British Columbia Institute of

Important Notice: COVID-19 Institute response


FSCT 8580 - Encryption

Forensic Investigation Part-time Studies Course

School of Computing and Academic Studies

BCIT is planning for a substantial return to on-campus activity for the fall 2021 term as informed by BC Public Health Officer guidelines. Refer to each course listing for details.

Course Details

This course will focus on the concepts and applications of cryptography, covering topics on symmetric and asymmetric cryptography; secret key and key exchange; stream and block ciphers; message digests; public and private keys; digital signatures, digital certificates and Public Key Infrastructure (PKI); SSL, IPSec VPN's, S/MIME, PGP and WEP/WPA; cryptographic and non-cryptographic attacks; randomness and primality; cryptographic algorithms (DES, 3DES, AES, Blowfish, RSA, DSA, DH, El Gamal, ECC, MD5, SHA, RC4, etc.); and authentication, confidentiality, integrity and non-repudiation. Introduction to real-world use and applications will be included.


Admission to a Forensic credential program or permission of the Program Coordinator.



This course isn't currently offered through BCIT Part-time Studies. Please check back next term or subscribe to receive email updates.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Discuss the major trends in cryptographic evolution, including legal and ethical issues.
  • Compare the strengths and weaknesses of symmetric and asymmetric algorithms, of message digest implementations, and of various cipher modes.
  • Design a simple public key algorithm.
  • Assess the strengths and weaknesses of cryptographic algorithms, such as DES, 3DES, AES, RSA, DSS, ECC, DH, RC4, etc.
  • Discuss secure implementations of practical real-world cryptographic systems such as EFS, Entrust Client, Wireless, S/MIME, SSL, PGP, VPN's, Smartcards and SSH.
  • Assess public and secret key algorithms to determine their vulnerability to common methods of attack.
  • Critically evaluate cryptographic solutions in terms of the cryptographic assurances they provide, the method of implementation, their adherence to standards, and their potential weaknesses.
  • Use cryptographic tools and solutions, including S/MIME, OpenSSL, PGP and PKI.
  • Explain the need for secure key exchange and management, and the various techniques available.
  • Compare the strengths and weaknesses of network-based (PGP) and hierarchical PKI systems (X509).

Effective as of Fall 2009

Related Programs

FSCT 8580 is offered as a part of the following programs:

School of Computing and Academic Studies

  1. Forensic Investigation (General Criminalistics Option)
    Part-time   Advanced Certificate


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