A Cryptography Primer 1998/99

Dr Lawrie Brown

School of Computer Science,
University College, UNSW,
Australian Defence Force Academy



Data encryption algorithms form an important technical component in providing secure and authenticated electronic security and communications. This workshop is designed to provide attendees with a brief overview of the field of cryptography, the terms, techniques, and algorithms. It starts by introducing the classical cryptographic techniques which form the foundations of the field. We then survey modern private key ciphers, widely used for bulk and link data encryption, including a mention of the current US AES evaluation of a replacement standard encryption algorithm. Next we consider public key encryption algorithms and signature schemes, essential for the use of cryptography in large scale, wide area communications. We conclude with a brief look at a couple of cryptographic applications, illustrating the different ways these components are combined to build a security solution.


  • Introduction
  • Classical Cryptographic Techniques
  • Modern Cryptographic Algorithms
  • Private-Key Encryption Algorithms
  • Block Ciphers
  • Stream Ciphers and the Vernam cipher
  • Public-Key Encryption Algorithms
  • Digital Signature Algorithms
  • Hashing Functions
  • Key Management
  • Security in Practise - Secure Email
  • Security in Practise - SNMP
  • Security in Practise - One Time Passwords
  • Review
  • Terminology

  • Copyright © 1999 Lawrie Brown