Cryptography and Security

Welcome to COSC412 - Semester 2, 2020

What COSC412 is all about

The overall aim is to provide students with an understanding of the role played by various aspects of cryptography in computer security, and to explore topics such as the modern theoretical bases of cryptography - a central aspect of contemporary computing both in theory and in practice.

Learning objectives include:

  • an understanding of various cryptographic systems including stream ciphers, block ciphers, and public key encryption schemes;
  • an appreciation for the mechanisms by which a cryptographic system’s security is analysed, in particular the concepts of semantic security;
  • a basic understanding of the principles of quantum computing and their role in cryptography;
  • understand computer security fundamentals and the role of security engineering;
  • explain threats cryptography cannot protect against;
  • describe the different participants in single-sign-on systems and how they interact;
  • exploring emerging topics such as blockchain and cryptocurrencies;
  • critically analysing a cryptographic issue and related literature.

Lecture Times and Venue

Wednesdays 11am–1pm, Owheo G34



Assignments = 40%, final exam = 60%.

Academic Integrity

In COSC412 we place high value on the principles of academic integrity, and view academic misconduct as a very serious matter. For more information, you can view a statement on academic integrity and academic misconduct written for COSC241 students, as the information is directly relevant to COSC412 too.