New cloud-based services like targeted advertising, elastic computing and storage, online social networks, and content distribution networks are changing how the Internet is used, monetized, and secured. The goal of this course is to identify new problems of security and incentives in online services. We will take a hands-on approach, investigating how these new services are designed and used today, and the (financial) relationship between various stake-holders. We will also cover relevant background on techniques used to solve these problems, particularly from cryptography (e.g., verified computation, and digital cash) and economics (e.g., game theory and mechanism design).
Topics covered will include:
-- symbiotic relationships between cloud players
-- verifiable resource accounting in cloud computing and networking
-- accountability and privacy in financial transactions and virtual economies
-- incentive-driven system designs
-- digital cash and applications, including e-cash and bitcoin
-- fraud, underground economy, and defense techniques
-- applications of cryptography such as e-cash and verifiable computing
This is a research-oriented course focusing on reading and mini-research projects.
The class will integrate theory and practice, so both theory and system students can benefit from it: theory students can find new theoretical problems from real-world applications, while systems students can learn new theoretic building blocks.
The class is research oriented.
There will typically be two papers a week (plus the occasional guest speaker,
class-long presentation, project report, etc.). Everyone will be expected to
read and comment on the papers ahead of time. For each paper, a student will
give a 10-20 minute talk giving an overview of it (guideline: no more than 10
slides plus a title), followed by a class-wide discussion about the paper.
Each student will give two of these talks, which can either be about a paper or
about some project, measurement, use case, etc. Please confirm with Dave and Elaine
two weeks ahead of time what you will talk about.
The course will be roughly organized by topic:
Accountability and verifiability
Incentives and fairness
Some sample papers for each of these topics can be found on the syllabus.
25% Class participation
25% Reading notes and critique
No prerequisite for graduate students,
although sufficient security background is expected. For undergraduate
students, please check with the instructor.