CSCI 5440: Cryptography

The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Spring 2011

Recent Announcements

Course Description

Cryptography allows us to achieve secure and private communication over insecure channels. When used improperly, however, it can result in stolen credit card numbers, leakage of embarrassing secrets, impersonations, and so on. The objective of this course is to understand the foundations that allow the secure building of cryptosystems, with an emphasis on rigorous definitions and proofs of security and a critical eye towards the assumptions that allow us to achieve various forms of cryptography.


This is a tentative schedule of the lectures. Changes are possible depending on progress and interest.

date topic reading
1Jan 12
What is cryptography? The one-time pad. Computational assumptions. [pdf]
2Jan 19
Message indistinguishability and semantic security. Pseudorandom generators. Private-key encryption. [pdf]
3Jan 26
Pseudorandom functions. Chosen plaintext attacks. [pdf]
Feb 2
No class, lunar new year
4Feb 11 Construction of pseudorandom functions. Message authentication. Chosen ciphertext attacks. [pdf]
5Feb 16
Construction of CCA-secure encryptions. Variable-length MACs. [pdf]
6Feb 23
Cryptographic hash functions. One-way functions and pseudorandom generators. [pdf]
7Mar 2
The Goldreich-Levin theorem. [pdf]
8Mar 9
Public-key encryption. [pdf]
9Mar 16
Oblivious transfer and secure two-party computation. [pdf]
Mar 23
No class
Mar 30
No class
10Apr 6
Two-party protocol for honest-but-curious adversaries. Bit commitment and coin flipping. [pdf]
11Apr 13
Zero-knowledge proofs. [pdf]
12Apr 20
Enforcing honesty in two-party computation. [pdf]
Apr 27
Apr 28
Project presentations

Homeworks and Exams

Course Information


Notes will be provided for every lecture. A substantial part of the course will closely follow the topics in the first book. The second and third books are great references for the theory of cryptography and cover much of the remaining material.