Some midterm 1 practice questions


Hey folks,

Ikpeme put together some suggested homework questions. These won’t be graded but feel free to work them and talk to Ikpeme about the answers. We may be posting some more suggested homework questions later this week.



1. What characteristics would make an encryption absolutely unbreakable? What characteristics would make an encryption impractical to break? [2.13 Pfleeger].
a. Why is one-time pad provably secure or describe why it is unbreakable?
2. Describe the Diffie-Hellman key exchange protocol. Why is this protocol a secure way to exchange keys?


1. Could a computer program be used to automate testing for trapdoors/vulnerabilities/exploits? That is, could you design a computer program that, given the source, object or binary version of another program and a suitable description, would reply Yes or No to show whether the program had any trapdoors. Explain your answer. [3.4 Pfleeger].
a. Explain the implications of these outcomes i.e how confidant are we if the program replies Yes or No? If it returns No, does this mean that there are no trapdoors/vulnerabilities/exploits and why?
2. Explain how information in an access log could be used to identify the true identity of an impostor who has acquired unauthorized access to a computing system. Describe several different pieces of information in the log that could be combined to identify the impostor. [3.14 Pfleeger].


1. Describe a mechanism by which an operating system can enforce limited transfer of capabilities. That is, process A might transfer a capability to process B, but A wants to prevent B from transferring the capability of any other processes. Your design should include a description of the activities to be performed by A and B as well as the activities performed by and the information maintained by the operating system. [4.18 Pfleeger]. References should be included if your design is not an original design.
2. Question 4.22 [Pfleeger].


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