192.124 Symmetric Cryptography
This course is in all assigned curricula part of the STEOP.
This course is in at least 1 assigned curriculum part of the STEOP.

2021W, VU, 4.0h, 6.0EC


  • Semester hours: 4.0
  • Credits: 6.0
  • Type: VU Lecture and Exercise
  • Format: Online

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of the course, students are able to...

  • Explain, argue the security of, and identify generic attacks on (tweakable) block ciphers, forkciphers, and compression functions in encryption, message authentication, hashing, authenticated encryption, and key derivation modes, among others.
  • Identify and reason about suitable use cases and applications of symmetric cryptographic schemes in higher level protocols and systems like TLS, IoT, end-to-end encryption, blockchains, etc.
  • Reason about lightweight symmetric cryptographic security requirements and design criteria.
  • Prove basic symmetric designs secure in the provable framework.
  • Assess, and compare existing symmetric designs with respect to security levels, efficiency and applicability features.
  • Present and explain in detail contemporary use cases, attacks and/or security proofs on symmetric algorithms.

Subject of course

  • Provable security and security notions in symmetric cryptography - pseudorandom functions and permutations, indistinguishability, unforgeability, collision resistance, etc.
  • Designs of building blocks: (tweakable) block ciphers, forkciphers, permutations, compression functions, etc.
  • Secure modes of operation: encryption, message authentication, hashing, authenticated encryption, key derivation modes, etc.
  • Symmetric lightweight cryptographic designs and the ongoing NIST competition. Attacks and crypto failures.
  • Applications of symmetric cryptography: communication protocols like TLS, end-to-end encryption protocols, etc.

Teaching methods

The course is run online.

  • Lectures and slides will be delivered online both live and prerecorded.
  • Role model and feedback-oriented learning: Presenting projects and homeworks, explaining, comparing, contrasting, and rating own and others solutions of assignments in semi-guided sessions.

Mode of examination


Additional information

ECTS Breakdown

30 h lectures

10 h = student presentations

57 ½ h self- study

50 h = exercises and projects

2 ½ h exam

150h Total



Course dates

Wed09:00 - 11:0006.10.2021 - 19.01.2022 Online event (LIVE)Lectures
Thu10:00 - 12:0028.10.2021 - 27.01.2022 (LIVE)Exercises
Symmetric Cryptography - Single appointments
Wed06.10.202109:00 - 11:00 Online eventLectures
Wed13.10.202109:00 - 11:00 Online eventLectures
Wed20.10.202109:00 - 11:00 Online eventLectures
Wed27.10.202109:00 - 11:00 Online eventLectures
Thu28.10.202110:00 - 12:00 Exercises
Wed03.11.202109:00 - 11:00 Online eventLectures
Thu04.11.202110:00 - 12:00 Exercises
Wed10.11.202109:00 - 11:00 Online eventLectures
Thu11.11.202110:00 - 12:00 Exercises
Wed17.11.202109:00 - 11:00 Online eventLectures
Thu18.11.202110:00 - 12:00 Exercises
Wed24.11.202109:00 - 11:00 Online eventLectures
Thu25.11.202110:00 - 12:00 Exercises
Wed01.12.202109:00 - 11:00 Online eventLectures
Thu02.12.202110:00 - 12:00 Exercises
Thu09.12.202110:00 - 12:00 Exercises
Wed15.12.202109:00 - 11:00 Online eventLectures
Thu16.12.202110:00 - 12:00 Exercises
Wed12.01.202209:00 - 11:00 Online eventLectures
Thu13.01.202210:00 - 12:00 Exercises

Examination modalities

  • Homework and projects 40%
  • Exam 60%

Course registration

Begin End Deregistration end
02.08.2021 12:00 15.10.2021 23:59 15.10.2021 23:59



No lecture notes are available.

Previous knowledge

  • Basic knowledge in Security/Cryptography
  • Basic knowledge in probability theory