Lecture 1 - Course overview and introduction to cryptography


In this introductory lecture, we first give a general overview of the course and its structure. We then move to the first topic, that is a review of the basics concepts in cryptography, with particular focus on symmetric-key and public-key encryption algorithms.

Topics covered:

  • Security models in cryptography
  • Taxonomy of cryptosystems
  • Unconditionally secure ciphers: the One-Time Pad
  • Vernam-like stream ciphers and pseudorandom number generators
  • One-way functions, the basis of modern cryptography
  • Block ciphers and the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)
  • Basics of public-key cryptography
  • The Diffie-Hellman key agreement scheme
  • The RSA public-key encryption algorithm
  • Mentions of quantum computing and post-quantum cryptography

Reading Material

Nice textbooks on cryptography:

  • J. Katz, Y. Lindell. Introduction to Modern Cryptography. 3rd ed. CRC Press, 2021
  • N. P. Smart. Cryptography: An Introduction. 1st ed. McGraw-Hill, 2004 (freely available on the author’s website)
  • D. R. Stinson. Cryptography: Theory and Practice. 3rd ed. CRC Press, 2006

Lecture Recording