as soon as possible.
We are able to assess applications
as they come in, right up to the start of classes. Send your essays
in ASCII or PDF format.
(Please note that Microsoft Word files will not be accepted!)
No auditing or "sitting in" on any part of this course is allowed,
sorry. ID checks will be done as students enter the class.
After this Course
In the interest of full disclosure, you should know that a few companies
have made public statements that they will not hire people who have ever
written a virus program. Thus, they have stated that they will not hire
students who have taken this course. These statements have been made
primarily by companies who make anti-virus software as they want to
avoid any perception that they are in league with virus writers. Please
consider this when deciding if you want to enroll in the course.