TELCOM 2820/INFSCI 2170: Cryptography

Spring 2014: Syllabus

The objective of this course is to provide a foundation of cryptography in an applied manner so that students can grasp its importance in relation to the rest of information security. The course covers principles of number theory and cryptographic algorithms and cryptanalysis. Topics include: steganography, block and stream ciphers, secret key encryption (DES, AES, RC-n), primes, random numbers, factoring, and discrete logarithms; Public key encryption (RSA, Diffie-Hellman, Elliptic curve cryptography); Key management, hash functions, digital signatures, certificates and authentication protocols. Cryptanalytic methods (known, chosen plaintext etc.) for secret and public key schemes (linear and differential cryptanalysis, Pollard's rho method, number field sieve, etc.)


TELCOM 2300, Digital logic, C and Java Programming.

Contact Information:

Prashant Krishnamurthy
Office: DIST 718
Phone: 412-624-5144
E-mail: prashant AT mail DOT sis DOT pitt DOT edu
Course webpage:
Office hours: Wednesdays: 10:00 a.m. - 11.00 a.m. or by appointment
GSA: Xin Wang


Cryptography: Theory and Practice, Third Edition - by Douglas R. Stinson, Chapman & Hall/CRC (November 1, 2005)

C. Paar and J. Pelzl, Understanding Cryptography: A Textbook for Students and Practitioners, Springer, 2009


  • William Stallings, Cryptography and Network Security, 4th.Ed, Prentice Hall PTR, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2006
  • Richard Mollin, An Introduction to Cryptography, Second Edition, Chapman and Hall/CRC Press, 2006
  • Wenbo Mao, Modern Cryptography: Theory and Practice, Prentice Hall, 2004
  • B. Schneier, Applied Cryptography, John Wiley and Sons, NY, 1996.
  • A. Menezes, P. Oorshcot, and S. Vanstone, Handbook of Applied Cryptography, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, 1997.
  • Thomas H. Barr, Invitation to Cryptography, Prentice Hall, 2002.
  • Richard J. Spillman, Classical and Contemporary Cryptology, Prentice Hall, 2005.
  • Jonathan Katz and Yehuda Lindell, Introduction to Modern Cryptography, Chapman & Hall/CRC (2008), (ISBN: 1-58488-551-3)
  • Grading:

    Homework/Labs 25%
    Project 15%
    Midterm 25%
    Final 35%


  • All work must be the student's own unless collaboration is explicitly permitted. Any violation will result in an F without discussion.
  • Late assignments will not be accepted unless there are exceptional circumstances.
  • Homework is due ONE week after it is assigned unless otherwise mentioned.
  • Homework will be assigned every week unless otherwise mentioned.
  • Check for homework on the webpage even if it is not explicitly mentioned in class
  • Labs (where assigned) will be due TWO weeks after assignment
  • Students are responsible for doing the labs and submitting the reports to the GSA
  • Check for lab instructions and changes on the webpage regularly
  • Keep checking the webpage for other changes regularly
  • All written work must be legible and clear to receive credit. Vagueness in your work leading to misinterpretation is not a valid reason for credit.
  • Course Outline:

    This schedule is only a guideline and is subject to change depending on the progression of the course. It will get updated with time.

  • Week 1: Introduction; History of Cryptography; Steganography.
  • Week 2: Cryptology and simple cryptosystems; Shift, Affine, Hill Ciphers; Enigma
  • Week 3: Conventional encryption techniques; Stream and block ciphers; DES;
  • Week 4: DES continued; Linear and Differential Cryptanalysis; Hash functions;
  • Week 5: More on Block Ciphers; The Advanced Encryption Standard
  • Week 6: Hash Functions and their Implementation
  • Week 7: Midterm Exam
  • Week 8: Number Theory and Algorithm Complexity; Public Key Encryption - RSA
  • Week 9: Public key Encryption using Discrete Logarithms
  • Week 10: Elliptic Curve Cryprography
  • Week 11: Digital signatures and the digital signature standard
  • Week 12: Key Management Schemes
  • Week 13: Identification Schemes and Biometrics
  • Week 14: Crypto and the Physical World
  • Week 15: Final Exam