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CS 7936 — Computer Security & Privacy Seminar, Fall 2015

Wednesdays, 12:00–1:00 PM, 3515 MEB (Graphics Annex)

Instructor: Tamara Denning

Past offerings: Spring 2015

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Week Date Facilitator(s) Paper(s)
1 8/26 Denning Organizational Meeting
2 9/2 Baset Mo(bile) Money, Mo(bile) Problems: Analysis of Branchless Banking Applications in the Developing World (Reaves et al), USENIX 2015
3 9/9 Ghimire Where Have You Been? Using Location-Based Security Questions for Fallback Authentication (Hang et al), SOUPS 2015
4 9/16 Denning To Pin or Not to Pin—Helping App Developers Bullet Proof Their TLS Connections (Oltrogge et al), USENIX 2015
5 9/23 Baset Measuring the Longitudinal Evolution of the Online Anonymous Marketplace Ecosystem (Soska and Christin), USENIX 2015
6 9/30 Ardestani Hardware Security Issues in Memory Access (timing channels, authentication, and ORAM) (slides here)
7 10/7 Ghimire Preventing Lunchtime Attacks: Fighting Insider Threats With Eye Movement Biometrics (Eberz et al), NDSS 2015
8 10/14 No class - Fall break
9 10/21 Aniqua Towards Automatic Generation of Security-Centric Descriptions for Android Apps (Zhang et al), CCS 2015.
10 10/28 NO SEMINAR
11 11/4 NO SEMINAR
12 11/11 Ghimire IEMI Threats for Information Security: Remote Command Injection on Modern Smartphones (Kamsi and Lopes Esteves), IEEE Transactions on Electromagnetic Compatibility, August 2015
13 11/18 NO SEMINAR
14 11/25 McKenna Ocelot: User-Centered Design of a Decision Support Visualization for Network Quarantine, (Arendt et al), VizSec 2015
15 12/2 Inside Anonymous (WATCH Series - Gabriella Coleman)
16 12/9 Cybersecurity for the Internet of Everything (IoE) (WATCH Series - Bret Hartman)


(Page formatting cheerfully borrowed from CS 7934.) The Fall 2015 offering of CS 7936 will focus on reading and discussing papers from recent security conferences on a variety of topics.

The goal is to increase participants' familiarity with recent and important results in the area of computer security & privacy research. Attendees will read and discuss papers from recent top-tier security conferences. Attendees will typically discuss one paper each week. Papers will be selected by presenters based on their interests.


Students may enroll for one (1) credit. Although the University lists the course as “variable credit,” the two- and three-credit options are not currently available.

Students enrolled in the seminar are expected to read the papers prior to the seminar. Additionally, students are expected to sign up to lead the discussion on one or more seminar meeting. Leading the disucssion means:

  1. Choosing the paper and submitting it the week before the seminar meeting;
  2. Preparing a 7-10 minute summary of the paper and its pertinent points;
  3. Preparing potential discussion points if the discussion needs prompting.

Potential Papers

Upcoming and recent conference proceedings are good sources of papers for discussion. Below are links to some relevant conference series.

And the following is a curated list of papers of possible interest:

Reading and Presenting

It can be useful to look up the video of the presentation (if it was at USENIX, the video was recorded and is available online) and/or the slides (which may be available on the presenting author's page).

The following questions (some of which are pulled from Writing for Computer Science) can be useful to keep in mind when reading a paper (although not all questions will apply to all papers):