MSc ACS: Computer Security

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Cryptography

Unit code COMP61411
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Department of Computer Science
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Overview

Cryptography is a vital component of modern electronic security technologies.

Aims

The course aims to give students a good appreciation of cryptographic techniques, as they have arisen historically, and as they are used today.

Learning outcomes

  • Comment on the broad principles underlying cryptography and its applications.

  • Describe some of the classical cryptographic techniques and their weaknesses.

  • Describe the principles of the most widely used private key cryptographic schemes.

  • Describe the principles of the most widely used public key key cryptographic schemes.

Syllabus

  • Early cryptography: permutations and substitutions, Vignere, Vernam, one time pads, etc.
  • Rotor machines: Enigma and its relatives.
  • Case study: Marian Rejewski and the breaking of the German Enigma.
  • Modern cryptography, secret key: block cyphers, DES, AES, etc.
  • Modern cryptography, public key: Diffie-Hellman, RSA, elliptic curves.
  • Message authentication, hash functions.
  • Quantum cryptography: quantum key distribution in practice.

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Problem solving

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 60%
Written assignment (inc essay) 40%

Feedback methods

Feedback is provided face to face in the lab, and online for uploaded assessed materials.

Recommended reading

COMP61411 reading list can be found on the School of Computer Science website for current students.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 2
Lectures 20
Practical classes & workshops 15
Independent study hours
Independent study 113

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Richard Banach Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Course unit materials

Links to course unit teaching materials can be found on the School of Computer Science website for current students.

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