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COMP30082: Cryptography and Network Security (2009-2010)

This is an archived syllabus from 2009-2010

Cryptography and Network Security
Level: 3
Credit rating: 10
Pre-requisites: COMP20081 or MATH10111
Co-requisites: No Co-requisites
Duration: 11 weeks
Lectures: 22
Lecturers: Ning Zhang
Course lecturer: Ning Zhang

Additional staff: view all staff
Sem 2 w19-26,30-33 Lecture 1.3 Mon 12:00 - 13:00 -
Sem 2 w19-26,30-33 Lecture 1.3 Fri 13:00 - 14:00 -
Assessment Breakdown
Exam: 100%
Coursework: 0%
Lab: 0%
Degrees for which this unit is optional
  • Artificial Intelligence BSc (Hons)


The advances in the Internet and wireless communication technologies have led to an impressive growth in the mobile internet. It is now a daily routine for people to share information via, and access services on, the Internet anywhere and anytime. Information that is transmitted, processed, stored, and managed on networked systems is particularly vulnerable to security threats, such as identity theft, manipulation or misuse of valuable or confidential information, deliberate damage to systems and services, and fraud and forgeries in e-banking and e-business dealings. Therefore, how to protect information and resources against these threats has become an important topic.


This course unit is aimed at introducing the technologies and practices that can be used to secure information, computer systems and networks. The course will cover security threats and vulnerabilities, principles of cryptography, and practical topics in network and Internet security. It is designed for students who have some understanding of computer networks and protocols, but no background in security.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course unit, the students should be able to:

Understand the principles and practices of cryptographic techniques. (A)
Understand a variety of generic security threats and vulnerabilities, and identify and analyse particular security problems for a given application. (A and B)
Understand the design of security protocols and mechanisms for the provision of security services needed for secure networked applications. (A)
Appreciate the application of security techniques and technologies in solving real-life security problems in practical systems. (A)
Design security protocols and methods to solve specified security problems. (B)
Be familiar with current research issues and directions of network security. (C)

Assessment of Learning outcomes

Learning outcomes (1), (2), (3) and (4) and (5) are assessed by examination.

Contribution to Programme Learning Outcomes

A3, B1 and C4.


Lecture 1

Introduction: Basic notions of confidentiality, integrity and availability, security threats, security models.

Lectures 2-10

Cryptographic techniques: conventional cryptography, public-key cryptography, message authentication and cryptographic hash functions, key management and distribution, digital signatures and authentication protocols, digital certificates and Public Key Infrastructures (PKIs).

Lectures 11-18

Network security services: identification and authentication, IP security and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), Web security (e.g. SSL/TLS), Secure Electronic Transaction (SET), Electronic mail security (e.g. PGP, S/MIME), firewalls.

Lectures 19 - 21

Advanced topics: e.g. wireless system security, e-commerce security, Grid security.

Lecture 22


Reading List

The main text book is Cryptography and Network Security by William Stallings, but there are many other very useful books, e.g. Matthew Bishop, Computer Security: Art and Science Addison-Wesley, 2003, ISBN 0-201-44099-7.
There are also useful resources on the Internet, e.g., and

Core Text
Title: Cryptography and network security: principles and practices
Author: Stallings, William
ISBN: 0131873164
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Edition: 4th
Year: 2005