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This is a fully online course covering Cryptography and Public Key Infrastructure in a fun and interesting way.

This course includes recorded lectures, interactive Discussion Boards, puzzles to solve, easy online research, cool videos to watch, amazing stories, weekly interactive Zoom sessions with the instructor (optional and recorded), one short writing assignment and weekly quizzes.

Course Highlights:

  • History of cryptography
  • The processes involved in  encrypting and decrypting messages
  • Public Key Infrastructure
    • Symmetric and asymmetric ciphers with none of the underlying math
    • Certificates and Certificate Authorities
    • Message Digests (hashes) and the concept of trust
    • Government involvement
    • Protocols
    • Code breaking processes
    • Recent events and spying
  • Easy linux-based labs demonstrating key creation and encrypting messages
  • Quantum computing and what’s next

Course Learning Outcomes: 

  • Understand the foundational components of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) to include historical ciphers, symmetric/asymmetric algorithms, keying, key management, message digests and digital signatures.
  • Describe the governance from NSA oversight to the Certificate Authority Security Council and the administration of certificate authorities
  • Describe the cryptographic implementations of https, TLS, IPSEC, S/MIME and other protocols, cyber attacks and countermeasures
  • ​Describe how the traditional methods of keeping secrets evolved into today’s technology and what's coming in the next 50 years with quantum science

Labs require a linux command line shell;  You will be shown how to install a Type 2 Hypervisor and a Linux Operating System (both free) on Windows.

Course typically offered: Online in every Spring and Fall.

Prerequisite: Students are expected to have basic computer skills, understanding english grammar and basic writing skills. 

Next Step: After completing this course, consider taking CSE-41355 Introduction to Digital Forensics or CSE-41359 Information Security Management to continue learning.

Contact: For more information about this course, please email


Blockchain and crypto currencies (including Bitcoin) are an implementation of message digests (hashes); these are not a category of cryptography.

Course Number: CSE-41356
Credit: 3.00 unit(s)