SYMMETRIC CRYPTOGRAPHY - 2021/2
Module code: COMM044
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic the University has revised its courses to incorporate the ‘Hybrid Learning Experience’ in a departure from previous academic years and previously published information. The University has changed the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes. Further information on the general principles of hybrid learning can be found at: Hybrid learning experience | University of Surrey.
We have updated key module information regarding the pattern of assessment and overall student workload to inform student module choices. We are currently working on bringing remaining published information up to date to reflect current practice in time for the start of the academic year 2021/22.
This means that some information within the programme and module catalogue will be subject to change. Current students are invited to contact their Programme Leader or Academic Hive with any questions relating to the information available.
The module introduces general cryptographic concepts, challenges and goals and then focuses on foundational cryptographic primitives and algorithms in the field of symmetric (aka. private-key) cryptography. The module will explain security and functionality of symmetric cryptographic algorithms that can be used to protect authenticity, confidentiality and integrity of digital data. The theoretical part of the module will focus on the functionality and the security properties of corresponding algorithms. In labs students will learn how to implement and use existing algorithms from symmetric cryptography.
MANULIS Mark (Computer Sci)
Number of Credits: 15
ECTS Credits: 7.5
Framework: FHEQ Level 7
JACs code: I100
Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A
Overall student workload
Independent Learning Hours: 115
Laboratory Hours: 10
Captured Content: 25
Prerequisites / Co-requisites
- Introduction and historical ciphers (incl. transposition/substitution ciphers, methods for breaking ciphers (e.g. frequency analysis, period estimation), Kerckhoffs‘ principle, Cryptool)
- Perfect secrecy and its limitations (incl. One Time Pad, Shannon’s theorem, statistical secrecy, computational secrecy and probabilistic polynomial-time Turing machines)
- One-way functions and pseudorandomness (incl. pseudorandom generators, one-way functions/permutations, hard-core predicates, pseudorandomness expansion)
- Private-key / symmetric encryption (incl. pseudorandom permutation, block ciphers, Feistel networks, operation modes for block ciphers, confusion/diffusion paradigm, substitution/permutation networks, constructions of DES incl. attacks, 3DES, AES, provable security of private-key encryption schemes (e.g. IND-CPA security))
- Collision-resistant hash functions (incl. weaker notions of security for hash functions, birthday paradox, Merkle-Damgard transformation, constructions from block ciphers, compression functions, SHA family of hash functions, random oracle methodology)
- Message authentication codes (incl. CBC-MAC, constructions of NMAC/HMAC, provable security of MACs (e.g. EUF-CMA security), application to IND-CCA security and authenticated encryption, MACs in multi-party setting, information-theoretic MACs)
|Assessment type||Unit of assessment||Weighting|
|Examination Online||24 HOUR ONLINE EXAM||100|
The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate that they have achieved the module learning outcomes.
Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:
· An individual in-semester test with a set of questions that students are required to answer.
This addresses LO1 and LO2.
· An individual coursework with a set of theoretical and practical tasks.
This addresses LO1, LO2 and LO3.
Formative assessment and feedback
Lecture slides are used extensively in the lectures with each lecture consisting of a number of slides explaining the theory and showing the examples. Solutions to lab exercises are explained during the lab session and provided to the students.
- The aim of this module is to equip students with background knowledge and practical experience of modern symmetric cryptographic algorithms and techniques. The module will explain the underlying theory and show practical application of symmetric cryptographic algorithms.
|1||Understand cryptographic principles, challenges and goals that are relevant for the protection of digital data in the real world||KC|
|2||Understand the functionality and security of widely used symmetric cryptographic algorithms, inlcuding their advantages and disadvantages||KCT|
|3||Experience practical application of symmetric cryptographic algorithms||KPT|
C - Cognitive/analytical
K - Subject knowledge
T - Transferable skills
P - Professional/Practical skills
Methods of Teaching / Learning
The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:
- Help students understand the nature of cryptography, including main principles, challenges and goals
- Explain most significant concepts and algorithms in symmetric cryptography
- Explain security requirements and functionality of symmetric cryptographic algorithms
- Enable students to apply existing symmetric cryptographic algorithms in practice
The learning and teaching methods include:
- Lectures (15 hours) using detailed lecture slides to gauge the students’ understanding
- Labs (10 hours) using exercise sheets and their solutions.
Students will be expected to distribute the remaining workload on self-study, preparation for lectures and labs, preparation for the in-semester test and submission of the coursework.
Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: COMM044
Programmes this module appears in
|Information Security MSc||1||Compulsory||A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module|
Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2021/2 academic year.