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Development Of Undergraduate Network Security Labs With Open Source Tools

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Laboratories in Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.485.1 - 14.485.12



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Paper Authors


Arif Uluagac Georgia Institute of Technology

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Arif Selcuk Uluagac is a Ph.D. student in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA as a member of the Communications Systems Center Laboratory. He received his B.Sc. in Computer Engineering from Turkish Naval Academy and M.Sc. degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in PA, in 1997 and 2002, respectively. He is a member of IEEE, ACM, and ASEE. He is currently teaching the undergraduate level network security class as an adjunct instructor at Southern Polytechnic State University.

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Walter E. Thain Jr.

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Walter E. Thain received his BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is an Associate Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology at Southern Polytechnic State University and teaches courses in voice and data networking, communications systems, and analog and RF electronics. Research interests include voice and data network design and management, network security, RF communication systems, and digital signal processing. He spent 12 years in industry, where he designed mixed analog-digital systems, including, short-pulse radars and antennas, low-noise analog circuits, RF circuits, pulse generators, frequency synthesizers, switching power supplies, and high-speed digital circuits. He is co-inventor on a patent for the design of electronic instrumentation used to steer oil wells while drilling.

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Thomas Fallon Southern Polytechnic State University

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Thomas J. Fallon received his BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. degree in Astronomy from Georgia State University. He is an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology at Southern Polytechnic State University and is coordinator of the BSTCET program. He has 20 years of telecommunications- related experience, conducts networking workshops, and is author of the book The Internet Today. His astrophysics Ph.D. research at Georgia State University involved remote operation of a telescope array via the Internet.

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John Copeland Georgia Institute of Technology

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Development of Undergraduate Network Security Labs with Open Source Tools


Undergraduate level network security classes are usually taught during the junior or senior year of an undergraduate education, because it is assumed that students have acquired the necessary background material in previous classes, such as algorithms, programming, and networks. Although students should have had enough exposure to the background material, they still potentially face difficulties in grasping theories and concepts related to the network security field. One way to address this concern is to give homework, or require laboratory exercises with programming assignments. Programming assignments provide the students with an excellent opportunity to digest the concepts. However, they are usually focused too much on one aspect of the problem rather than overall picture of the particular topic of interest. Thus, it is vital to design network security labs that combine theory and available applications representative of the lecture component of the class.

In this paper we discuss the development of the laboratory component of an undergraduate network security course for the Telecommunications Engineering Technology (TCET) program at Southern Polytechnic State University. As with other engineering technology programs, the TCET program maintains an application-oriented approach in all of its courses. Creating the laboratory component is often the most challenging part of the overall course development task. Fortunately, the availability of numerous open source security tools provided resources for all of the lab exercises as well as many of the lectures. The tools were selected in order to better enable student to comprehend the complexities and intricacies of security-related topics. Furthermore, the lab exercises can be used with stand-alone labs, or aid in the completion of programming assignments or other forms of homework. Descriptions of the security course lab exercises and features of the open source tools that were utilized are included.

1. Introduction

In our era, information is distributed across many uncontrolled domains (e.g., Internet) and we have become more dependent on technology and the Internet.. For instance, we have many flavors of distributed networks today: wired, wireless, GPS, hand-held devices, sensor networks1, etc., with almost the same set of rich networking functionalities (e.g., multimedia.) However, as the number of cyber crime incidents increase2, the security of these diverse set of networks and their services has become an integral part of most businesses.. For instance, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) a received over 200,000 cyber crime-related incidents in 2007 alone. Therefore, the situation necessitates the teaching and better education of today and

a The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA).

Uluagac, A., & Thain Jr., W. E., & Fallon, T., & Copeland, J. (2009, June), Development Of Undergraduate Network Security Labs With Open Source Tools Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5772

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