(CS 4710) Security of Mobile and Wireless Systems

Spring 2022

This course is also cross listed as CS 6710 - Wireless Networks for students of the BSCS program with concentration in Cyber Operations.


Time and Location: Mondays and Thursdays from 11.45am - 1.25 pm. Kariotis Hall 309.

Office hours: Mondays from 3 - 4 pm in ISEC 608

Teaching Assistants: Narmeen Shafqat <@husky.neu.edu>, Harshad Sathaye [email protected] (TA office hours: Tuesdays 12 - 1 pm)

Course Description

Recent years have seen massive deployment of wireless devices and technologies around us. They are deployed in a wide variety of systems such as telephony, navigation, sensor networks, critical infrastructures etc. With the advent of the Internet of Things and autonomous cyber-physical systems, the proliferation of these wireless systems are only bound to increase. The broadcast nature of wireless technologies and the increased availabiloty of software defined radios have not only improved quality of life but pose significant security challenges. In particular, the course would cover the following topics:

  • Basic security notions
  • Wireless communication basics
  • Jamming/Anti-jamming techniques, eavesdropping, insertion/modification, wireless channel based Key Agreement
  • Secure localization and proximity verification
  • Secure synchronization
  • Security of GNSS systems (GPS, Galileo, Glonass)
  • Security and privacy of 802.11 and Bluetooth technologies
  • Broadcast authentication techniques
  • Key distribution in sensor networks
  • Security of modern communication systems: GSM/UMTS/LTE

Course Objective: After this course, the students should be able to describe and classify security goals and attacks in modern wireless networks. They should be able to identify the unique security implications of these effects and how to mitigate security issues associated with them.


Fundamental ideas in wireless communications and security notions preferable. Basic Matlab or Python programming skills will help in a couple of take home assignments (however not mandatory). Additional pre-requisites apply as mentioned in the respective course catalog entries.

Reading Materials

There won’t be any single text book for this course. Every lecture will contain pointers to recommended reading material. For students who are not familiar with relevant background, the following links/textbooks may help.


The grades will be based on paper summary reports, presentations and project work during the course of the semester.

Paper summaries / Discussion 30%
Lab exercises and Assignments 25%
Random Quizzes 5%
Project pitch 5%
Project report 15%
Project presentation 20%

The assignments, paper summaries and the project are to be executed in small teams of 2.


Note: The schedule is tentative and can change due to weather, travel, syllabus coverage speed etc.

Date Topic Notes
20 Jan Course logistics, Basic Security Notions  
24 Jan Wireless Basics  
27 Jan Wireless Basics lab Lab 1 out
31 Jan Jamming  
03 Feb Jamming, Project Ideas Lab 2 due , One on one discussions for projects this week
07 Feb lab Lab Exercise 2 (Intro to SDR)  
10 Feb Wireless Channel-based Security  
14 Feb Project pitches Lab 2 due
17 Feb GNSS Security  
21 Feb President’s Day no class  
24 Feb GNSS Security, Secure Localization lab Lab 3 out
28 Feb in class lab  
03 Mar Secure Localization Lab 3 due
07 Mar Paper presentation #1  
10 Mar Paper presentation #1  
14 Mar Spring break no class  
17 Mar Spring break no class  
21 Mar Broadcast authentication  
24 Mar lab Lab 4: Ring the bell  
28 Mar 802.11 wireless security  
31 Mar 802.11 wireless security  
04 Apr lab Lab 5: WEP/WPA2 cracking Lab 4 due
11 Apr Cellular networks  
14 Apr Cellular networks Lab 5 due
18 Apr Patriot’s Day no class  
21 Apr Paper presentations #2  
25 Apr Paper presentations #2  
28 Apr Final Project presentation  
02 May Reserve day  


This course is largely adopted from similar courses offered at ETH Zurich (Prof. Srdjan Capkun), CMU (Prof. Patrick Tague) and EPFL (Prof. Jean Pierre Hubaux).