Introduction to Cryptography


Cryptographic algorithms and protocols form the backbone of numerous security architectures, and allow functionality that is  beyond what is intuitively possible. This course builds on the cryptography part of the bachelor security course, going into more mathematical depth and covering the design principles and theory behind the basic cryptographic algorithms, as well as the concepts and meaning of provable security.  After covering the basic cryptographic tools such as hashing, encryption, and digital signatures, we cover more advanced functionality, and show how more complex problems can be solved by cryptographic means. As cryptography is a highly active and fast moving field, the class will finish with an outlook on some of the latest trends.


  • Learn the basic mathematics behind cryptographic primitives, understand why they work and how to perform and evaluate a cryptographic proof
  • Get to know the basic cryptographic primitives, the design principles behind them, and how/where they should/should not be used.
  • Get an intuition on what is possible using modern cryptography, and how to approach a new problem
  • Meet the latest trends in cryptography, how they came up, and where they may lead


  • Mathematical background for modern cryptography (e.g., discrete mathematics, finite fields)
  • Basic cryptographic concepts and terminology
  • Design and analysis of symmetric primitives (hash-functions, block ciphers, stream ciphers)
  • Public-key cryptography (encryption, digital signatures, ...)
  • Advanced topics in cryptography (e.g., ECC, privacy-preserving techniques)  
  • Real world crypto: SSL/TLS, Identification protocols, password schemes, ...

Teaching methods

  • 32 hours lecture
  • 32 hours problem session
  • 104 hours individual study period

Extra information teaching methods

The course consists of 2 hours lecture and 2 hours exercise session per week. Homework will be given every week.


The bachelor course "Security". Some affinity to mathematics is helpful.


Keith M. Martin: Everyday Cryptography – Fundamental Principles and Applications

An additional reading list will be provided in the class.

Extra information

The class will be given in English.

Course ID
6 ec
second semester


Included in