Available in 2021
Course code



10 units


6000 level

Course handbook


As organisations and users increasingly rely upon networked applications for assessing information and making critical business decisions, securing distributed applications has become extremely significant. This course provides students with both theoretical knowledge as well as the design of techniques for securing distributed systems and networked applications. Students learn about advanced security models and techniques for secure systems design and apply them to protect information and networked applications. They are also exposed to advanced security concepts and security issues in emerging technologies and how they can be secured using the security services and mechanisms learnt in this course.

Availability2021 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2021


  • Semester 2 - 2021

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Identify and analyse security requirements in a distributed networked computing environment.

2. Evaluate security threats and develop appropriate security techniques and mechanisms to counteract these threats.

3. Apply security concepts and techniques to design security services and security protocols in networks and distributed systems.

4. Analyse and evaluate the design of authentication and access control security services in distributed systems.

5. Communicate via written and oral presentation the design of security solutions to an expert audience.


Module 1: Security Basics

Introduction to Security Concepts

  • Basic concepts in security
  • Security threats and attacks

Cryptographic Techniques Review

  • Symmetric and asymmetric cryptosystems
  • Cryptographic hash functions
  • Digital signatures

Key Management and Distribution

  • Symmetric key management
  • Public key management
  • Public key infrastructure

Module 2: Authentication and Access Control

User Authentication

  • Authentication mechanisms
  • Authentication protocols

Access Control

  • Access control models and mechanisms
  • Access control policies

Advanced Operating System Security

  • Unix fundamentals
  • Unix security

Module 3: Distributed System Security

Distributed System Security

  • Distributed computing fundamentals
  • Kerberos authentification┬ásystem
  • Web service security
  • SAML: secure assertion markup language
  • Security in SOAP
  • OAuth authorisation

Module 4: Network and Application Security

Network Security

  • Networking fundamentals
  • OSI security architecture
  • Internet protocol security
  • Wireless network security
  • Mobile IP

Application Security

  • Email security
  • SMTP security
  • PGP security


This course has similarities to SENG2250. If you have completed SENG2250 you cannot enrol in this course.

Assumed knowledge

1. A basic understanding of the structure and function of operating systems.

2. A basic understanding of computer networks and network protocols.

3. Discrete math (number theory).

4. Programming skills (Java or Python or C++).

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Assignment 1: Cryptography and Authentication Protocols

Written Assignment: Assignment 2: Security Protocols/System Design

Written Assignment: Assignment 3: Research on selected security topics

Formal Examination: Final Examination *

* This assessment has a compulsory requirement.

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

Course Assessment Requirements:

  • Formal Examination: Minimum Grade / Mark Requirement - Students must obtain a specified minimum grade / mark in this assessment item to pass the course. - Students whose overall mark in the course is 50% or more, but who score less than 40% in the compulsory item and thus fail to demonstrate the required proficiency, will be awarded a Criterion Fail grade which will show as FF on their formal transcript. However, students in this position who have scored at least 25% in the compulsory item will be allowed to undertake a supplementary 'capped' assessment in which they can score at most 50% of the possible mark for that item.

Contact hours

Callaghan and Online


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

Online students will receive equivalent instruction through online or other distance education strategies.


Face to Face On Campus 38 hour(s) per Term Full Term

2 hours per week shared with SENG2250 plus an additional 2 hours every fortnight. Online students will receive equivalent instruction through online or other distance education strategies.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.