• Contact
    • Saarland University
      Department of Computer Science
      66123 Saarbrücken
      phone: +49 (0) 681/302-58090
      fax:      +49 (0) 681/302-58094

Program of Studies:
Bachelor and Master Program Computer Science

Name of the module:
Cryptography, Core Course

CS 578 / CRY

Lecture 4 h (weekly)
Tutorial 2 h (weekly)

Master: 1st -3rd Semester
Bachelor: 5th Semester
At least once every two years

Responsible lecturer:
Prof. Dr. Michael Backes

Prof. Dr. Michael Backes


Level of the unit / mandatory or not:
Graduate course / Mandatory Elective

Course Type / weekly hours:
Lecture 4 h (weekly)
Tutorial 2 h (weekly)
Tutorials in groups of up to 20 students

Total workload: 
270 h = 90 h of classes and 180 h private study


Entrance requirements:
For graduate students: Basic knowledge in theoretical computer science required, background knowledge in number theory and complexity theory helpful

Aims / Competences to be developed:
The students will acquire a comprehensive knowledge of the basic concepts of cryptography and formal definitions. They will be able to prove the security of basic techniques.


  • Symmetric and asymmetric encryption
  • Digital signatures and message authentication codes
  • Information theoretic and complexity theoretic definitions of security, cryptographic reduction proofs
  • Cryptographic models, e.g. random oracle model
  • Cryptographic primitives, e.g. trapdoor-one-way functions, pseudo random generators, etc.
  • Cryptography in practice (standards, products)
  • Selected topics from current research

Assessment / Exams:

  • Oral / written exam (depending on the number of students)

A re-exam is normally provided (as written or oral examination)

Used Media:
    Slides (Powerpoint), board


  • D.R. Stinson. Cryptography – Theory and Practice. CRC Press, 2002.
  • N. Smart. Cryptography. McGraw-Hill Education, 2002.
  • Menezes, P. van Oorschot, S. Vanstone. Handbook of Applied Cryptography. CRC Press, 1997, www.cacr.math.uwaterloo.ca/hac/
  • O. Goldreich. Foundations of Cryptography, Vol. 1: Basic Tools + Vol II: Basic Applications. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2001 + 2004