Distributed Computing and Computer Security Education

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



This paper presents our experience in using cluster computing when teaching Computer and Data Security. The background knowledge together with the topics that fit the best applications of distributed computing and the hardware and software needs are discussed. Several project activities are presented with some analyzed in detail. The first requires the students to develop a computer cluster out of a regular public lab and use it for building security attacks such as password and encryption key cracking. The second deals with prime number generation using a client /server architecture (implemented in Java) and an Oracle database complemented by the implementation of resiliency (reassigning jobs when a node dies). These projects allow the implementation of real world - like attacks while using relatively inexpensive resources. Based on class assessment, they were highly appreciated by the students, increasing their awareness on the power of distributed computing with respect to data security and ensuring their preparedness to further advances in computing.



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