PhD Course on Security Protocols

Post date: 12-Apr-2011 14:05:34

Upcoming PhD course

Introduction to Security Protocols.

April-May 2011

Aula C, Dipartimento di Matematica e Informatica - Via Ospedale 72, Cagliari

Prof. Emilio Tuosto

University of Leicester


The main aim of this course is to present basic concepts on the formal modelling (and, to a minor extent, analysis) of cryptographic protocols. Students will learn how to design, interpret, and reason about security protocols. If time allows, a bries overview of formal techniques for the study of such protocols will be also given.


  • Abstract representation of security protocols
  • The Dolev-Yao intruder
  • The strange Lowe attack
  • Kerberos (optional)
  • Process algebras for security protocols (optional)

Short description

The use of computers and computer networks is an integral part of our lives. This has given us numerous advantages and convenience as well

as it yields critical issue. How can computer systems defend themselves against network attacks? How can we ensure that our data have not been tampered with, or disclosed without our consent? How can we be sure of the identity of the party whom we are communicating with? These are some of the security issues that must be addressed properly. A fundamental part of security systems is digital cryptography. Albeit paramount, we abstract away from actual cryptosystems and use a few notation and techniques for the analysis of cryptographic protocols commonly adopted in distributed applications are introduced.

Reading material

  • W. Stallings. Cryptography and Network Security; ISBN: 0131873164, Prentice Hall. 2006.
  • D. Dolev and A. C. Yao. On the Security of Public Key Protocols. Report. No. STAN-CS-8 l-854
  • Gavin Lowe. An attack on the Needham-Schroeder public key authentication protocol. Information Processing Letters 56 (3), 1995
  • Roger M. Needham and Michael D. Schroeder. Using Encryption for Authentication in Large Networks of Computers. CACM, 21(12), 1978
  • Lecture notes

The official presentation of the course will be on April 13 (Wed) in Aula C, at 16:30. The schedule of the course will be fixed during this meeting.

The course has been funded by the Autonomous Region of Sardinia through the Visiting Professor Program 2010.