Prepared for the new semester

This semester, I am going to teach IMT3501 Software Security for the third time. I update the course every year, and this year I managed to be ahead with updates almost one semester, i.e. I have updated almost all teaching materials by the start of the semester.

Some of the changes for this year:

  • More exercises. Students get a new exercise sheet each week, and attending the scheduled exercises will most likely not be sufficient to do all the tasks on the exercise sheet. It is a 10 ECTS course, and breaking that down to a 15 week semester yields a suggested 20 hours of student effort per week, out of which only 6 are spent in lectures or guided exercises.
  • More VM exercises. I included more of the SEED Labs exercises that use a prepared virtual machine (VM). You can use the VMs to run vulnerable web applications, create your own attacks and fix the software.
  • Students get an article recommendation, or, most often, a video recommendation to spend more time on the class outside of the lectures. I titled it „weekend video suggestion“, and I am excited to find out whether this year’s students actually use part of their weekend on studying. It is amazing how many instructive videos on different aspects of software security have been uploaded to Youtube.
    Here is a selection: How to break web software, Top 10 tips to fail security code reviews for web applications, Software security in games.
  • All slides now use the HIG layout introduced ca. 2 years ago. The new layout has more space on the slides, but I had to removed footers and had to rearrange most of the diagrams.
  • Biggest CTF participation in HiG’s history. Participation in a Capture the Flag (CTF) competition has been a part of the Software Security class since 2011. This year, there will be more bachelor students than in the last years, usually working together with master students from HiG’s information security programme. On top, we plan to add a team of Ph.D. students from HiG, COINS, and probably also some enthusiasts from SWITS. It could be 50 or more students this year, and it starts to get tricky to find suitable rooms for all of them during the 2-3 day event. The A building is undergoing renovation, and teaching is already spread to three different locations this semester. It will work out, though, and it will be a lot of fun.
About Author: Hanno Langweg

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