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    Theory of cryptography including public key systems and its use in computer security. Consideration of cryptographic methods in the context of complexity theory.

    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 Advanced Cryptography and Security
    Subject Computer Science
    EFTS 0.1667
    Points 20 points
    Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,448.79
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    COSC 312

    There are no formal prerequisites for the 400-level papers, but prior knowledge is assumed.


    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):

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

    Part II (Security):

    • 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
    • A report and presentation 20%
    • Final exam 60%
    Teaching Arrangements
    There is one 2-hour lecture per week.

    Textbooks are not required for this paper.

    Course outline

    View the course outline for COSC 412

    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


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