Cryptography and Security

Subject COMP90043 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours, made up of 24 one-hour lectures (two per week) and 12 one-hour workshops (one per week)
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours

The prerequisites for this subject are:

Completion of 50 points of third year computing study, or equivalent, or enrolment in a Masters degree

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: 433-645 Software System Security
433-448 Applied Cryptography and Coding
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Dr Udaya Parampalli


Melbourne School of Engineering Office
Building 173, Grattan Street
The University of Melbourne
VIC 3010 Australia
General telephone enquiries
+ 61 3 8344 6703
+ 61 3 8344 6507
+ 61 3 9349 2182
+ 61 3 8344 7707

Subject Overview: This subject covers fundamental concepts in information security on the basis of methods from modern cryptography, including encryption, signatures and hash functions. The subject will be made up of three parts: (1) cryptography, covering the essentials of public and private key cryptography, stream ciphers, digital signatures and cryptographic hash functions; (2) access control, covering essential elements of authentication and authorization; and (3) 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.

On completion of this subject students should be able to:

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


Two written assignments, due around weeks 3 and 7 of semester, of approximately 1000 words each (20%); a paper of about 10,000 words in the area of cryptography or security due at the end of semester, followed by a 15 minute in-class presentation during the second half of the semester (40%); and a 2-hour end-of-semester written examination (40%).

Prescribed Texts: TBA
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subjects students should have:

  • Ability to undertake problem identification, formulation, and solution
  • Ability to utilise a systems approach to 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
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Computer Science (Honours)
Bachelor of Engineering (Software Engineering)
Master of Software Systems Engineering

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