University of Virginia, Department of Computer Science
CS588: Cryptology - Principles and Applications, Fall 2001

Problem Set 4: Cryptology for the Masses Out: 29 October 2001
Due: 5 November - Topic Email
Due: 12 November - Final

Collaboration Policy: Read Carefully

Since no one has submitted a satisfactory humiliation-free matchmaking protocol, we have arbitrarily assigned students partners for the problem set. You are required to work on this problem set with the pseudo-randomly selected partner as listed below:

Mah, Matthew
Hutchins, Eric

Neve, Michael
Erdman, Jon

Peeters, Eric
Liang, Stephen

Glaser, Adam
Wills, Portman

Lahr-Vivaz, Emilio
Guanlao, Dante

McEachron, Errol
Woody, Leonard

Barger, Tracy
Wortman, Dana

Friedman, David
Browne, Keen

Parikh, Stavan
Esclapez, Allison

Hogye, Mike
Lebanidze, Eugene

Hughes, Thad
Walsh, Brian

Sarfaty, Josh
Bangash, Saud

Wolf, Joe
Cuvelier, Michael

Marinak, Chris
Vu, Lim

Sowers, Adam
Pickering, Ken

Calandrino, John
Farraher, Rob

Roy, Samir
Zeng, Jim Shi

Each pair should turn in exactly one response, and both members will receive the same grade (unless someone does not pull their fair weight on the assignment). If you have an idea for a bigger project and would like to combine with another problem set pair, that may be possible, but discuss it with me first.

You may consult any outside resources you wish including books, papers, web sites and people. If you use resources other than the class materials, indicate what you used along with your answer.


There is a real need for today's average computer user and citizen to understand technical issues in computer security. Many attempts to do this are either littered with outright falsehoods and misleading statements, or fail to explain things well enough for politicians, lawyers or average computer users to understand.

For this problem set, you are to produce something that presents an important issue relevant to cryptology or computer security in a way that will be accessible and useful to an audience without substantial technical knowledge. Your response may be in any medium: for example, a song (Bit Commitment Blues by Mike Stay - this would be worth a C), poem (How to decrypt a DVD: in haiku form by anonymous author, from David S. Touretzky's DeCSS Gallery - this would be worth an A+), comic strip (Dilbert's Random Number - this would be worth an A), article (worth an A+ if you get it published (Cav Daily counts) and it is technically sound), or Web Site (Microsoft's Safe Internet: Privacy and Security Fundamentals would be worth a C- for false and misleading technical statements; The Ten Immutable Laws of Security would be worth an A).

On or before Monday, 5 November, each problem set team should email me a short description of what you are doing to make sure it is consistent with the intent of this assignment.

While creativity is encouraged, you should not let your choice of medium get in the way of technical correctness. Technical correctness is essential to get a good grade on this assignment. Secondary criteria include the quality and organization of your response, its perceived effectiveness in getting the main ideas across to a non-technical audience, and the actual impact of your work.

CS 655 University of Virginia
Department of Computer Science
CS 588: Cryptology - Principles and Applications
David Evans