Security of Cyber-Physical Systems

CSC 591/791 & ECE 591 (004), Fall 2022

Course Information

Instructor Man-Ki Yoon
Class Room 1228 EB2
Class Hours Tu/Th 4:30–5:45 pm
Office Hours Tu/Th 3:30–4:30 pm (3254 EB2 or Zoom)
Online Tools Moodle, Slack, Github

Course Description

The goal of this course is for students to discover and solve security problems in cyber-physical systems (CPS) and real-time embedded computing. We will read, present, and discuss representative research papers (from classical articles to recent publications in top systems and security conferences) on various topics including: automotive/drone security, AI/ML security, embedded OS/hardware security, real-time systems security, internet-of-things security, and accountability challenges. In this research-oriented course, students will have the opportunity to find their own topics related to CPS security and conduct research projects under the guidance of the instructor. We will also have in-class hands-on activities that help students get familiar with CPS and real-time embedded computing and explore research ideas.

Course Structure

Individual Paper Presentation

In each meeting, one paper will be presented and discussed by students — one paper is presented by one student chosen in advance. The presenter is also responsible for leading the discussion (with the instructor). All students are required to read the papers and submit short review comments on them before coming to the class.

Research Project

Each student will conduct a semester-long research project individually (or in a group of two). Students will have the opportunity to propose their own topics according to their specific interests and/or discuss with the instructor to develop ideas. The instructor will try to provide relevant resources (e.g., software tools, hardware devices), within a limited budget, to those who need them. Each student is expected to submit a project proposal (1 page), a midterm report, and a final report with a final presentation. Each student will have individual meetings with the instructor to discuss the project idea, midterm progress, and final outcome.


There is no prerequisite. Intermediate knowledge in systems security (CSC 474/574), embedded systems (ECE 460), operating systems (CSC 501), and/or networking (CSC 401, 570) will be helpful.

Course Materials

There is no required textbook for this course. Research articles, slides, and code will be posted on Moodle and GitHub.

Attendance Policy

Due to the discussion nature of the class, attendance is required and recorded. Valid excuses for absence will be accepted before class.

Grading Policy

The table below shows the percentage-based breakdown of how each requirement will factor into the overall grade.

Presentation, discussion, participation 40%
Project proposal, midterm report/presentation 10%
Project final report and presentation 50%
Total 100%

Academic Integrity

Students are required to comply with the university policy on academic integrity that can be found at Do not, under any circumstances, copy another person’s code. This includes any open-source code available in the Internet. Proper acknowledgment in the source code or in the report is required if using someone else’s work. See also for a detailed explanation of academic honesty.

Students with Disabilities

Reasonable accommodations will be made for students with verifiable disabilities. In order to take advantage of available accommodations, students must register with the Disability Services Office at Suite 1900, Student Health Center, Campus Box 7509, 515-7653. Please also see the university policy on academic accomodations for students with disabilities.