6.857 Network and Computer Security

Fall 2003

Secure sockets layer protocol.
Secure sockets layer (SSL) protocol, the dominant mode for secure browser-server communications. (Image courtesy of MIT OCW.)

Course Highlights

This course site features problem sets with solutions (including student submissions) and a full reading list.

»  Download the complete contents of this course.

Course Description

6.857 is an upper-level undergraduate, first-year graduate course on network and computer security. It fits within the department's Computer Systems and Architecture Engineering concentration. Topics covered include (but are not limited to) the following:
  • Techniques for achieving security in multi-user computer systems and distributed computer systems;
  • Cryptography: secret-key, public-key, digital signatures;
  • Authentication and identification schemes;
  • Intrusion detection: viruses;
  • Formal models of computer security;
  • Secure operating systems;
  • Software protection;
  • Security of electronic mail and the World Wide Web;
  • Electronic commerce: payment protocols, electronic cash;
  • Firewalls; and
  • Risk assessment.

Technical Requirements

File decompression software, such as Winzip® or StuffIt®, is required to open the .zip files found on this course site. Any text editor can be used to view the .asc files found on this course site. Any number of development tools can be used to compile and run the .java files found on this course site. The .bin files found on this course site are computer-readable files. Please refer to the course materials for any further specific instructions or recommendations.

*Some translations represent previous versions of courses.

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Prof. Ronald L. Rivest

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session


Undergraduate / Graduate