CS 290N Architectural Support for Secure and Reliable Computing

This course will examine architectural designs and mechanisms that enhance the security and reliability of computing systems. The course will initially cover the basic properties and building blocks of secure and reliable systems from an architect's perspective. Then we will survey the state of the art. Students will pursue an in-depth class research project relating to the topics covered.


Class will start at 9:30 from now on.

Time: TR 9:30-10:50
Room: Phelps 2510
Prof. Fred Chong; office hours by appointment; Eng I 5163
Textbook: Security Basics for Computer Architects , by Ruby B. Lee. (should be free from a UCSB machine)


  • Project Proposal due 4/15
  • Project Drafts due 5/20
  • Project final papers due 6/6


  • Problem Sets 15%
  • Discussion Topic 25%
  • Project Proposals and Drafts 20%
  • Project Final Report 40%

    Problem Set Information

    For each assigned paper, write up the following and e-mail me a copy before class:
  • A summary of the main points of the paper.
  • A critique of any shortcomings of the paper.
  • Any ideas on how one would extend the ideas in the paper or address its shortcomings.

    Discussion Information

  • Assign a paper for the class to read, one week before your discussion day.
  • Present the paper and supplemental material on your assigned day. Lead discussion, with my help, on the subject.

    Project Information

    Here is an example project paper. The project has two goals:
  • A critique of 3-5 related research papers. This is not a book report. Do not just summarize what is in the papers. Point out shortcomings and possible areas for extension.
  • Extension of the area. Address shortcomings or extend the work in the papers. Come up with some ideas and test them with a short project. This can be in the form of some simple analysis, simulations, algorithms, or models. Remember to pick something that will fit in a quarter.


  • Lecture (Tue 4/1/14): Introduction
    Logistics and Ch 1 slides
    Minos slides
    Reading for next time: Ch 1 and Ch 2 in Lee.
  • Lecture (Th 4/3/14): Security Policies
    Ch 2 slides
    DACODA and Temporal Search slides
    Reading for next time: Ch 3 in Lee and (do problem set write-up for this paper)
    Mohit Tiwari, Hassan Wassel, Bita Mazloom, Shashidhar Mysore, Frederic Chong, and Timothy Sherwood. Complete Information Flow Tracking from the Gates Up Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems (ASPLOS), March 2009. Washington, DC

  • Lecture (Tue 4/8/14): Access Control
    Ch 3 slides
    GLIFT slides
    Reading for next time: Ch 4 in Lee and (do problem set write-up for this paper)
    High-bandwidth network memory system through virtual pipelines, Agrawal and Sherwood.
  • Lecture (Th 4/10/14): Cryptography
    Ch 4 slides
    Virtual Pipelining slides
    Reading for next time: Ch 5 in Lee and (do problem set write-up for this paper)

  • No Class (Tue 5/20/14) and (Th 5/22/14): Fred at Computing Frontiers
  • Final Projects ()

    Last updated February 2014