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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: COMM012 Module Title: SECURITY & CRYPTOGRAPHY
Module Provider: Computing Short Name: CSM14
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: HEATHER JA Dr (Computing)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability

Semester 2

Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment
Weighting Towards Module Mark( %)

Two-hour class test (covering lecture and lab material)

Presentation on published security papers
Writing summaries and critiques of security papers
Qualifying Condition(s) 

Weighted average of 50% over the three assessments

Module Overview
The module acts as an introduction to Security and Cryptography. It teaches the basics of historical and modern cryptography, and then considers the application of cryptography to two key areas: security protocols, and electronic voting.


Module Aims
The aim of this module is to equip students with skills and requisite knowledge to evaluate the theoretical principles of private key and public key cryptography, and their application to electronic voting, as well as the modelling and analysis techniques for security protocols. It also covers some wider areas in security by means of student presentations, and thereby encourages students to read and understand published papers.
Learning Outcomes

At the end of the module students should:

  • have a systematic understanding of the major cryptographic algorithms and systems
  • be able to engage in critical evaluation of a security protocol and its flaws and weaknesses
  • be able to assess with a high level of competence the merits and demerits of particular encryption systems, and highlight and exploit problems
  • have a comprehensive understanding of the security issues surrounding electronic voting
  • be able to critically evaluate voting systems and analyse their security
be able to read and comment intelligently on papers published in the field
Module Content
  • Introductory overview of cryptography and its history.
  • Private key (or symmetric) cryptography
  • DES (Data Encryption Standard)
  • Public key cryptography
  • The RSA algorithm
  • Electronic voting: a non-cryptographic solution
  • Electronic voting: Prêt à Voter
  • Authentication and secrecy protocols
  • Attacks on security protocols
Modelling of security protocols
Methods of Teaching/Learning

30 contact hours in weeks 1-10 consisting of:

  • 15 hours of lectures;
  • 5 hours of demonstrations and lab sessions;
10 hours of student-led seminars
Selected Texts/Journals
Required Reading:

Singh S., The Code Book, Random House

Recommended Reading:

Ryan P., Schneider S., Goldsmith M., Lowe G. and Roscoe A. W., Modelling and Analysis of Security Protocols, Addison-Wesley 2000

Stallings W., Cryptography and Network Security, Prentice Hall 2002 (third edition)


Supplementary reading


Garfinkel S. and Spafford G., Web Security and Commerce, O'Reilly 1997

Gollman D., Computer Security, Wiley 1999

Pfleeger C., Security in Computing (second edition), Prentice Hall 1997

Schneier B., Applied Cryptography: protocols, algorithms and source code in C (second edition), Wiley 1996

Schneier B., Secrets and Lies: digital security in a networked world, Wiley 2000.

Schroeder M., Number Theory in Science and Communication (third edition), Springer 1997
Last Updated

September 2010