This page contains an archive of courses that have been offered by members of the cryptology and data security research group at the University of Bern and in the Swiss Joint Master in Computer Science.

See here for current courses.

Spring 2021

  • Algorithmen, Wahrscheinlichkeit und Information (in German)

    Bachelor Informatik, University of Bern; KSL 451670; please register in ILIAS.

    Diese Vorlesung führt das Gebiet der randomisierten Algorithmen und probabilistischen Verfahren ein, welche heute in der Informatik eine grosse Rolle spielen. Darüber hinaus werden auch die Grundlagen der Informationstheorie und der Begriff der Entropie vorgestellt. Probabilistische Methoden und Analysen treten in vielen Gebieten auf, in der Kommunikation, in Machine Learning, zur Datenanalyse und in der Kryptologie. Nach einer Einführung in die Wahrscheinlichkeitsrechnung mit diskreten Ereignissen werden wichtige probabilistische Methoden und deren Analyse behandelt, so zum Beispiel Abschätzungen mittels Chernoff-Bounds und die probabilistische Methode. Randomisierte Algorithmen auf Graphen und in der Zahlentheorie werden diskutiert. Entropie als Informationsmass wird eingeführt und Methoden für Codierung und Datenkompression behandelt.

    Kurssprache ist Deutsch. Unterlagen sind in Englisch.

  • Cryptographic Protocols

    University of Bern and Joint Master in Computer Science; KSL 468672; please register in ILIAS.

    Description

    How do you authenticate online without disclosing any identity or password? Could a cloud service process encrypted data? How can individuals safeguard their privacy against ubiquitous online services? How do cryptographic voting protocols solve the conflicting goals of authorizing all voters while maintaining their privacy? Will Big Brother always be able to watch every one of your actions on the Internet, or can you hide your data from future cloud systems? Can one distribute a cryptographic operation among a group of participants such that any minority of them may try to cheat but will not succeed? How can two millionaires compute who is richer without disclosing their wealth to each other?

    This course gives an introduction to the amazing world of cryptographic protocols with multilateral security. They realize such diverse goals as zero-knowledge proofs, secure multi-party computation, private online elections, auctions without trusted parties, distributed threshold cryptosystems and more. These methods have been developed over the last decades and start to find applications on the Internet today, ranging from nation-wide electronic voting and secure cloud platforms to cryptocurrencies and blockchains.

    Requirements

    Students are expected to have background knowledge in cryptography, covering notions such as public-key encryption and digital signatures. Ideally they have taken the course “Cryptography,” which is offered in the Fall Semester immediately before, but this is not strictly required.

  • Seminar: Cryptography and Data Security

    University of Bern and Joint Master in Computer Science; KSL 453835; please register in ILIAS.

    The seminar in cryptology and data security covers various relevant topics in the area and its contents will change from one semester to another. Typical subjects are cryptographic protocols, secure computation, privacy, distributed trust and blockchains. A seminar will start with an overview of the topic, where some basic principles are introduced. The main content will typically consist of interactive presentations by the participants, on the basis of the existing literature, ranging from classic research papers to recently developed systems. In addition, students as well as members of the cryptology and data security research group will present their own current work.

    The seminar in Spring 2021 will focus on security and privacy in machine learning.

    Topics include:

    • Evasion attacks (a.k.a. adversarial samples)
    • Poisoning attacks
    • Model extraction
    • Membership attacks
    • Defensive techniques
    • Impact on real-world applications of ML

     

  • Interdisciplinary Seminar in Civil Law and Computer Science: Distributed Trust and Blockchain

    University of Bern and Joint Master in Computer Science; KSL 469910; ILIAS link.

    Civil law and computer science

    The Institute for Civil Law and the Institute of Computer Science will hold an interdisciplinary seminar on the topic “Distributed Trust and Blockchain”. Students of computer science and law and will work closely together on questions concerning the blockchain and its potential in the legal domain. The goal of the seminar is to explore how the characteristics of blockchain technology can support the transfer and enforcement of rights.

    Participants will work in interdisciplinary groups and relate their work to practical problems that arise when regulators and practitioners aim at digitizing the legal world. In doing so, participating students will hopefully design and discuss truly innovative concepts for issues that have arisen or may arise in practice when creating, transferring or enforcing rights in real-world scenarios such as collateralizing assets or dealing with securities.

    Information event: 16 December 2020, 17:30h online, send email for obtaining the details.

    Please see the information sheet on how to register for participation.

    Places are limited and registration is required.

Fall 2020

  • Diskrete Mathematik (in German)

    Bachelor Informatik, University of Bern; KSL 11479; please register in ILIAS.

    Diese Vorlesung führt in diskrete Mathematik ein und behandelt eine Reihe von zentralen Methoden und Konzepten, welche wichtig sind für das tiefere Verständnis der Informatik. Diskrete Mathematik ist ein Teilgebiet der Mathematik, das sich hauptsächlich mit endlichen und abzählbaren Strukturen beschäftigt. Wichtige Themen sind zuerst Mengen, Relationen und Funktionen. Es folgen Grundlagen der Algebra und Zahlentheorie, welche auch für kryptographische Verfahren oder Codierungstheorie die Basis bilden. Darüber hinaus werden Konzepte aus der Graphentheorie vorgestellt und die Grundlagen der Logik eingeführt, insbesondere Aussagenlogik und Prädikatenlogik. Die Vorlesung dient auch der Vorbereitung auf weitergehende Themen der theoretischen Informatik, wie Berechenbarkeit, Komplexität, Effizienz und probabilistische Algorithmen.

    Kurssprache ist Deutsch. Unterlagen sind in Englisch.

  • Cryptography

    University of Bern and Joint Master in Computer Science; KSL 453847; please register in ILIAS.

    Cryptography addresses the protection of data in the digital world; it has become a crucial technology for the information society, with influence to public policy and questions of privacy. This course presents an introduction to modern cryptography. Based on mathematical models for reasoning about the security of information systems, the course explains the fundamental concepts of cryptography and discusses the most important cryptographic algorithms that are in everyday use on the Internet. It covers security proofs, computational security, pseudorandomness, block ciphers, hash functions, and message authentication. Public-key cryptosystems and public-key signature schemes that rely on number-theoretic primitives are also introduced and some elementary cryptographic protocols will be presented.

  • Seminar: Cryptography and Data Security

    University of Bern and Joint Master in Computer Science; KSL 453835; please register in ILIAS.

    The seminar in cryptology and data security covers various relevant topics in the area and its contents will change from one semester to another. Typical subjects are cryptographic protocols, secure computation, privacy, distributed trust and blockchains. A seminar will start with an overview of the topic, where some basic principles are introduced. The main content will typically consist of interactive presentations by the participants, on the basis of the existing literature, ranging from classic research papers to recently developed systems. In addition, students as well as members of the cryptology and data security research group will present their own current work.

    The seminar in Fall 2020 will focus on privacy and anonymity.

    Topics include:

    • Data privacy (personal data, pseudonymity, anonymization and de-anonymization)
    • k-anonymity
    • Differential privacy
    • Privacy laws and regulation in Switzerland and in Europe
    • Data tracking
    • Steganography
    • Anonymity
    • Censorship resistance
    • Privacy-supporting cryptographic protocols (zero-knowledge proofs)

Spring 2020

  • Algorithmen, Wahrscheinlichkeit und Information (in German)

    Bachelor Informatik, University of Bern; KSL 451670; Please register in ILIAS.

    Diese Vorlesung führt das Gebiet der randomisierten Algorithmen und probabilistischen Verfahren ein, welche heute in der Informatik eine grosse Rolle spielen. Darüber hinaus werden auch die Grundlagen der Informationstheorie und der Begriff der Entropie vorgestellt. Probabilistische Methoden und Analysen treten in vielen Gebieten auf, in der Kommunikation, in Machine Learning, zur Datenanalyse und in der Kryptologie. Nach einer Einführung in die Wahrscheinlichkeitsrechnung mit diskreten Ereignissen werden wichtige probabilistische Methoden und deren Analyse behandelt, so zum Beispiel Abschätzungen mittels Chernoff-Bounds und die probabilistische Methode. Randomisierte Algorithmen auf Graphen und in der Zahlentheorie werden diskutiert. Entropie als Informationsmass wird eingeführt und Methoden für Codierung und Datenkompression behandelt.

    Kurssprache ist Deutsch. Unterlagen sind in Englisch.

  • Distributed Algorithms

    University of Bern and Joint Master in Computer Science; KSL 454448; Please register in ILIAS.

    This course provides an introduction to computing in a distributed environment without a central coordinator. It presents fundamental programming abstractions for distributed systems and fault-tolerant, highly available, and secure protocols that implement them. Important problems of distributed computing are discussed and influential impossibility results are shown. The central question of the course is how to tolerate uncertainty and adversarial influence, which may arise from network delays, faults, or malicious attacks in a distributed system. Topics include replication, quorums, reliable broadcast, distributed storage, consensus, Byzantine agreement, atomic broadcast, and notions of consistency arising in this setting. Applications to real-world systems will be presented, in the domain of cloud computing, cryptocurrencies, and blockchain systems.

  • Seminar: Distributed Trust and Blockchains

    University of Bern and Joint Master in Computer Science; KSL 451871; Please register in ILIAS.

    A blockchain is a distributed system for executing and recording transactions, which is maintained by many nodes without a central authority. Blockchains power cryptocurrencies and distributed ledgers that have applications to many domains. The seminar in spring 2020 will focus on programming methods for blockchains and cryptocurrencies.

    The seminar will start with a brief overview of the topic, where some basic principles are introduced. The main goal will be to explore programming methods, principles, and languages for different blockchain platforms. Participants will choose a system, develop a prototype application, implement it in the chosen system, and present it. Example systems and platforms:

    In addition, students as well as members of the cryptology and data security research group will present their own current work.

Fall 2019

  • Diskrete Mathematik (in German)

    Bachelor Informatik, University of Bern; KSL 11479; Please register in ILIAS.

    Diese Vorlesung führt in diskrete Mathematik ein und behandelt eine Reihe von zentralen Methoden und Konzepten, welche wichtig sind für das tiefere Verständnis der Informatik. Diskrete Mathematik ist ein Teilgebiet der Mathematik, das sich hauptsächlich mit endlichen und abzählbaren Strukturen beschäftigt. Wichtige Themen sind zuerst Mengen, Relationen und Funktionen. Es folgen Grundlagen der Algebra und Zahlentheorie, welche auch für kryptographische Verfahren oder Codierungstheorie die Basis bilden. Darüber hinaus werden Konzepte aus der Graphentheorie vorgestellt und die Grundlagen der Logik eingeführt, insbesondere Aussagenlogik und Prädikatenlogik. Die Vorlesung dient auch der Vorbereitung auf weitergehende Themen der theoretischen Informatik, wie Berechenbarkeit, Komplexität, Effizienz und probabilistische Algorithmen.

    Kurssprache ist Deutsch. Unterlagen sind in Englisch.

  • Cryptography

    University of Bern and Joint Master in Computer Science; KSL 453847; Please register in ILIAS.

    Cryptography addresses the protection of data in the digital world; it has become a crucial technology for the information society, with influence to public policy and questions of privacy. This course presents an introduction to modern cryptography. Based on mathematical models for reasoning about the security of information systems, the course explains the fundamental concepts of cryptography and discusses the most important cryptographic algorithms that are in everyday use on the Internet. It covers security proofs, computational security, pseudorandomness, block ciphers, hash functions, and message authentication. Public-key cryptosystems and public-key signature schemes that rely on number-theoretic primitives are also introduced and some elementary cryptographic protocols will be presented. (Caveat: The course is not about computer security, operating systems, malware, attacks and their prevention.)

  • Seminar: Secure Computation

    University of Bern and Joint Master in Computer Science; KSL 453835; Please register in ILIAS.

    How can an algorithm be executed such that the computing device does not get to see the operations it executes and the data it touches? Can one compute with encrypted data? How can privacy in online services be maintained? What does it take to carry out an auction with secret inputs, a distributed voting application, private bidding schemes and sealed-bid auctions without a trusted party? This seminar will cover fundamental techniques and protocols that answer these questions. The topics range from secure multiparty computation protocols that rely on cryptography to trusted execution environments based on secure hardware processors.

    The seminar will start with an overview of the topic, where some basic principles are introduced. The main content consists of interactive presentations by the participants, on the basis of the existing literature, ranging from classic research papers to recently developed systems. In addition, students as well as members of the cryptology and data security research group will present their own current work.

Spring 2019