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Cryptography and Security (COMP90043)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeCOMP90043
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date


The subject will explore foundational knowledge in the area of cryptography and information security. The overall aim is to gain an understanding of fundamental cryptographic concepts like encryption and signatures and use it to build and analyse security in computers, communications and networks. This subject covers fundamental concepts in information security on the basis of methods of modern cryptography, including encryption, signatures and hash functions.

This subject is an elective subject in the Master of Engineering (Software). It can also be taken as an advanced elective in Master of Information Technology.


The subject will be made up of three parts:

  • Cryptography: the essentials of public and private key cryptography, stream ciphers, digital signatures and cryptographic hash functions
  • Access Control: the essential elements of authentication and authorization; and
  • Secure Protocols; which are obtained through cryptographic techniques.

A particular emphasis will be placed on real-life protocols such as Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and Kerberos.

Topics drawn from:

  • Symmetric key crypto systems
  • Public key cryptosystems
  • Hash functions
  • Authentication
  • Secret sharing
  • Protocols
  • Key Management.

Intended learning outcomes


On completion of this subject the student is expected to:

  1. Identify security issues and objectives in computer systems and networks
  2. Apply various security mechanisms derived from cryptography to computers and computer networks
  3. Explain the workings of fundamental public key and symmetric key cryptographic algorithms including RSA, ElGamal, Diffie-Hellman schemes and stream ciphers
  4. Explain the protocols which ensure security in contemporary networked computer systems
  5. Describe the interaction between the underlying theory and working computer security infrastructure
  6. Analyse security of network protocols and systems

Generic skills

On completion of this subject, students should have the following skills:

  • Ability to undertake problem identification, formulation, and solution.
  • Ability to utilise a systems approach to solving complex problems and to design for operational performance
  • Ability to manage information and documentation
  • Capacity for creativity and innovation
  • Ability to communicate effectively, with the engineering team and with the community at large.

Last updated: 19 August 2019