FIT5163 - Information and computer security - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Information Technology

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Joseph Liu

Unit guides



  • First semester 2019 (On-campus)
  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)


((FIT9134 or FIT5134 or FIT9018) and (FIT9135 or FIT5135 or FIT9020)) or equivalent

For students enrolled in E3001, E3002, E3005, E3010, E3011, E3007 completing the Software Engineering specialisation: FIT4165

Introductory knowledge of computing at the undergraduate level is assumed.




The unit aims to provide the students with in depth knowledge of techniques required to deal with security problems in information systems. The main areas of study include symmetric and asymmetric encryption techniques, cryptographic hash functions with related topics of message authentication codes and digital signatures. Study of techniques and algorithms for providing mutual trust include key management and distribution and user authentication to establish trust in the identity of communicating partner are also included. It looks at various management issues, including use and abuse of encryption, distributed systems authentication and integrity management. A range of security applications are used as examples. Students will learn how to apply cryptographic techniques in practice.


At the completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. critically assess threats, vulnerabilities and risks to an organisation's information assets, and propose control technologies and techniques which can be applied to reduce the security risk;
  2. apply a variety of cryptographic algorithms to develop methods to disguise information to ensure its integrity, confidentiality and authenticity;
  3. apply a variety of methods for key management and distribution and analyse the risks associated with the various approaches;
  4. implement user authentication and access control mechanisms to create a security architecture to protect the assets of the information system;
  5. implement cryptographic techniques to preserve the security of information and evaluate its effectiveness;
  6. apply a variety of security control technologies to IT systems in an organisation.


NOTE: From 1 July 2019, the duration of all exams is changing to combine reading and writing time. The new exam duration for this unit is 2 hours and 10 minutes.

Examination (2 hours): 60%; In-semester assessment: 40%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 12 hours per week comprising:

  1. Contact hours for on-campus students:
    • Two hours of lectures
    • One 2-hour tutorial
  2. Additional requirements (all students):
    • A minimum of 8 hours independent study per week for completing tutorial and project work, private study and revision.

See also Unit timetable information