MPCS 56520 Advanced Security Topics (Spring 2023)

Section 1
Instructor(s) Rossell, Shelley (shelley)
Location Online Only
Meeting Times Wednesday 5:15pm - 7:30pm
Fulfills Elective


Knowing how to defend means knowing how to attack.  This course will focus on penetration testing, drawing on the core concepts from the ‘Introduction to Computer Security' course.  Topics will include:

  • passive reconnaissance and OSINT,
  • active reconnaissance and enumeration,
  • scanning techniques,
  • vulnerability assessment,
  • exploitation techniques,
  • privilege escalation, and
  • lateral movement. 

Labs will primarily use Kali linux.

Course Prerequisites

Core Programming
MPCS 56511 Introduction to Computer Security

Other Prerequisites

Students need to be able to run both Kali linux and the Metasploitable2 machine image - on VirtualBox or other virtualization environment.

MPCS 54001 Networks (recommended) or similar solid knowledge of TCP/IP, routing, and other networking concepts.
MPCS 53001 Databases (recommended) or similar understanding of relational database structure and SQL (structured query language).

This course requires competency in Unix and Linux. If you attended the MPCS Unix Bootcamp you covered the required material. If you did not, please review the UChicago CS Student Resource Guide here:

Overlapping Classes

This class is scheduled at a time that conflicts with these other classes:

  • MPCS 53111-1 -- Machine Learning
  • MPCS 53120-1 -- Applied Data Analysis
  • MPCS 52553-2 -- Web Development
  • MPCS 51082-1 -- Introduction to Unix Systems

Eligible Programs

Masters Program in Computer Science MS in Computational Analysis in Public Policy (Year 2) MS in Molecular Engineering MA in Computational Social Science (Year 2) Bx/MS in Computer Science (Option 2: Professionally-oriented - CS Majors) Bx/MS in Computer Science (Option 3: Profesionally-oriented - Non-CS Majors)