Course Syllabus

Please note that the specifics of this Course Syllabus are subject to change. Instructors will notify students of any changes and students will be responsible for abiding by them. Even if you print this syllabus, please check the online version often.

This course is currently being developed or significantly revised. Please check back later in the semester for a full syllabus and more accurate estimate of the course assignments.


CYBER 366: Malware Analytics (3 credits)

This three-credit course teaches the principles and practice of malware detection, analysis, and defense. The course will be divided into three modules. The first module focuses on understanding the foundations of malware, including history, vulnerability, types, analysis methods, and defenses. The second module focuses on malware analysis techniques, including reverse engineering as well as static and dynamic malware analysis methods. The third module focuses on analytic approaches to malware problems, including automatic malware trace classification and clustering. In all three modules, we incorporate lab sessions to help students obtain hands-on experience. Through this course, the students will gain concrete understandings on principles and practices of malware analysis and defense. 



  • IST 242, completed with a grade of "C" or better
  • IST 261, completed with a grade of "C" or better
  • CYBER 262, completed with a grade of "C" or better


  • Understand how malware works.
  • Understand and apply malware analysis methods.
  • Understand and apply analytic malware detection techniques (e.g., classification and clustering).


  • TBD


  • Sikorski, M., & Honig, A. (2012). Practical malware analysis: A hands-on guide to dissecting malicious software. ISBN: 9781593272906
  • This course may use a lab component which requires a minimal fee for usage. If so, your instructor will provide purchasing details in the course syllabus when the semester begins.

Assignments & Grading

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Course Grading Breakdown
Grading Category Total Points Percentage of Final Grade
Homework 20%
Individual Hands-on Labs 40%
Class Participation and Discussion 10%
Module Exams 30%
TOTAL 100%

Course Grading Scale

The following are minimum cutoffs for each grade:

  • 93.00% = A
  • 90.00% = A-
  • 87.00% = B+
  • 83.00% = B
  • 80.00% = B-
  • 77.00% = C+
  • 70.00% = C
  • 60.00% = D
  • less than 60.00% = F

Course Policies and Expectations

  • Late assignments
  • Office hours - by appointment
  • Changes - Please note that additions or changes to the syllabus as well as topics and the assigned readings/videos may occur as we move through the course, so always reference the Canvas Calendar and Module tabs for the most recent assignments, due dates, prep work, and events. When the professor makes a change to the calendar, he will immediately notify students (via announcement and in class) and make the appropriate changes in Canvas.
  • Attendance - Students are required to attend all classes, however, three absences are allowed (with no impact on grade).  After three absences, your grade will be impacted.  It is required that you notify your professor and your group prior to missing any classes.
  • Participation - Students are expected to actively participate in all course activities during class time. Students are expected to not use their phones or computers or other technologies on non-course related items during class time. If students are doing so, then their participation grade will be impacted. No reminders or notification is needed for the students to have their grade impacted.
  • Point Disputes - If a student has questions about why they did not receive full points for any graded assignment or quiz questions, the student has one week from the date that the assignment grade/comments was given to the student to email any issues to the professor. Point changes will not be made at the end of the semester.
  • Logging into Canvas - Students are expected to login regularly to check for course updates, announcements, emails, discussions, etc.
  • Emailing through Canvas - Students are expected to use Canvas for all course email communication.
  • Attending virtual meetings - Students are expected to use specified virtual meeting tool(s) for collaboration, meetings, presentations, etc., as needed.

Academic Integrity

Penn State and the College of Information Sciences and Technology are committed to maintaining Penn State's policy on Academic Integrity in this and all other courses. We take academic integrity matters seriously and expect you to become a partner to the University/College standards of academic excellence.

For more information, please review these policies and procedures:

While utilizing additional sources outside of this class is encouraged for gaining a better understanding of course concepts, seeking explicit answers for graded assignments from outside sources (e.g. Course Hero, Chegg, tutoring services like, etc.) is considered CHEATING and will not be tolerated. Sanctions range from failure of the assignment or course to dismissal from the University. Additionally, sharing course content without permission is a violation of copyright and may result in university sanctions and/or legal ramifications. Contact your instructor with questions related to this topic. 

University Policies

Review current information regarding various Penn State policies (such as copyright, counseling, psychological services, disability and military accommodations, discrimination, harassment, emergencies, trade names, etc.) on the University Policies page.

Penn State takes great pride to foster a diverse and inclusive environment for students, faculty, and staff. Acts of intolerance, discrimination, or harassment due to age, ancestry, color, disability, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religious belief, sexual orientation, or veteran status are not tolerated and can be reported through Educational Equity via the Report Bias webpage (


Find extensive information and links to many Penn State and IST resources (including the Penn State libraries, video conferencing tools, technology and software, writing and research help, and much more) on the Resources page.

Technical Requirements

Standard World Campus computer technical specifications are assumed for this course. Please test your computer for requirements. In addition, a webcam and a headset with a microphone are REQUIRED for the course. These may be used for virtual meetings, virtual office hours, interactions with classmates and your instructor, and group presentations - which are all conducted with virtual meeting tools. No special software is required.


The following schedule outlines the topics covered in this course, along with the associated time frames, readings, activities, and assignments. All due dates reflect Eastern Time (ET). Specifying the time zone ensures that all students have the same deadlines, regardless of where they live.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due