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Advanced cryptography


This module follows on from the introductory cryptography module (IYM002).

In that module, cryptographic algorithms were introduced according to the properties they possessed and how they might fit into a larger security architecture. In this unit we look inside some of the most popular and widely deployed algorithms and we highlight design and cryptanalytic trends over the past twenty years. This course is, by necessity, somewhat mathematical and some basic mathematical techniques will be used. However, despite this reliance on mathematical techniques, the emphasis of the module is on understanding the more practical aspects of the performance and security of some of the most widely used cryptographic algorithms.


IYM002 Introduction to Cryptography

Topics covered

  • Welcome Unit and Cryptography Basics
  • Introduction to Block Ciphers
  • DES and DES Variant
  • From DES to AES
  • Block Cipher Cryptanalysis
  • Stream Ciphers
  • Hash Functions and MACs
  • Asymmetric Techniques and RSA
  • Discrete Logarithm Cryptosystems
  • Elliptic Curve Cryptosytems
  • Identity - Based Encryption, Identification Schemes and Lattice Cryptosystems

Learning outcomes

If you complete the course successfully, you should be able to:

  • Gain a broad familiarity of the inner‐workings of many of today's most widely deployed cryptographic algorithms
  • Develop a more detailed understanding of some of the most prominent algorithms.


This module is assessed by a two hour unseen written examination.

Essential reading

  • Understanding cryptography: a textbook for students and practitioners, Springer 2010. Paar, Christof, and Jan Pelzl.