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Applied Cryptography

Note: Whilst every effort is made to keep the syllabus and assessment records correct for this course, the precise details must be checked with the lecturer(s).

Code: GA12
Prerequisites:Introduction to Cryptography
Term: 2
Taught By: Nicolas Courtois (100%)
Aims:Showing how security is achieved in real-life systems. Understanding how cryptographic algorithm keys and protocols, and an appropriate hardware/software environment, can solve security problems given severe legal, ethical, business and usability constraints. Understanding the benefits and shortcomings of the existing industrial standards. Promotion of ‘best practices’ and some recent promising techniques. Understanding possible attacks and vulnerabilities of a system. Strengthening products against side-channel attacks and designing cost-efficient and secure implementations of cryptographic algorithms.
Learning Outcomes:Learning how security problems are solved in the industry, and understanding why specific choices are made. Understanding security (attacks and defences) in complex real-life systems and the role of keys, cryptographic algorithms and protocols, tamper resistant hardware and other types of countermeasures.


OutlineKey generation and management
Digital and electronic signatures
Industrial standards in public key cryptography
Efficient implementation of cryptographic algorithms
Trusted computing and smart cards
Side-channel attacks and countermeasures
Bank cards and terminals
Electronic passports
RFID systems in public transportation and automobiles
Smart cards and mobile phone security
Payment systems and e-cash
E-auction, e-voting, e-betting and e-gambling

Method of Instruction:

Tutor-led class sessions, problem-solving sessions and private study


The course has the following assessment components:

  • Written Examination (2 hours, 80%)
  • Compulsory_Assessed_Orals (10 minute hours, 20%)
To pass this course, students must:
  • Pass the Written Examination
The examination rubric is:
Answer Z out of Y questions


Lecture notes to be provided in class Recommended texts: Anderson, R. "Security Engineering" Wiley 2006. W. Rankl and W. Effing, "Smart Card Handbook" Wiley 2003. Mayes, K. and Markantonakis K (Editors) "Smart Cards, Tokens, Security and Applications" Springer 2006.

This page last modified: 24 August, 2009 by Nicola Alexander

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