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SIT281 - Cryptography


2020 unit information

Important Update:

Classes and seminars in Trimester 2/Semester 2, 2020 will be online. Physical distancing for coronavirus (COVID-19) will affect delivery of other learning experiences in this unit. Please check your unit sites for announcements and updates one week prior to the start of your trimester or semester.

Last updated: 2 June 2020

Enrolment modes:Trimester 2: Burwood (Melbourne), Waurn Ponds (Geelong), Cloud (online)
Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 2: Leo Zhang


Incompatible with:


Typical study commitment:

Students will on average spend 150 hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

Scheduled learning activities - campus:

3 x 1 hour classes per week, 1 x 1 hour practical per week.

Scheduled learning activities - cloud:

1 x 1 hour scheduled online workshop per week.


In SIT281 students will learn the fundamental mechanisms of classic and modern cryptographic systems, which span from Caesar cipher of Roman times to Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) cipher invented in the early 21st century. Students will encrypt and decrypt messages by using modern symmetric encryption schemes including DES and AES, stream ciphers used in mobile phone networks and pay TVs, as well as the most well-known public key cipher RSA. The unit will also provide students the opportunity to explore the cryptographic applications.

On completion of this unit
students will understand the different types of cryptographic procedures introduced both in the past and present
and be able to analyse these procedures as to their effectiveness.


These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this Unit

At the completion of this Unit
successful students can:

Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes


Evaluate the internal mechanisms of cryptosystems and report their strengths and weaknesses with relation to security and government requirements, and industry standards.

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities


Design and implement a range of cryptosystems to meet security requirements for data encryption and decryption using appropriate software tools.

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO3: Digital literacy
GLO5: Problem solving


Enhance data security against cyber-attacks using cryptosystems within software solutions, and be able to justify cryptographic algorithms and optimized parameters used.

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO4: Critical thinking
GLO5: Problem solving

These Unit Learning Outcomes are applicable for all teaching periods throughout the year


Assessment Description Student output Weighting (% total mark for unit) Indicative due week
Problem solving tasks  Two problem-based solving tasks related to cryptosystems 30%  Weeks 4 and 7
Project Written report and video (approximately 3 minutes) 20% Week 10
Examination 2-hour written examination 50% Examination period

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Learning Resource

Prescribed text(s): Trappe & Washington, 2005, Introduction to Cryptography with Coding Theory, 2nd edition, Pearson Education.

The texts and reading list for the unit can be found on the University Library via the link below: SIT281 Note: Select the relevant trimester reading list. Please note that a future teaching period's reading list may not be available until a month prior to the start of that teaching period so you may wish to use the relevant trimester's prior year reading list as a guide only.

Unit Fee Information

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