CSC 580: Cryptography and Security in Computing


  1. Assignment 1 (50 points): Due Wednesday, Sept 5

    Find out who Phil Zimmerman is, and what problems he had with ITAR. Write up a short summary (a paragraph or two), and cite your sources. Please be careful with sources, and try to find reliable/trustworthy sources of information

  2. Assignment 2 (100 points): Due Wednesday, Sept. 12

    Do the following problems from the textbook:

    • Page 56, Problem 2.1
    • Page 58, Problem 2.8
    • Page 91, Problem 3.2
  3. Assignment 3 (100 points): Due Wednesday, Sept. 19

    Do the following problems from the textbook:

    • Page 131, Problem 4.3
    • Page 131, Problem 4.6
    • Page 131, Problem 4.9
    • Page 131, Problem 4.11
  4. Assignment 4 (100 points): Due Wednesday, Sept. 26

    Do the following problems from the textbook:

    • Page 132, Problem 4.19
    • Page 133, Problem 4.26
    • Page 161, Problem 5.1
    • Page 162, Problem 5.4
  5. AES Challenge (Extra Credit): Due Friday, Oct. 12

  6. Assignment 5 (100 points): Due Wednesday, Oct. 17

    Do the following problems from the textbook:

    • Page 196, Problem 6.4
    • Page 196, Problem 6.8
    • Page 196, Problem 6.9
    • Page 229, Problem 7.4
    • Page 230, Problem 7.10
  7. Assignment 6 (100 points): Due Wednesday, Oct. 24

    Do the following problems from the textbook:

    • Page 255, Problem 8.10
    • Page 255, Problem 8.11
    • Page 256, Problem 8.18
    • Page 282, Problem 9.2
  8. Assignment 7 (100 points): Due Wednesday, Oct. 31

    Do the following problems from the textbook:

    • Page 285, Problem 9.18
    • Page 285, Problem 9.19
    • Page 314, Problem 10.1
    • Page 315, Problem 10.6
    • El Gamal, as described in Problem 10.6, is vulnerable to a chosen ciphertext attack. If you capture a ciphertext (C1,C2), how can you construct a single (different!) query to a decryption oracle that would allow you to decrypt (C1,C2)? Make sure you show all the formulas/computations necessary to recover the plaintext.
  9. Assignment 8 (100 points): Due Friday, Nov. 16

    Do the following problems from the textbook:

    • Page 345, Problem 11.2
    • Page 345, Problem 11.4 (in this problem X' means taking the bit-by-bit complement of X - if you just keep your thinking clear and push things through the formulas this problem is not difficult)
    • Page 345, Problem 11.5
  10. Assignment 9 (100 points): Due Wednesday, Nov. 28

    Do the following problems from the textbook:

    • Page 645, Review Questions 20.1 - 20.6
    • Page 646, Problem 20.1

  11. Assignment 10 (100 points): Due Friday, Dec. 7

    There are many interesting network security technologies and tools, so obviously the textbook doesn't cover them all. From the list below, pick one of the two technologies and one of the two tools, do some Internet searching to find out about your topic, and write a one page summary of each. For technologies, make sure you describe the purpose of the technology (what it does or what problem it is addressing), how it works, and what software or tools are available that implement this technology. For tools, describe the purpose of the tool, what it does, how to operate it, and if there are other tools that do similar things. Obviously a one-page summary isn't going to be terribly extensive, so do your best to select the most important and significant aspects of the technologies/tools to highlight. Use more than one source for your information - Wikipedia is good, but it's not that good. Also, make sure you write your own description - don't copy it from somewhere else. Also keep in mind that writing quality matters: don't just list off characteristics - write it so that it reads well for someone who is technically competent but not an expert in the area.

    1. Port Knocking
    2. Honeypots (or honeynets)
    1. dsniff (I'm talking about the package of tools that dsniff is a part of, not just the dsniff program itself)
    2. Nessus

    You only have to do two summaries for this assignment, but you can get up to 25 extra points for each additional one that you do (so it's possible to get a 150 on this assignment!).

Graduate Student Readings and Project

Shown below are assigned graduate student readings, along with due dates and links to papers. Reports should be written according to the distributed guidelines.

  1. Reading 1: Report Due Wednesday, October 17

    J. Mason, K. Watkins, J. Eisner, and A. Stubblefield. "A Natural Language Approach to Automated Cryptanalysis of Two-time Pads," Proceedings of the 13th ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS), 2006, pp. 235-244.

    A note on this link: The link above goes to the ACM "Digital Library" for the published version of the paper. This is a subscription service, but UNCG has a subscription so the link should work from any UNCG on-campus system (just follow the "PDF" link from the ACM page to get the actual paper). From off-campus, you can go through the UNCG library. Alternatively, you can get the paper directly from one of the author's web pages here.

  2. Graduate Student Project Information and Possible Topics [PDF]