Cryptography is an indispensable tool for protecting information in computer systems. In this course you will learn the inner workings of cryptographic systems and how to correctly use them in real-world applications. The course begins with a detailed discussion of how two parties who have a shared secret key can communicate securely when a powerful adversary eavesdrops and tampers with traffic. We will examine many deployed protocols and analyze mistakes in existing systems. The second half of the course discusses public-key techniques that let two parties generate a shared secret key. Throughout the course participants will be exposed to many exciting open problems in the field and work on fun (optional) programming projects. In a second course (Crypto II) we will cover more advanced cryptographic tasks such as zero-knowledge, privacy mechanisms, and other forms of encryption.

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Public-Key Encryption

Week 6. This week's topic is public key encryption: how to encrypt using a public key and decrypt using a secret key. Public key encryption is used for key management in encrypted file systems, in encrypted messaging systems, and for many other tasks. The videos cover two families of public key encryption systems: one based on trapdoor functions (RSA in particular) and the other based on the Diffie-Hellman protocol. We construct systems that are secure against tampering, also known as chosen ciphertext security (CCA security). There has been a ton of research on CCA security over the past decade and given the allotted time we can only summarize the main results from the last few years. The lectures contain suggestions for further readings for those interested in learning more about CCA secure public-key systems. The problem set this week involves a bit more math than usual, but should expand your understanding of public-key encryption. Please don't be shy about posting questions in the forum. This is the last week of this Crypto I course. I hope everyone learned a lot and enjoyed the material. Crypto is a beautiful topic with lots of open problems and room for further research. I look forward to seeing you in Crypto II where we will cover additional core topics and a few more advanced topics.