This course provides an introduction to the technical
foundations of cyber security. It is
and, we hope, fun and interesting.
Why Are We Studying Cyber Security?
Your instructor will have had a good bit to say on the first day
of class about why Cyber Security is important.
So here we will briefly address the hows and whys of studying
Cyber Security here at USNA.
The Navy recognizes the need to have officers that
are familiar with the fundamentals of Cyber Security. To this
end, the Naval Academy formulated a plan to add Cyber Security content
to the curriculum. This course is the first step, but your
exposure to Cyber Security will not end with your plebe year!
Throughout the course notes, you'll see "in the fleet" boxes like
this that describe applications of the topic at hand in the fleet.
Some of them are about "big picture" fleet issues, and some of
them are about things that you, as a junior officer, may very
well have to deal with directly.
Throughout the course notes, you'll see "in the news" boxes like
this that describe (and usually link to) recent stories in the
news that talk directly about the topic at hand, or that start
to dig a little deeper into the topic at hand.
Throughout the course notes, you'll see annotation boxes like
this that give extra little bits of information about the
subject covered in the notes.
What Are We Studying In This Course?
Cyber Security is a big topic, and it overlaps many
August 2009 initial report of the Dean's
Cyber Warfare Ad Hoc Committee included the following:
Cyber Warfare is a somewhat unusual topic in that it
involves a technical academic core of tightly inter-related
subject matter, as well as a wide range of important topics
that, while dependent on the technical core for fullest
appreciation, are not dependent on each other. Stated another
way, cyber warfare is comprised of, first, a foundational
component, dealing with a set of interconnected fundamental
technical concepts, and, second, a wide range of
interdisciplinary topics, touching upon the areas of law,
political science, strategy and tactics, policy, ethics, and
the study of foreign languages and culture.
SI110 is an introduction to the technical academic core
described in the excerpt.
The material we cover is organized into three sections:
You will find that this organization into
the cyber battlefield, models & tools, and cyber operations
is very explicit in almost
all the course material we provide.
- The Cyber Battlefield
This portion of the course will teach you about the basic
components that constitute what we call "cyberspace".
Starting with digital data, the physical computer, operating
systems, and programs; and continuing with the Web, the
Internet, and both wired and wireless networks.
- Models and Tools
There are some theoretical underpinnings to what it is we
are protecting (or attacking) in the cyber domain, and how
we make rational decisions about security. Additionally,
there are a few broad categories of tools — firewalls,
encryption, hashing — that we combine in different
ways to meet different security goals.
- Cyber Operations
In this portion of the course we study
network recon, network attack, network defense and digital
forensics. The final four weeks actually has you and your
classmates doing these things — i.e. actually mapping
out an opponent's network, actually attacking and defending
How Do I Succeed In This Course?
You are responsible for the material on this website. You
should consult the course calendar
after every class meeting. There you will find lecture
notes, homework assignments and reading assignments.
In class you need to:
bring your laptop, charged but with the power brick;
participate fully in discussions and activities, and
pay attention during lecture;
expect to understand the material and, when you don't, stop the
instructor and ask questions.
Outside class you need to:
do the homework; read the online lecture notes carefully; seek
EI for homework you can't get or lecture material you don't
understand; prepare thoroughly for exams.