KIT501 Networks Assignment
Due: 5pm on Thursday the 10th of September – Week 8
This assignment requires you to investigate and write an essay on a specified topic relating to
networks and security. There is a range of topics to choose from in different areas that relate to
the content of this unit and its extended field of interest.
You must select and write about one of the available topics listed below, and you may not
submit work previously submitted for this or other units you have studied in the past.
This assignment is to be approximately 2000 words in length (plus or minus 10%, not
including references). You are encouraged to include relevant diagrams and figures.
Please pay close attention to the section at the end of this document on plagiarism. We treat
plagiarism very seriously, and, if detected, it can lead to some serious penalties.
This assignment needs to be completed as an individual.
After reading the available topics, the next step will be to access MyLO and select a topic. There
will be limited number of students allocated to each topic to ensure a spread of topics across the
Once you have selected a topic and verified that you have been allocated to it via the
associated MyLO group, then you can begin working on the assignment –
do not start
writing until your essay topic selection is verified
If the MyLO group is full, then you will have to choose a different topic.
Citations and Referencing
This is a research assignment, and as such you are expected to read a range and diversity of content
on your topic, and based on your reading, your thoughts, and understanding in the area,
condense/summarise the topic in your essay.
This means putting content into your own words
and citing where it has come from
You are expected to use a range of different sources, including academic sources. Most academic
sources will likely be formally peer-reviewed articles that have been published in journals or
conferences, although other sources are permitted (such as books, and government and/or
standards bodies documents). All source material must be cited and then be listed in a references
section at the end of the assignment. Correctly citing and referencing the content you have used
makes up a significant part of your final mark.
You are required to use the Harvard referencing style, a short description of which can be found
by following the link below.
Points to note:
Your assignment should be clearly formatted and must use in-text citations and references
when referring to content that is not your own.
You must use citations and referencing when making statements that are not otherwise
common knowledge in the field.
Assignments must have multiple references, and strong assignments must make use of
multiple academic-standard (peer-reviewed) sources.
References must include the author and the publisher. Be careful when attributing online
sources. For example, “Facebook” is not an author nor is it a publisher.
All referenced sources must be in English.
DO NOT include an executive summary in your assignment.
You may include diagrams, figures, tables, charts or similar elements where they are
relevant to the discussion. You must attribute sources for such elements using a citation
placed adjacent to or under the element, just like any other citation.
Topic List
Choose one of the following 5 topics:
Essay Topic 1. Timing-analysis side-channel attacks such as Spectre and Meltdown
have caused considerable security concerns in recent years. Discuss these kinds of
attacks that target hardware vulnerabilities, how they can be mitigated and the
possible implications on future hardware performance caused by mitigation.
Essay Topic 2. Cloud-based services including storage and infrastructure have
sometimes been criticised for poor security practises, which then allow for example
data breaches and denial of service attacks as a consequence. Define and discuss the
issues in these types of services.
Essay Topic 3. Some government and industries prohibit cloud-based services that use
physical infrastructure in foreign-countries, as information may then be subject to
foreign-country laws. For example, the Australian Government recently mandated
that their COVIDSafe application’s data storage, hosted by Amazon, must be
physically hosted in Australia. Discuss the security implications that arise in this
type of scenario.
Essay Topic 4. COVID-19 has caused an upsurge in security-related attacks such as a
large increase in phishing. Define and discuss the main attacks that have increased
in frequency, and detail why this increase has occurred.
Essay Topic 5. Many countries have implemented contact-tracing applications for
smartphones as a consequence of COVID-19, including, but not limited to Australia
and Singapore. These applications have generated widespread community concern
(whether warranted or not) as to their efficacy and possible exposure of personal
information. Compare and contrast examples of these applications, and how
Governments have tried to alleviate these concerns.

Note on Plagiarism
Plagiarism is a very serious matter, and ignorance of this is not an excuse. If you submit work,
claiming it to be your own, and it is not original work of your own, this is cheating. This includes
(but is not limited to) trying to obscure the source of your work (such as blocks of text submitted
as images), using language translation services to source text from one language and convert to
another, or paying individuals or companies to do the work for you. Plagiarism can result in
academic penalties both in relation to your assignment, and also on your permanent university
If you quote content from another place, cite it and include a reference. That is perfectly acceptable.
However, if you don’t use a reference you could lose marks. If the work you submit is actually that
of another person, without appropriate attribution, then an academic misconduct case may be filed
against you with the possible penalties mentioned above.
More information can be found here (pages 7-10 have examples of how to cite correctly):
Note: We will be using Turnitin as one of the plagiarism detection tools, however, please be advised
that other plagiarism detection methods will be used as well.
If you have any questions about this matter please don’t hesitate to ask your lecturer, or indeed
another staff member.
The essay is due on Thursday the 10th of September (Week 8) at 5:00 pm. You must submit your
assignment in MyLO via the assignment submission link in the Assessment section of the MyLO
unit website.
The submission must be a single Word document
Do not submit in PDF format, and do not ZIP or compress your file before submission
You are not required include an electronic cover sheet, as submitting to MyLO is an
implicit acknowledgement of accepting the University’s policies around plagiarism and
your way of claiming that this is entirely your own work.
where should I start?
the library online catalogue search is a good starting place to search for academic
references e.g.
Google scholar (or international alternatives) are also good for academic references –
Web sites (for news articles etc)
Textbooks on networking and security

KIT501 Assignment 1 Assessment Criteria
Descriptive text in this rubric is indicative only, not a prescriptive guide for assessment
Criteria HD DN CR PP NN
Accuracy and Depth (40%) A very well written, and
deep academic discussion
of the topic area.
All areas of the topic are
explained with most being
clear and accessible.
Most areas of the topic are
explained thoroughly, with
some being clear and
The important areas of the
topic are sufficiently
explained but some areas
lack academic depth.
Missing important pieces
of information, or contains
significant inaccurate
Citations (10%) Uniformly consistent and
accurate in-text citations.
Mostly consistent and
accurate in-text citations.
Good use of in-text
citations, but not provided
in all cases.
Reasonable use of in-text
citations, but not provided
in all cases.
Insufficient use of in-text
Referencing (25%) 10 or more sources,
including 6 or more
relevant peer-reviewed
8 or more sources,
including 4 or more
relevant peer-reviewed
6 or more sources,
including 3 or more
relevant peer-reviewed
4 or more relevant sources. Less than 4 relevant
Presentation (10%) Outstanding presentation
of document and including
appropriate useful figures
and tables.
Good presentation and
usage of tables and figures
where appropriate.
Mostly consistent
attention to presentation
quality and style.
Evidence of attention to
presentation quality, but
not consistently applied.
Unlinked text-based
presentation, with little
evidence of design
Spelling and Grammar
Material presented is
grammatically correct,
contains no spelling errors.
A few minor errors in
grammar and/or spelling.
A few major obvious errors
in grammar and/or
Material presented has
many errors in grammar
and spelling.
Significant grammatical
and/or spelling errors that
substantially detract from
the presentation.
Length (5%) Meets length requirement
(1800 – 2200 words).
Between 2200 and 2400
words, or between 1600
and 1800 words.
Between 2400 and 2600
words, or between 1400
and 1600 words.
Between 2600 and 2800
words, or between 1200
and 1400 words.
More than 2800 words or
Less than 1200 words.