CS 419 Announcements

Breaking news and updates about the course

Fall 2020

December 9, 2020
Mondays lecture material, which includes a discussion of final grades, is posted on Week 14 of Canvas Module.
December 8, 2020
Grades for project 3 are posted. Most of you did well but there were quite a few grades of 0 and 1. Each program was worth 2 points. Basic tests tested the programs for a range of files and keys (both could be arbitrary binary data). If that failed, you lost all 2 points. If you didn’t handle null files or had other detected errors, you lost 1 point on that program. If you did not generate the correct output because, for instance, you decided to add a newline at the end, your results are incorrect. If you truly believe you have a program that works correctly but was misgraded, please contact Shuo (or me if the comments say I graded the assignment). Do not contact us if you your program does not work completely correctly but you want a few points.
December 5, 2020
Grades for project 4 are posted. I put together a brief writeup that explains what your grade means and how I graded the assignment. I graded this one, so please direct any questions about your grade to me … but read the writeup first.
November 30, 2020
Quiz 12 is based on material from the lecture (plus one question from last week’s lecture). If you sat through this week’s lecture, you can take it anytime. If you didn’t, you’ll need to wait until I post the lecture tomorrow.
November 27, 2020
Lecture notes and videos on web security have been posted to Canvas under the module for Week 12 (the videos and slides were up for the past few days but I just updated the lecture notes).
November 25, 2020
Those of you who waited until the due date to submit the homework found that the assignment is unavailable via Canvas. Until this is fixed, You can go through the reading material if you haven’t already done so. I posted links to it here. The Canvas help desk writes:

We have been made aware of a larger than normal amount of error messages being returned from requests that are being processed through Amazon Web Services (AWS) and we are currently working with our partners to identify and resolve these issues. Currently this has been mostly in attempts to access New Quizzes but is not limited to that feature of Canvas.

November 19, 2020
Homework 14 is posted and due at 11:59pm EST Wednesday, November 25. The next quiz (5–6 questions) will be on Tuesday November 24. Lecture slides, notes, and videos are in Modules: Week 11.
November 8, 2020
I added a longer-form description of project 4 and supplied some sample files as examples.
November 6, 2020
The next quiz will be 5–7 questions on bitcoin and maybe a question on steganogrpahy (similar to the others) and will take place on Tuesday. Please look at the material in Modules: Week 9.
November 5, 2020
I changed the deadline for assignment 13 (project 4) to November 22 11:59pm EST. I’m giving you lots of time for these extremely short assignments so you can plan your schedule more easily. These assignments really shouldn’t take you much time. If they do, you should take it as a sign that you need to put a lot more effort into developing your programming and debugging skills. If you will be celebrating Diwali next weekend, start your assignment extra-early to make sure you have enough time. The amount of basic questions that were posted within a day that the previous assignment was due was disappointing and an indication that some of you started the assignment much later than you should have.
November 5, 2020
Homework 12 is posted. This is the usual reading and multiple-choice questions.
November 4, 2020
Homework 13 is posted. This is a set of two programs you need to write to compute and validate proof of work.
November 5, 2020
Homework 12 is posted. This is the usual reading and multiple-choice questions.
November 4, 2020
Homework 13 is posted. This is a set of two programs you need to write to compute and validate proof of work.
October 30, 2020
The next quiz will be 6 questions on authentication (similar to the others) and will take place on Tuesday. Please look at the material in Modules: Week 8.
October 30, 2020
Homework 11 is posted. This one is due by the end of Thursday, November 5 since some of you will likely be working until the last minute to submit homework 10.
October 28, 2020
In lieu of a recitation, I posted a video and slides that reviews some of the main concepts we covered during the lecture and covers CAPTCHA, which we did not get to covering in the lecture. I also fixed some typos in the lecture slides yesterday. If you downloaded Monday’s version, the updated version fixes a few typos.
October 24, 2020
I cleaned up the description of homework 10 both on the web page and in canvas.
October 23, 2020
I posted reference implementations of the programs for homework 10. The linux directory contains linux versions of the executables and the macos directory contains macOS versions. The samples directory contains some sample files you can use for testing but you should also create your own files and keys.
October 23, 2020
Assignment 9 is posted on canvas and due Wednesday, October 28, 2020 11:59pm EDT. The next quiz will be 5–6 questions (similar to the others) and will take place on Tuesday. Please look at the material in Module 7.
October 21, 2020
Assignment 10 is posted. This is a set of small programming assignments to implement three types of ciphers.
October 15, 2020
Assignment 8 is posted on Canvas and due Wednesday, October 21, 2020 11:59pm EDT. The next quiz will probably 5–6 questions (similar to the others) and will take place on Tuesday. Please look at the material in Module 6.
October 13, 2020
Reminder: the quiz is due today. Responding to a student suggestion, I expanded this to seven questions instead of the usual five to dilute the value of each question (and gave you six more minutes). I’m not sure if most of you will like this (each question is worth less) or hate it (more questions). I’m also not sure if I’ll keep this up since coming up with plausible answers to MC questions is a pain. Even with five questions, in the end each question will could less toward your grade than if we had in-class exams.
October 11, 2020
I posted summaries of the past week’s lecture notes. They’re on the web site and linked in Module 5.
October 9, 2020
I added an extra credit section to homework 6 where you can add support for hiding multiple files.
October 8, 2020
The next quiz will be like the others and will take place on Tuesday. Please look at the material in Module 5.
October 8, 2020
Assignment 7 is posted and due Wednesday, October 14, 2020 11:59pm. This is a multiple-choice assignment based on two articles that you need to read. Note that it is due before asssignment 6, which was posted yesterday.
October 7, 2020
Assignment 6 is posted and due October 21, 2020 11:59pm.
October 6, 2020
There will be no recitation tonight. There will be one tomorrow and a recording will be made available for those who can’t make it (as well as slides). It will discuss the next assignment.
October 6, 2020
Quiz 4 is posted and due by the end of day Tuesday (11:59pm EDT).
October 3, 2020
I added brief lecture notes on command injection in addition to the ones on confinement that were already posted. They’re also linked in Module 4.
October 2, 2020
The next quiz will be like the others and will take place on Tuesday. Please look at the material in Module 4. I won’t ask you about virtual machines.
October 1, 2020
Homework 5 is posted on Canvas. You will need to read two very short articles and answer the questions (one multiple choice and four match-the-answer). The deadline is Tuesday, October 6, 2020 11:59pm EDT. I will not give extensions.
September 28, 2020
Given that some students will be observing a holiday tonight through Monday night, Quiz 3 will be posted at 9pm on Monday and, as stated in an earlier announcement, due by the end of day Tuesday.
September 25, 2020
I posted brief lecture summary notes that, I hope, summarize much of the essential material that was covered in the past lecture.
September 25, 2020
A student pointed out that some audio was corrupted in parts 1 & 3 of the week 3 lecture. Specificially, there were a couple of places where the beginning audio was replayed. I have no idea why this would have happened but I’ve re-exported & recompressed the video and I don’t see that happening anymore. Please let me know if you encounter problems with playback.
September 22, 2020
Assignment 4 is posted and due prior to midnight on Monday.
There will be a quiz that’s due by the end of day on Tuesday. To prepare: - Be familiar with these terms and concepts - Go through the lecture notes - Watch the lecture videos - Read the buffer overflow attack chapter (part of HW 4) - Read pages 10–11 of the Intel Control-flow Enforcement Technology Specification (partof HW 4)
September 22, 2020
There will be no recitation this week. If you have questions about the assignment, please reach out to Shuo or me.
September 19, 2020
I assembled the questions about homework 3 from piazza into an FAQ. I also try to clarify how your progam can run, what input it takes, and what output it produces. Please go through the list periodically just to ensure you didn’t miss anything.
September 18, 2020
The second quiz will take place on Monday. Like the previous wone, it comprise 5 multiple-choice questions and you will have 15 minutes to take it anytime within a 24-hour period. You can, of course, consult the lectures and your notes.
To prepare, - Watch the lecture if you missed it. I broke the recording into three parts. - Go through the lecture slides. These have more annotations than the ones I used for the lecture to add more clarity. - If something is unclear, you can read through the access control notes. These notes may have more detail than you need to know but longer explanations. - Finally, go through the list of terms you should know from the second lecture. References to all of these are in the Week 2 module in canvas.
September 16, 2020
Assignment 2 is a multiple-choice question written assignment and is due next week before 5pm on Tuesday.
Assignment 3 is the programming project that was covered in recitation. If you saw an earlier version, I cleaned up the text and clarified the output and error messages you should display. Look through the recitation notes if you feel intimidated – it really shouldn’t be hard.
September 13, 2020
You can take the first quiz anytime on Monday, September 14 but you must complete it before 11:59pm on Monday. It’s five multiple choice questions and you have 15 minutes to complete it. This is an individual effort - no collaboration is allowed.
September 11, 2020
The first quiz will take place on Monday. It will be really short – about 4–5 multiple-choice questions – and you will have 15 minutes to take it anytime within a 24-hour period. You can, of course, consult the lectures and your notes but you’re unlikely to have time to go through the notes completely in that time.
I’ve posted a list of terms you should know from the first lecture, including from the homework reading material.
September 11, 2020
Assignment 1 is posted on Canvas and is due on 11:59pm Wednesday, September 16.
The lecture recordings, and annotated slides are posted on canvas and on the course web site.
September 9, 2020
Since yesterday was Monday and we didn’t have recitation for section 1, we won’t have a recitation for section 2 of the class. I still owe you slides and videos for yesterday’s lecture and am still making some edits to the recordings and cleaning up some of the annotated slides. Stay tuned…
September 7, 2020
Reminder - Since today is a holiday, Rutgers has decreed that tomorrow, Tuesday September 8, is a Monday. We will have our first 419 lecture on Tuesday, September 8 at 5pm EDT via zoom.
September 1, 2020
If you were unable to join Tuesday’s zoom call, had to drop out early, or want to access it again, I’ve posted: - the slides - the video. - answers to some of the questions that were asked
If you have any questions about the material, feel free to contact me via any of following ways: - Piazza - Email:
Last modified December 9, 2020.
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