Course Description

Basic algorithms to guarantee confidentiality and authenticity of data. Definitions and proofs of security for practical constructions. Topics include perfectly secure encryption, pseudorandom generators, RSA and ElGamal encryption, Diffie-Hellman key agreement, RSA signatures, secret sharing, block and streaming ciphers.


CAS CS 332 or permission of instructor.
You are expected to be comfortable with the notion of reduction from one problem to another, and with such concepts as "polynomial-time algorithm." The course will also require a good comfort level with mathematical proofs and elementary probability theory.
If you have not taken CS 332 or CS 535, please talk to me in the first week of class.


MW 13:00-14:30 in room MCS B31


Midterm: none

Final: TBD


Gene Itkis

email: itkis+cs538 cs . bu . edu
Office Hours: M 11:30am-12:30pm; W 2:30-4:30pm (tentative)
Office Phone: (617) 353-5285
Office Room: mcs-284

Required Texts

Notes to be supplied (mostly based on the notes written for this course by Prof. Reyzin)

Introduction to Modern Cryptography by Jonathan Katz and Yehuda Lindell

Supplemental Texts

There are a few optional texts you might find useful:

  1. Modern Cryptography: Theory and Practice by Wenbo Mao
  2. A Computational Introduction to Number Theory and Algebra by Victor Shoup - for background on
    number theory and algebra (available in full on the web)
  3. Foundations of Cryptography, volumes I and II, by Oded Goldreich  - this is a more advanced text, for those interested in studying theoretical cryptography in more depth
  4. Handbook of Applied Cryptography, by Alfred J. MenezesPaul C. van Oorschot and Scott A. Vanstone - as it says, this is more of an applied crypto reference (available in full on the web)
  5. Applied Cryptography by Bruce Schneier - this is also an applied crypto book, which sometimes gives an oversimplified picture, as Bruce himself has noted in his subsequent book. So treat this with caution.

Fun reading includes Crypto by Steven Levy (about public crypto creators); two broad crypto history volumes: The Codebreakers: The Story of Secret Writing by David Kahn and Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography by Simon Singh; and a "history fiction"/thriller Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson.