Syllabus - CYBR 210: Vulnerabilities


Name Chadi El Kari
Office CTC 126
Phone (209) 932-3062
Email celkari at pacific dot edu
Office Hours Mon/Wed/Fri 2:00-3:30pm, and by e-mail appointment.
Please email to request alternate meeting times outside of scheduled office hours.

Course Basics

Class Hours Monday, Wednesday 5-6:20pm in CTC 214
Prerequisites COMP 173 or completion of “Operating Systems”
COMP 177, ECPE 177 or completion of “Computer Networking” all with a “C” or better.
Textbook No textbook is required for this course.
Optional reference books may be suggested throughout the semester.
Credits 3

Course Description

In this course, students will systematically study the fundamental principles of computer system security. Students will learn to identify vulnerabilities in computer systems and mitigate them. The course takes a practical approach to information security by focusing on real-world examples and hands-on lab activities. 

Course Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Identify and mitigate software security vulnerabilities in existing systems
  • Learn coding styles that reduce the chance introducing vulnerabilities
  • Identify and use tools for finding vulnerabilities
  • Evaluate the security risks of systems and software
  • Determine the security vulnerabilities of various software systems as well as various Web and server applications, and design mechanisms to mitigate those vulnerabilities.

Program Learning Outcomes

The MS in Cybersecurity program has identified eleven program learning outcomes that are satisfied by required courses. These program learning outcomes, and the level at which each course satisfies them, is identified in the following table:


CYBR 200

CYBR 210

CYBR 220

CYBR 230

CYBR 240

CYBR 250

CYBR 280

Low Level Programming Languages








Software Reverse Engineering








Operating System Theory
















Cellular and Mobile Technologies








Discrete Math and Algorithms








Cyber Defense








Security Fundamental Principles
















Cybersecurity Law








Communication Skills








D = Developed (learning outcome developed through multiple assignments with extensive feedback)
M = Mastered (learning outcome mastered through a robust assignment; appropriate for graduation)

Note: CYBR 280 (Cyber Security Capstone Project): This student project must demonstrate mastery in at least five different cybersecurity competencies (including cybersecurity law and communication skills)

Course Topics

The topics covered in this course include:

  • Shell coding and SetUID programs
  • Bash shell security bugs
  • Stack/Heap Overflow vulnerabilities
  • Format string attacks
  • Race Conditions
  • Browser Security
  • Mobile Security
  • Other software vulnerabilities

Assignments and Examinations

This course will be composed of the following elements:

  • Lab Projects (60% of course grade)
  • Midterm Exam (10% of course grade)
  • Final Project (20% of course grade)
  • Technical Report and Presentation (10% of course grade)

Attendance Policy

Regular class attendance is strongly encouraged.  Students who miss class meetings are responsible for keeping up with the class.  The course Canvas site will be used to assist in instruction. You are responsible for keeping up with projects, labs, lecture notes, announcements, and other materials that may be posted there.

Grading Policy

Grades for the course are assigned on the scale below:

Grade A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D F
Points > 93 93-90 < 90-87 < 87-83 < 83-80 < 80-77 < 77-73 < 73-70 < 70-67 < 67-60 60

Student Work

Please note that copies of student work may be retained by the instructor to assess how the learning objectives of the course are met. Further, the MOSS (Measure of Software Similarity) system may be used to compare student submissions in an automated fashion.

Honor Code

The Honor Code at the University of the Pacific calls upon each student to exhibit a high degree of maturity, responsibility, and personal integrity. Students are expected to:

  • Act honestly in all matters
  • Actively encourage academic integrity
  • Discourage any form of cheating or dishonesty by others
  • Inform the instructor and appropriate university administrator if she or he has a reasonable and good faith belief and substantial evidence that a violation of the Academic Honesty Policy has occurred.

Violations will be referred to and investigated by the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. If a student is found responsible, it will be documented as part of her or his permanent academic record. A student may receive a range of penalties, including failure of an assignment, failure of the course, suspension, or dismissal from the University. The Academic Honesty Policy is located in Tiger Lore and online at

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

If you are a student with a disability who requires accommodations, please contact the Director of the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) for information on how to obtain an Accommodations Request Letter.

3-Step Accommodation Process:

  1. Student meets with the SSD Director and provides documentation and completes registration forms.
  2. Student requests accommodation(s) each semester by completing the Request for Accommodations Form.
  3. Student arranges to meet with his/her professors to discuss the accommodation(s) and to sign the Accommodation Request Letter

To ensure timeliness of services, it is preferable that you obtain the accommodation letter(s) from the Office of SSD during the first week of class. After the instructor receives the accommodation letter, please schedule a meeting with the instructor during office hours or some other mutually convenient time to arrange the accommodation(s).

The Office of Services for Students with Disabilities is located in the McCaffrey Center, Rm. 137.  Phone: 209-946-3221 Email: Online:  

Nondiscrimination Policy

The University of the Pacific does not discriminate in the administration of any of its educational programs, admissions, scholarships, loans, athletics, or other University activities or programs on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, handicap, sexual orientation or preference, sex or age.