Operating System Cybersecurity

CYB80002 12.5 Credit Points Hawthorn Available to incoming Study Abroad and Exchange students


  • One Semester

Contact hours

  • Equivalent to 48 hours

On-campus unit delivery combines face-to-face and digital learning.

2023 teaching periods


Higher Ed. Semester 2

31 Jul 23 - 29 Oct 23

5 Dec 23

Last self enrolment:
13 Aug 23

31 Aug 23

Last withdraw without fail:
15 Sep 23



Aims and objectives


This unit is designed to introduce the protection, manipulation and analysis of the inner working of operating systems. Students will learn how the Windows and Linux kernels work and study classical computer science topics such as concurrency, scheduling, Windows and Linux memory management. A variety of operating system attacks which use buffer overflows, stack smashing, heap sprays, format strings, race conditions, return to LibC (Return-Oriented Programming), integer overflows, privilege escalation, code injection, sandbox bypass, resource exhaustion and hypervisor bypasses will be studied. Defence techniques will include cryptography, authentication, code signing, containerisation and anti-virus software.
 Objectives (Unit Learning Outcomes) (ULO)

Students who successfully complete this Unit will be able to:

1. Describe the inner workings of modern operating systems, architectures and strategies used to improve hardware performance.
2. Describe communications and signalling systems used in operating systems.
3. Describe and implement common data structures and software design patterns in single and multi-threaded applications.
4. Explain operating system attacks including memory corruption attacks, privacy violations and unauthorised access.
5. Describe and demonstrate a variety of software flaws which allow privilege escalation, unauthorised access and unauthorised code execution.
6. Analyse and modify operating system source code and utilities, and detect and correct software flaws,
7. Design and implement tools and procedures which can be used to protect operating systems from a variety of attacks.