Computer Security | Abertay University

Computer Security


This module introduces issues relating to computer security and ethical hacking, including vulnerabilities and techniques for improving defences.


The aim of this module is to analyse how malicious hackers can gain unauthorised access and explore how organisations and individuals can improve their security

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Appraise and assess the relevance of the laws relating to computer crime.

2.  Critically evaluate a broad range of techniques used to identify vulnerabilities in a system

3.  Critically evaluate intrusion incidents and recommend appropriate countermeasures




Indicative Content

1 Background to computer security

Discussion of various different security models, for example the CIA triad and Parkerian Hexad. Understanding of the different ‘nodes’ in an organisation which can impact on security. Requirements for secure systems. Threat landscape. Industry challenges. Human factors affecting security

2 Computer Misuse Act

Detection, prevention and prosecution in the UK/EU. History of legal cases.

3 Privacy and Data Protection

Privacy, Data Protection Act, Surveillance, protecting personal data (UK and EU). Intellectual Property. Relevant cases

4 Techniques for improving computer security defences

The role of firewalls, IDS/IPS and honeynets in security. Antivirus limitations. Acceptable use policies and password policies. The role of education in security. Physical security measures

5 Techniques for evading computer security defences

Various difference attack strategies for example phishing, spearphishing, social engineering will be explored.

6 Scanning

Footprinting, scanning, operating system scanning, enumeration, vulnerability detection

7 Malware

Types of viruses and worms. Writing simple viruses using virus creation kits. Anti-virus and anti-malware methodologies for malware removal

8 Pattern matching rules for intrusion detection

Pattern matching rules for intrusion detection

9 Analysing the events triggered by IDS

Analysing the events triggered by IDS

10 Mitigate threates and intrusions identified by IDS

Mitigate threates and intrusions identified by IDS

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Content will be presented by a mixture of lectures and practicals. Assessment will be by means of a law assessment and an independent practical exercise where the student will have the opportunity to further develop the skills covered in the class.. A purpose-built and regularly-updated module website is used to provide links to lecture notes, laboratory tasks, assessment briefs, operational matters, and external information. Student project or lab work and student-suggested links are incorporated as and when appropriate.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 12
Tutorial/Seminar 0
Supervised Practical Activity 39
Unsupervised Practical Activity 0
Assessment 60
Independent 89

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2018/19 , and may be subject to change for future years.