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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
School of Information and Library Science

INLS 187: Information Security

Class Syllabus

Class Overview: Information security, data integrity, privacy and policy are increasingly important to individuals and to society. This class will examine these and other topics related to information security. The class will engage in reading about issues, conducting analysis of policies and software, and participating in discussions about the impact of security on the present and future.

Catalog description: Aspects of data integrity, privacy and security from several perspectives: legal issues, technical tools and methods, social and ethical concerns and standards.

Class Goals:

  1. To understand contemporary issues of information security;
  2. To be able to form and assess information policies;
  3. To realize the risks involved when information is in electronic form; and
  4. To develop skills to address risks pro-actively.

Pre-requisite knowledge: INLS 102 or comparable experience with Internet systems and services. The ability to author HTML documents is assumed. Familiarity with basic microcomputer software and operating systems (Windows) is assumed. Some knowledge of Unix is assumed.

Computer Usage: This course requires student ownership of a portable computer in accordance with the SILS Laptop Requirement. Students will bring their computers configured to access the UNC wireless or wired network to class daily (unless otherwise announced by the instructor). This requirement applies to all students enrolled in INLS 187, regardless of whether the SILS or CCI laptop requirement applies to each individual.

This is a Paperless Course: The course syllabus, assignment descriptions and notes will be online, linked from these INLS 183 Web pages. Student assignments will also be online. For more details about moving towards paperless courses, see Prof. Newby's Paperless Pages

Texts: Two textbooks will be used throughout the course and are recommended for purchase. Online readings will supplement the text. The third is also of possible interest for supplemental reading. Contents are listed in toc.html.

Schneier, Bruce. 2000. Secrets and Lies. New York: Wiley. ISBN: 0-471-25311-1.

Toxen, Bob. 2002. Real World Linux Security, 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference. ISBN: 0130464562.

Schetina, Erik; Green, Ken & Carlson, Jacob. 2002. Internet Site Security. Boston: Addison Wesley Professional. ISBN: 0-672-32306-0.

Evaluation: Students must complete all assigned work in order to receive a passing grade in INLS 187. Late work is downgraded at the rate of 10% per school day. Work is due at the beginning of the class period.

Evaluation will be based on 5 short assignments, an oral presentation and class participation. Students may decide in which order to complete the short assignments.

Assignment Due date Points
Assignment 1 February 5 20
Assignment 2 February 26 20
Assignment 3 March 19 20
Assignment 4 April 9 20
Assignment 5 May 5 20
Class participation ongoing 10

All assignments will be authored as online Web pages and linked to the student projects page. Brief summaries follow:

Academic Integrity: All work for INLS 187 must be your own and original. Quotations must be properly attributed and should not exceed one paragraph. Use of passages you did not write beyond 4 words in length without proper attribution is plagiarism and will result in failure and in referral to the UNC Honor Court.


Letter grades for graduate and undergraduate students are as follows. Note that graduate +/- grading is used internally by SILS, but only the full letter grade (H, P, L or F) will appear on transcripts.

Points (out of 110) 105-110 100-104 95-99 90-94 88-89 85-87 80-84 80-89 0-79
Grad H P+ P P-       L F
Ugrad A A- B+ B B- C+ C   F

Most recently updated: Saturday, 30-May-2009 23:47:37 PDT