Defense Against the Dark Arts

Attacks to modern computer system can be really dangerous. For example, attackers can collect private data from your devices, or steal money from your back accounts, or unlock your door remotely, or stop you car on the highway. In this class, we hack to understand computer systems, and learn how to build secure systems.


  • Software security
  • Web security
  • Mobile security

Time: Mon/ Wed 3:30-4:45 pm

Location: Thornton Hall E303

ZOOM Link:

Instructor: Yuan Tian (yt2e@virginia. edu)


Office hours:

Yuan, Monday 4:45-5:45 pm, or request by appointment

Quintin, Wednesday 11 am - noon,

Aron, Thursday 10-11 am,


Class Participation: 5%

Homework Assignments : 70% (5 assignments in total, 14% each)

Quiz: 10% (3 quizs in total, 3.333% each)

Final: 15%

Bonus point: up to 15% (labs and homeworks)

Readings and Textbook:

  • We have reading materials for many lectures
  • Analyzing Computer Security (available online in UVA library

Pre-requisites: Students must have completed CS 3710 or CS 3501 topic "Introduction to Cybersecurity". Please contact me with your background in computer science or security if you are interested in taking CS4630 but doesn't meet the pre-requisite.

Anonymous Feedback/Comments/Suggestions?

Feel free to leave any comments and suggestions about how the instructor can do better to help you learn this course, such as whether the lectures are clear, examples are helpful, questions are answered timely, etc. Please submit this anonymous form. Your input is highly appreciated! ;-)

Acknowledgements: Some course materials are adapted from Stanford CS155 and CMU 18487