COMP0025 Introduction to Cryptography
This database contains the 2018-19 versions of syllabuses. These are still being finalised and changes may occur before the start of the session.
Syllabuses from the 2017-18 session are available here.
Introduction to Cryptography
For many centuries the goal of cryptography was the protection of privacy of communications. Computers, digital communication and in particular the internet have brought an abundance of new security goals. Examples are: anonymity, authenticity, non-repudiation, authorized wiretapping (called law enforcement), and traceability. To each need corresponds security mechanisms to achieve it. The goal of the course is to make students familiar with such techniques and some of the foundations of these methods. In particular students will be confronted with a range of security objectives, different levels of security that can be achieved and some available cryptographic techniques that can be used.
On successful completion of the module, a student will be able to:
- Model security precisely and formally in terms of adversarial objective and system access
- Explain and reason about basic cryptographic tools to protect and authenticate data
- Suggest security parameters that protect against standard attacks
- Read scientific articles and international standards in the field of cryptography
Availability and prerequisites
This module delivery is available for selection on the below-listed programmes. The relevant programme structure will specify whether the module is core, optional, or elective.
In order to be eligible to select this module as optional or elective, where available, students must meet all prerequisite conditions to the satisfaction of the module leader. Places for students taking the module as optional or elective are limited and will be allocated according to the department’s module selection policy.
Programmes on which available:
Students should have completed a module in mathematics or probability theory before taking Introduction to Cryptography since it is theoretically demanding.
- Cryptanalysis of classical ciphers
- Probability theory
- Perfect security
- Block cipher modes of operation
- Chosen plaintext attacks
- Randomised encryption
- Chosen ciphertext attacks
Message authentication codes
- Private-key authentication
- Pseudorandom functions
- CCA-secure private-key encryption
- Pre-image resistance
- Key distribution centres
- Modular arithmetic and group theory
- Diffie-Hellman key exchange
- EIGamal encryption
- Cramer-Shoup encryption
- Discrete logarithm problem
- RSA signatures
- RSA-FDH and RSA-PSS signatures
- DSA signatures
- 509 certificates
- Certification paths
An indicative reading list is available via http://readinglists.ucl.ac.uk/departments/comps_eng.html.
The module is delivered through a combination of lectures, problem-solving sessions, and self-directed learning.
This module delivery is assessed as below:
Written examination (2 hrs 30mins)
In order to pass this module delivery, students must achieve an overall weighted module mark of 50%.