CS4615 Cryptographic Protocol Design and Attacks

Cryptographic protocols (such as key-exchange and mutual-authentication protocols) are essential to the security of all distributed computer networks. Such protocols are often simple, but they also often fall victim to various attacks, including structural attacks. This course considers the ‘protocol analysis problem': finding attacks against a protocol (if they exist) or proving their absence (if they do not). We will examine protocol design and protocol-analysis techniques, and compare their strengths and weaknesses. Advanced topics include (as time permits) protocol-design heuristics, trust-management and higher-level protocol goals, interactions between protocols, computational soundness, and decidability results.


CS3600 or permission of instructor

Lecture Hours


Lab Hours


Quarter Offered

  • As Required