Computer Security and Cryptography - COMP6340

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


Security has always been an important aspect of computing systems but its importance has increased greatly in recent years. In this module you learn about areas where security is of major importance and the techniques used to secure them. The areas you look at include computer operating systems (and increasingly, distributed operating systems), distributed applications (such as electronic commerce over the Internet) and embedded systems (ranging from smart cards and pay-TV to large industrial plant and telecommunications systems).


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 30
Private study hours: 120
Total study hours: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
70% Examination and 30% Coursework

Reassessment methods
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Indicative reading

Charles P. Pfleeger , "Security in Computing ", 2nd ed. , September 1996, Prentice Hall William Stallings, "Cryptography and Network Security : Principles and Practice", 2nd ed. , July 1998, Prentice Hall
Rita C. Summers, "Secure Computing : Threats and Safeguards", January 1997, McGraw Hill
Bruce Schneier , "Applied Cryptography : Protocols, Algorithms, and Source Code in C", 2nd ed., December 1995, John Wiley & Sons
Jonathan Knudsen , "Java Cryptography", May 1998, O'Reilly & Associates
Scott Oaks, "Java Security", May 1998, O'Reilly & Associates
Ingemar Cox, Matthew Miller & Jeffrey Bloom, "Digital Watermarking: Principles and Practice", 2003, Morgan Kaufman.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1 have an understanding of the algorithms used in cryptography and be able to perform implementations of selected algorithms in this area [A2][C1];
2 have an understanding of the threats faced by computer operating systems, applications and networks and the various countermeasures that can be used [A1][A3];
3 be able to make informed choices of the appropriate security measures to put into place for a given network and/or operating system [C2][B5];
4 have an understanding of how cryptography can be used for providing security within applications.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1 be able to apply relevant mathematical techniques [D4].
2 be able to analyse a problem specification and to design and implement a solution [B3][B4][D3].
3 to be aware of the relevant professional, ethical and legal issues in this subject area [B6].
4 be able to develop their own time management and organisational skills. [D5].


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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