Core Module Information
Module title: Scripting for Cybersecurity and Networks

SCQF level: 08:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: CSN08414
Module leader: Petra Leimich
School School of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment
Subject area group: Cyber Security and Systems Engineering
Prerequisites

Module Code SET07402
Examples of Equivalent Learning Good understanding of fundamental programming concepts

Description of module content:

The aim of the module is to deepen the students' understanding of fundamental programming concepts and introduce more advanced concepts for applications development. Throughout the module, the concepts will be contextualised through case studies relevant to the students' programmes of study, namely cybersecurity, digital forensics and networking. Additionally, the module integrates some fundamental aspects of mathematics, particularly discrete maths, which are important in Computing and Cybersecurity. Python is used throughout as this is a general purpose programming and scripting language which is used extensively in computer security and related fields.
The syllabus includes topics such as:
• Introduction to Python and Building Applications using a general purpose scripting language
• Functions, Modules, packages and libraries
• Coding and scripting techniques including Exception handling, Testing and Debugging
• Working with external data and applications (e.g. text files, databases, network traces)
• Algorithms, including examples such as searching and sorting
• Measuring the efficiency of algorithms - theoretically (Big-O) and practically (e.g. by timing code)
• Mathematical and stochastic concepts including permutations, sampling and randomness, and generation of random numbers and assessment of their suitability in cryptography

Example case studies:
• Encryption and Decryption using a simple algorithm such as Caesar cipher;
• Cracking passwords - brute force and dictionary attacks;
• Web reconnaissance – e.g. scraping email addresses and links from websites;
• Network traffic analysis – working with network logs to extract traffic patterns, mapping the geolocation of IP addresses.
• Comparison of the performance of several algorithms, e.g. spell-checking.



Learning Outcomes for module:

Upon completion of this module you will be able to
LO1: Design, implement and test substantial Python scripts to solve problems in Computer Security, Networking and Digital Forensics.
LO2: Employ good practice programming and scripting techniques to develop well-written modular code which is reusable, well documented and uses comprehensive error handling techniques.
LO3: Demonstrate the application of discrete mathematics concepts to problem solving in Computing.


Full Details of Teaching and Assessment
2022/3, Trimester 1, FACE-TO-FACE,
VIEW FULL DETAILS
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: FACE-TO-FACE
Location of delivery: MERCHISTON
Partner:
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Petra Leimich
Module Organiser:


Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
The student is required to be employed as a Graduate Apprentice based in and around Edinburgh to be eligible to complete this module, in this format. This module is offered in day release (GA) study mode and will be delivered during the period that students are attending classes, one day per week. The delivery of the module is in line with normal university delivery models. The traditional lecture materials will be delivered in a blended form using online materials, while in-class time is devoted to practical exercises, projects, or discussions. The module is designed around online and student-centred learning in practice with an emphasis on building a learning community.

Key concepts will be explained in lectures, illustrated with examples and interactive demonstrations (LO1,2,3). Where possible, students should bring to the lectures a laptop, tablet or mobile phone so that they can try out small examples themselves. A key feature is to present the principles behind the applications (LO1,2,3), discuss the concepts with the students (LO1,2,3) and, for each case study, discuss a starting solution and suitable approaches (LO2).
Practical labs focus on problem solving and case studies to provide practice in the application of theory (LO1,2,3). Students develop their own applications, initially often by extending a starting solution provided. As the module progresses, this will gradually require more independent work and research of advanced concepts. Throughout the labs, students will be encouraged to interact with staff and peers to explore concepts in depth and receive feedback on their progress and understanding.
Students should undertake guided independent study to gain further practice at solving conceptual and technical problems and work through additional learning materials such as recorded lectures for supplementary topics (LO1,2,3).
To provide an integrated understanding of the subject matter, each topic area will centre on a case study relevant to the students' subject area. Topics will reuse and integrate functions and modules developed earlier and emphasise exception handling (LO2).
Mathematical and statistical concepts will be the focus of several weeks of delivery and aspects of this will be woven into the delivery throughout the module, particularly in case studies (LO3). Moodle will be used to distribute course materials including starting solutions and to point the students to selected third party resources; MS Teams or similar is used to provide a chat forum and asynchronous support.


Formative Assessment:
Interactive elements of lectures encourage students to test their understanding continuously. There will be additional formative challenges such as quizzes. Continuous feedback is given by staff through discussions in the labs, and lab exercises include formative quizzes with instant feedback.
To support the first summative assessment, a practice test will be available with immediate, automated feedback.
The second assessment will be based partly on earlier lab exercises, for which feedback is available during the practicals.


Summative Assessment:
The first assessment is a class test designed to cover most of the fundamental theory of the module. This focusses on understanding and application of knowledge. As understanding is the key measure, the test is open-book (LO1,2,3).
The practical skills assessment requires students to submit their scripts as solutions to a substantial case study, in which students apply and integrate many of the concepts learned. The assessment is marked during a one-to-one demo with staff (15-20 minutes). This ensures that the student has a good understanding of their code; it also allows them to highlight notable features and provides a setting where detailed specific feedback is given. A summary of the feedback is recorded in moodle using a form tailored to emphasise the specific skills assessed (LO1,2,3).

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 24
Face To Face Practical classes and workshops 24
Face To Face Demonstration 0.5
Independent Learning Guided independent study 151.5
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200


Assessment
Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Class Test 40 1,2,3 8 HOURS= 01.00, WORDS= 0
Practical Skills Assessment 60 1,2,3 14/15 HOURS= 30.00, WORDS= 0
Component 1 subtotal: 100
Component 2 subtotal: 0
Module subtotal: 100

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
Scripting For Cybersecurity and Networks