Protecting the digital ecosystem that surrounds us and plays a more and more essential part in our lives is a pressing need that modern society can no longer ignore. The discipline studying the tools and technology that can be used to this aim is usually, and rather vaguely, referred to as cybersecurity. Such a term broadly encompasses a wide and diverse set of techniques including classical cryptographic tools, security protocols for end-to-end communication, network monitoring and protection, intrusion detection, malware recognition, authentication and protection of multimedia contents.
In this framework, the goal of this course is to give snapshot of some of the most common threats and security measures affecting end-to-end communications and networks, especially wireless networks. The first part of the course focuses on cryptography, since cryptographic tools are the main ingredient behind most security protocols and information protection systems. In the second part of the course, the concepts introduced in the first part are put at work in the context of communication security. Rather than attempting to provide a comprehensive treatment, which would be impossible within the time limit of the course, the students will be involved in laboratory activities according to the “learn by doing” paradigm. The laboratory activity will focus on some of the hottest security threats and countermeasures including authentication, application and transport layer security, wireless security. The last part of the course will adopt a different perspective and introduce the students to the problems related to the protection of multimedia contents, including methods for copyright protection, media authentication and covert communication by means of image steganography.