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NUS Module Review: CS2107 Introduction to Information and System Security

As a student not from SOC, this module is EXTREMELY TOUGH.

While the pre-requisite for the mod only requires CS1010, it is highly insufficient without any knowledge of Linux terminal commands, programming languages (C especially), and computing knowledge/bckgrd (network security basics).

Real-time lectures were difficult to follow (if you do not have a solid bckgrd) as there is not enough time, but if you review the webcast (special for this semester), Prof Chang is actually able to explain the concepts well.

No marks for attending tutorials, but the TA I had was very knowledgeable and helpful. Project is done in tutorials and is a simple presentation + QNA, and most will get the similar marks. Be warned — Tutorial Questions are a completely different ball game from Capture the Flag (CTF) Assignments, which are horrendous. LOTS of time scouring the internet for help on how to solve, but most of the time you won’t even know what to search on, or no results turn up. Most computing students tend to take the mod with their friends, so expect an extremely tough bell curve (almost every one gets full marks).

This semester there are no mid-terms or finals, but take-home assignments. Much more manageable than CTF as long as you understood the lecture content and can apply to the questions, but once again, beware the bellcurve.

While tough, I do think this module is interesting and imparts many useful security concepts to students. However, for those with no background (like me), I would suggest to take mod with friends in computing, or read up and get familiar with the Linux environment and hardware knowledge before hand.

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