Course Title: Advanced Topics in Cryptography

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Advanced Topics in Cryptography

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


145H Mathematical & Geospatial Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 1 2017


City Campus


145H Mathematical & Geospatial Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 2 2006,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2015

Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Serdar Boztas

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2285

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Pre-requisites: INTE1124 Coding for Reliable Communications and INTE1125 Cryptography and Security.

Course Description

This course builds on the content presented in INTE1125 Cryptography and Security and introduces a detailed study of contemporary and emerging cryptographic and cryptanalytic techniques and their importance in implementing secure systems. Linear and Differential Cryptanalysis techniques are introduced. You will study a selection of special topics in cryptography such as: Elliptic curve cryptography, malleable cryptography, primality testing and factorization. You will learn to
• apply knowledge and skills as a foundation for further study of Information Security concepts and
• communicate and interpret ideas related to advanced cryptography in Information Security applications in the form of answers to assignments.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

On completion of this course you should be able to:

1. Examine new developments in cryptography in a critical, problem solving context.
2. Identify and discuss the role of cryptanalysis in the design of secure systems.
3. Describe the technical details of block cipher design and analysis and public key cryptosystems based on integer factorization and elliptic curves.
4. Recognise the practical implications of new theoretical developments and technical limitations which may impact successful applications of theoretical breakthroughs in real world systems.
5. Ascertain probable changes in security measures in response to new attacks on cryptosystems.
6. Argue the place of ethics in the Information Security area.

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for MC159 Master of Applied Science (Information Security and Assurance):

International Orientation and Strategic Thinking

• Graduates will have a strategic and practical overview of the issues in information security and assurance.

Critical Analysis and Problem Solving

• Evaluate information security risks across diverse service settings including the Internet and WWW based commerce systems, high bandwidth digital communications and funds transfer services,
• Undertake professional careers or postgraduate research in information security or other IT related fields, acquiring the required information needed to identify real world solutions to real world information security problems.


• Graduates will have the ability to communicate both technical and non-technical material in a range of forms (written, electronic, graphic, oral) and to tailor the style and means of communication to different audiences.

Ethical Values

• Graduates will exhibit an ability to appreciate the ethical considerations that inform judgments and decision making in academic and professional settings.

Overview of Learning Activities

A variety of planned student learning experiences will accommodate the learning outcomes envisaged for this course. This includes individual and group activities and laboratory-based learning experiences.
A presentation format will provide an overview of the specified study area and direct you to foundational, analytical, and evidence-based readings about cryptography and its place in Information Security. Facilitated open discussions will draw on your capacity to solve problems, to think critically and analytically and reflect on your own relevant work and life experiences.
Individual and group activities, such as in-semester assessments, will provide you with on-going feedback on your progress. An end-of-semester examination will complement this aspect of your learning.

In-semester assessments may take the form of homework assignments, supervised class tests and/or computer-based project work.  Presentation of project work may also form part of the assessment. The assessments will reinforce the material covered in lectures and in your personal study. Your capacity to solve problems and to think critically and analytically will also be addressed through problems presented in lectures and facilitated seminars. In-semester assessments will emphasize the role of ethics in the academic arena. You will be expected to understand the plagiarism policy enforced at RMIT.
The final examination will test your comprehension of the subject material and your ability to apply this understanding to real world problems.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will be expected to expand on the subject matter provided as lecture notes. This will take the form of accessing various external and internal resources, such as the library and the Internet. References to books, including text and reference books will be provided in class.

The Internet will be the most important source for academic, technical and white papers and you will be required to use this as a learning resource on a regular basis. In addition your classmates and tutor/lecturer are also important learning resources as will be demonstrated in facilitated discussions.

Blackboard: This course is supported online using Blackboard, which gives access to important announcements, a discussion forum, staff contact details, the teaching schedule, assessment timelines. You are advised to read your student EMS e-mail daily for important announcements. You should also visit the course Blackboard site at least once a day where you will find important announcements regarding the course and all key documents.

Face-to-face contact: 2 to 3 hours of lecture/discussion sessions per week based on the online lecture material uploaded to Blackboard in the days prior to the session.
There will be two (2) one hour self-directed laboratory sessions in Weeks 9 and 10 which involve completion of exercises illustrating lecture content and assistance to achieve the CLOs.
In addition, you can expect to spend between 6 to 8 hours per week on independent study and research of the material assigned for the week.

Overview of Assessment

☒This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment Tasks

Early Assessment Task (Class test)
Weighting 15%
This assessment task supports CLOs 2 & 3

Assessment Task 2:  (Class test)
Weighting 17%
This assessment task supports CLOs 3 & 4

Assessment Task 3: (Class test)
Weighting 18%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1 & 4

Assessment 4: Final Exam
Weighting 50% 
This assessment supports CLOs 1-6

Practice questions with answers and marking criteria are provided for all assessments. Answers to Assessments 1-3 are discussed in class. Marked tests are returned to students as feedback.