CSS 437: Hacker Techniques, Tools and Incident Handling

Course Description

This course will focus on an introduction to hacking tools and incident handling. Areas of instruction include various tools and vulnerabilities of operating systems, as well as the software and networks used by hackers to access unauthorized information. This course also addresses incident handling methods used when information security is compromised. (3 credits)


  • ENG 101: English Composition 1
  • ENG 102: English Composition 2
  • ITE 145: Fundamentals of Information Systems Security
  • ITE 220: Networking and Data Communcation (Recommended)

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Explain the history and current state of hacking and penetration testing, including ethical and legal implications.
  2. Identify fundamental TCP/IP concepts and technologies related to networking.
  3. Describe cryptology.
  4. Identify basic equipment controls, physical area controls, and facility controls.
  5. Identify common information gathering tools and techniques.
  6. Analyze how port scanning and fingerprinting are used by hackers.
  7. Analyze how enumeration is used in conjunction with system hacking.
  8. Analyze wireless network vulnerabilities exploited by hackers.
  9. Perform web and database attacks.
  10. Identify and remove common types of malware from infected systems.
  11. Identify Trojans, backdoors, and covert communication methods.
  12. Perform network traffic analysis and sniffing by using appropriate tools.
  13. Analyze systems using Linux tools.
  14. Perform incident handling by using appropriate methods.
  15. Compare and contrast defensive technologies.

Course Activities and Grading




Written Assignments


Lab Assignments




Final Exam




Required Textbooks

Available through Charter Oak State College's online bookstore

  • Oriyano, Sean-Philip. Hacker Techniques, Tools, and Incident Handling - with Access Code. Jones-Bartlett, 3rd ed., 2020. ISBN-13: 971284172607
    • Note: This is a bundle which includes the textbook and the Access Code required for this course. We discourage students from purchasing “used” materials from other sources due to access codes not working properly.

Course Schedule



Readings and Exercises




Topics: Introduction to Ethical Hacking and Cryptographic Concepts

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 1
    • Chapter 2
    • Chapter 3
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Submit Week 1 Assignments
    • Developments in Hacking, Cybercrime and Malware
    • Cryptography
    • Vulnerability of a Cryptosystem
  • Submit Week 1 Labs
    • Assessing and Securing Systems on a Wide Area Network (WAN)
    • Applying Encryption and Hashing Algorithms for Secure Communications



Topics: Footprinting and Social Engineering

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 5
    • Chapter 13
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Submit Week 2 Assignments
    • Information Gathering Plan
    • Data Gathering and Footprinting Protection Plan
  • Submit Week 2 Lab
    • Data Gathering and Footprinting on a Targeted Web Site



Topics: Port Scanning, Enumeration, and System Hacking

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 6
    • Chapter 7
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Submit Week 3 Assignment
    • Top Ports and Rising Ports Review
  • Submit Week 3 Lab
    • Using Ethical Hacking Techniques to Exploit a Vulnerable Workstation
  • Submit Project Part 1: Current Security Threats



Topics: Wireless Vulnerabilities and Web and Database Attacks

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 8
    • Chapter 9
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Submit Week 4 Assignments
    • Wireless Exploit Research
    • Web Application Attacks Prevention
  • Submit Week 4 Lab
    • Auditing a Wireless Network and Planning for a Secure WLAN Implementation
    • Attacking a Vulnerable Web Application and Database



Topics: Malware, Worms and Viruses

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 10
  • Read assigned chapter
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Submit Week 5 Assignment
    • Malware Lifecycle
  • Submit Week 5 Lab
    • Identify and Removing Malware on a Windows System
  • Submit Project Part 2: Vulnerabilities in Information Technology (IT) Security



Topics: Network Analysis and Linux

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 11
    • Chapter 12
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Submit Week 6 Assignments
    • Network Attacks
    • Basic Linux Commands
  • Submit Week 6 Labs
    • Analyzing Network Traffic to Create a Baseline Definition



Topics: Incident Response and Defensive Technologies

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 4
    • Chapter 14
    • Chapter 15
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Submit Week 7 Assignments
    • Controls
    • Gaps in Incident Response
  • Submit Week 7 Labs
    • Investigating and Responding to Security Incidents
    • Securing the Network with an Intrusion Detection System (IDS)
  • Submit Project Part 3: Investigative Findings on Malware
  • Submit Project Part 4: SQL Injection



Topics: Incident Response and Defensive Technologies (cont...)

  • Readings:
    • Review the material from the previous weeks to prepare for Final Exam
  • Submit Project Part 5: Analysis of Intrusion Detection System (IDS) Traffic with Inbound Attacks
  • Submit Project Part 6: Defense Plan to Prevent Attacks
  • Complete Final Exam
  • Complete the Course Evaluation

COSC Accessibility Statement

Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.

COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources

Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.