COMP41280 Introduction to Information Security

Academic Year 2021/2022

This course provides an introduction to the theoretical and practical underpinnings of information security. Information security is a broad field, encompassing all forms of information protection. The main focus of this course is on cryptographic primitives, an important set of tools on which information security usually relies. We start by studying the fundamentals of cryptography, and then we go on to address practical cryptography, digital signatures, and authentication. The course ends with a review of the fundamentals of digital data hiding (watermarking and steganography) and digital forensics, which are fields unrelated to cryptography.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

- Fundamentals of cryptography. Shannon's model. Perfect secrecy. Communication channels and cryptography.

- Classic ciphers. Block ciphers. Modes of operation. Data Encryption Standard (DES). Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).

- Public key cryptography. Diffie-Hellman scheme. RSA cryptography.

- Digital signatures. Hash functions. SHA family. Message authentication codes. The publick key infrastructure.

- Security of multimedia assets. Basic concepts in digital data hiding (watermarking and steganography). Watermarking with and without side information. Multimedia forensics and counterforensics.

Indicative Module Content:

(see above)

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning






Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
lectures; reflective learning; problem-based learning; 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

Fundamentals of probability, Discrete Mathematics for Computer Science (COMP20110), and Information Theory (COMP30690).

Note: these are just recommendations, as the course is largely self-contained.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Examination: Set of short questions about the materials covered in the course. 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Other No


Assignment: Practical and Theoretical Assignments Varies over the Trimester n/a Other Yes


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Name Role
Yogesh Bansal Tutor
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 Mon 15:00 - 16:50