Cyber Security Adversarial Techniques Certificate - Curriculum 260 (DL)

Program Manager

Cynthia Irvine, Ph.D.

Code CS/Ic, Glasgow East, Room 211

(831) 656-2461, DSN 756-2461

Program Officer

Kehinde Adesanya "Kenny", LCDR, USN

Glasgow Hall East, Room E309

(732) 485-6203

Academic Associate

Duane Davis, Ph.D.

Glasgow Hall, Room 212

(831) 656-2733, DSN 756-2733


Brief Overview

Using the foundation established through the Cyber Security Fundamentals certificate, students enrolled in Cyber Security Adversarial Techniques graduate certificate, will obtain a detailed understanding of and ability to function in real operational situations in which adversarial techniques are being used. An understanding of overarching principles, computer and network architectural concepts, and exemplar cases will allow students to analyze current and future malware. Students will learn how to use network traffic analysis to extract the characteristics of ongoing attacks and to identify exploitable vulnerabilities. They will learn how to decipher subtle, clandestine host-based attack mechanisms and how these mechanisms are inserted into target systems. They will learn, in detail, how attack and exploitation software mechanisms are built and deployed, including the distributed command and control techniques used to manage large-scale malware networks. Considerable programming and hands-on work with systems and networks will be required. Entire courses, or units within them, may be taught at the classified level, thus facilitating classroom discussions on emerging challenges and capabilities.

Students entering this program are expected to have a strong foundation in cyber security and networking. In addition, entering students will be expected to understand and use the languages and techniques of operating system and network component development: the C programming language, assembly, shell scripting, use of linkers, loaders, and debuggers.

The total number of NPS graduate credits obtained for the certificate is 13.5, where laboratory credits are counted as half. This certificate program can also be applied toward a master's degree program, e.g. Curriculum 368. 

Program Length

Four quarters


Understand an apply techniques for software analysis and  reverse engineering.

Analyze malicious software for key characteristics including, but not limited to: behaviors, triggers, and indicators of provenance.

Use  tools appropriate for massive data sets to identify and  characterize software and digital communications, both benign and malicious.

Use rudimentary system exploitation techniques to gain privilege, persistence, command and control, obfuscation, and management of adversarial software.

Understand policies, eco-systems, and constraints as context for cyber operations.

Certificate Requirements

The student will select three of the following courses (CS4558, CS4648, CS4679,  and CS4679).


Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
CS4558Network Traffic Analysis



CS4648Software Reverse Engineering and Malware Analysis



CS4678Advanced Cyber Vulnerability Assessment



CS4679Advances in Cyber Security Operations