ECE 8843: Side-Channels and Their Role in Cybersecurity

Instructional Team

Alenka Zajić
Alenka Zajić
Milos Prvulovic
Milos Prvulovic


The primary objective of this course is to provide an in-depth treatment of digital and analog side-channels and their use for attacks and defenses in cyber security. Upon completion of the course, the student will have a high degree of confidence in discussing the fundamental mechanisms of side-channel creation, analysis, and application to various cybersecurity problems, and have competence in considering these mechanisms during software and hardware development.

This course is not foundational and does not count toward any specializations at present, but it can be counted as a free elective.

Course created by OMS Cybersecurity

Course Goals

As part of this course, students:

  1. Will gain an insight into side-channels, how they are created and used in cybersecurity
  2. Will learn and practice how to exploit digital and analog side-channels for cybersecurity
  3. Will learn and practice how to analyze side-channels for program monitoring and supply chain verification

Once completed, students should have the following capabilities:

  • A high degree of confidence and competence in discussing the fundamental mechanisms of side-channel creation, analysis
  • A high degree of confidence and competence in applying side-channels to various cybersecurity problems

Sample Syllabus

Fall 2021 syllabus and schedule (PDF)
Spring 2021 syllabus and schedule (PDF)
Fall 2020 syllabus and schedule (PDF)

Note: Sample syllabi are provided for informational purposes only. For the most up-to-date information, consult the official course documentation.

Before Taking This Class...

Suggested Background Knowledge

Suggested prerequisites are graduate standing and some background in high performance computer architecture (e.g. ECE 4100/6100). Students should also be able to modify existing programs and write new programs in C/C++.

Technical Requirements and Software
  • High-speed Internet connection
  • Laptop or desktop computer with a minimum of a 2 GHz processor and 2 GB of RAM​
  • Windows for PC computers OR Mac iOS for Apple computers
  • Complete Microsoft Office Suite or comparable and ability to use Adobe PDF software (install, download, open and convert)
  • Mozilla Firefox, Chrome and/or Safari browsers

Academic Integrity

All Georgia Tech students are expected to uphold the Georgia Tech Academic Honor Code. This course may impose additional academic integrity stipulations; consult the official course documentation for more information.