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    The fundamental aspects of cryptography that support computer security, and key technologies used to build secure software systems.

    The aim of this paper is to provide students with an understanding of the modern theoretical bases of cryptography and how it relates to computer security. The paper also explores a number of widely used computer security technologies.

    About this paper

    Paper title Cryptography and Security
    Subject Computer Science
    EFTS 0.1500
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,173.30
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    COSC 201 and one of (COSC 202, COSC 203, COSC 204)
    COSC 412
    Recommended Preparation
    COMP 210, MATH 130
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music, Science

    Computer Science Adviser

    Teaching staff

    Lecturers: Professor David Eyers
    Professor Michael Albert

    Paper Structure

    The paper covers two main topics, cryptography and security.

    Part I (Cryptography) example topics:

    • Classical cryptosystems
    • DES and AES
    • The RSA algorithm
    • Signatures and secret sharing
    • Error correcting codes
    • Quantum cryptography

    Part II (Security) example topics:

    • Kerberos and symmetric cryptography in practice
    • TLS/SSL and asymmetric cryptography in practice
    • Decentralised authorisation
    • Homomorphic encryption and cloud computing


    • Two assignments worth 10% each
    • One internal assessment worth 20%
    • Final exam worth 60%


    Teaching Arrangements

    There is one 2-hour lecture per week.

    There is one 2-hour lab per week.

    There is one 1-hour tutorial available per week.


    Textbooks are not required for this paper.

    Course outline

    View the course outline for COSC312

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Scholarship, Communication, Ethics, Information literacy, Research, Teamwork.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    This paper will enable students to:

    • Understand the basic principles of cryptography and cryptanalysis
    • Identify the theoretical basis for modern cryptosystems
    • Understand the cryptosystems that are currently in widespread use
    • Appreciate the importance of complexity in computational tasks
    • Understand the advances on the "cutting edge" of modern cryptography and complexity


    Semester 2

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system

    Computer Lab

    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Friday 10:00-11:50 29-35, 37-42


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Monday 10:00-11:50 29-35, 37-42


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Wednesday 14:00-14:50 29-35, 37-42
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