Cryptography is a beautiful and ancient subject, and today is a thriving academic discipline at the intersection of mathematics and computer science. Cryptography plays an important role in securing many facets of everyday life, including, for example, our mobile phone calls, our credit card payments and (soon) our electronic health records.
In this talk, Professor Paterson will discuss some of the real-world problems that arise when cryptography is put into use. The talk will begin with the discussion of Fish, an important cipher from World War II, with an explanation of how it was broken at Bletchley Park using a combination of luck, ingenuity and hard work.
He will end with Phishing - a modern phenomenon in which fraudsters trick victims into revealing sensitive personal information such as credit card details. He will try to extract from these and other examples what cryptography can (and cannot) do for us.