Cryptography: A Hands-on Approach
What you'll learn
- Study the basic principles of cryptography, including secret-key encryption, one-way hash function, and public-key cryptography
- Study various crypto applications, including authentication, digital signature, HTTPS, credit card, blockchain, cryptocurrencies, etc.
- Study the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and the TLS protocol, which are essential for securing communication on the Internet
- Understand the risks faced by various crypto algorithms and protocols, and how these risks can be mitigated
- Understand the common mistakes in the use of crypto
- Gain hands-on experiences through 8 crypto labs (SEED Labs) developed by the instructor
- No programming background is needed, but to work on the hands-on labs, some basic Python programming background is needed
Cryptography is a foundation in cybersecurity. It is the underlying building block of many defense mechanisms, systems, and protocols. Without crypto, we will not be able to safely conduct many things on the Internet, such as web browsing, online banking, working remotely, etc. Without crypto, blockchain and cryptocurrency will not exist.
In this course, we systematically study the basic principles of cryptography. In particular, we focus on the three essential pillars of cryptography, including secret-key encryption, one-way hash function, and public-key cryptography. We study how they work and how they are used in the real-world applications. We also look at the risks they face, and how these risks are mitigated in the real world. Furthermore, we study the common mistakes people make when using crypto algorithms and protocols. We show how these mistakes can be exploited in attacks.
The course emphasizes hands-on learning. For each topic covered, students not only learn the theory, they also get to work on the hands-on exercises developed by the instructor. These exercises are called SEED labs, and they are being used by over 1000 institutes worldwide. The course is based on the widely-adopted textbook written by the instructor. The title of the book is "Computer & Internet Security: A Hands-on Approach".
Who this course is for:
- Undergraduate and graduate students studying cybersecurity
- Anyone who is interested in learning the cryptography basics, especially the applied aspects of crypto
- Anyone who is interested in gaining a deeper understanding of how various crypto-based systems work
- Anyone who is interested in learning how blockchain and cryptocurrencies work
Dr. Wenliang (Kevin) Du is the Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence at Syracuse University. He got his PhD degree from Purdue University. He is currently a full professor (tenure track), teaching computer security for over 20 years. He promotes experiential learning in cybersecurity education. To provide students with hands-on experiences, funded by multiple grants from the National Science Foundation and over a period of 20 years, he has developed over 40 labs (called SEED labs). These labs are now being used by over 1000 universities, colleges, and high schools in 65 countries. He wrote a popular textbook on cybersecurity, which has been adopted by over 237 schools worldwide.
In 2010, his SEED project was highlighted by the National Science Foundation in a report sent to the Congress. The report highlights "17 projects that represent cutting-edge creativity in undergraduate STEM classes nationwide". Due to the impact of the SEED labs, he received the "2017 Academic Leadership" award from the 21st Colloquium for Information System Security Education. In 2019, Syracuse University bestowed upon him the Meredith Professorship, the university's most prestigious honor for teaching excellence.