Analysis of Security Protocols ("We do our best to keep Facebook safe, but we cannot guarantee it.")

Quote taken from 'Terms & Conditions' of Facebook' (

Dr Emilio Tuosto

Today we consider secure communication an essential, e.g., in e-mailing, buying goods or managing bank accounts over the Internet using computers. Computer scientists have invented encryption and decryption algorithms for computers. On top of such algorithms, secure applications can be designed and programmed so digital information can be protected, using passwords, certificates, and the like.

Then why a big social network like Facebook cannot guarantee a safe access to its members? The answer is that the digital cryptography is not omnipotent: its naive use opens security threats that intruders can exploit to break applications security.

In this lecture we will discuss the practices used by intruders, and the know-how that allows computer scientists and practitioners to analyse and/or correctly exploit mechanisms for securing digital information so that distributed applications and services will be more and more robust.

  • Approximate length: 50 minutes
  • Equipment required: overhead projector
  • Target audience: for students at Years 8, 10 or 12 (technical depth of the content will be adapted)

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