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Cryptographic Engineering


Admission requirements

Assumed prior knowledge

This course aims at students who want to gain a deep understanding of the engineering aspects of cryptography, namely on the design of cryptographic hardware and software, and on implementation attacks and countermeasures. We expect that students already have some background knowledge in security (e.g. have taken the Security course at the Bachelor level) and digital design (e.g. have taken the Fundamentals of Digital Systems Design course at the Bachelor level).


The first part of this course will concentrate on the implementation aspects of cryptographic algorithms and protocols. Design constraints on resource utilization, energy consumption and performance will be taken into account in the design of cryptographic hardware and software.

The second part of the course explains how attacks can be mounted that specifically target weaknesses in the implementation of the cryptographic algorithms. Countermeasures against these implementation attacks and their effect on the resource utilization, the energy consumption and the performance will also be covered in the course.

Course objectives

After this course, you will have knowledge about the design of cryptographic hardware and software, and you will be able to make basic implementations yourself, taking into account the different constraints on hardware and (embedded) software. You will learn about implementation attacks and countermeasures, and you will have hands-on experience with mounting an attack and implementing countermeasures.


The most recent timetable can be found at the Computer Science (MSc) student website.

Mode of instruction

Lectures, peer presentation classes, project work

Course load

Total hours of study: 168 hrs. (= 6 EC). Of those (ca.):

  • 12 hrs of lectures

  • 8 hrs of peer presentations

  • 42 hrs of research literature analysis

  • 106 hrs of project work

Assessment method

Final grade = 30% paper (written analysis & presentation grade) + 70% project (work & report & presentation grade) (no exam)


  • Paper analysis and presentation in a group of 2-3: papers/topics are proposed by the lecturer

  • Project in a group of 2-3. Projects are defined by students jointly with lecturers, and will be on the design of cryptographic hardware/software and/or implementation attacks and countermeasures.

Reading list

There is no textbook. Recommended readings (research papers, etc.) will be announced on Brightspace.


  • You have to sign up for courses and exams (including retakes) in uSis. Check this link for information about how to register for courses.


  • Contact the lecturer via email.