A Cryptography Primer

Dr Lawrie Brown

School of IT&EE, Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra, Australia
Email: Lawrie.Brown@adfa.edu.au

To next be presented on Tuesday 18th October 2005 to AUUG 2005 in Sydney.


Data encryption algorithms form an important technical component in providing secure and authenticated electronic security and communications. This tutorial 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, from DES to the new AES encryption algorithm Rijndael. 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.


  1. Introduction, History and Classical Techniques
  2. Private-Key Encryption Algorithms and Block Ciphers
  3. Stream Ciphers and the Vernam cipher
  4. Public-Key Encryption Algorithms
  5. Digital Signature Algorithms and Hash Functions
  6. Key Management
  7. Security in Practise - Secure Email, SSL, WEP
  8. Review and Terminology


Copyright © 2005 Lawrie Brown