Hands-on Cryptography

This lesson provides the student with some hands-on experience with cryptography using online tools to solve simple cryptographic problems.  It also exposes the student to techniques for encrypting and decrypting files on a Linux system.

For this lesson, we assume the instructor has provisioned accounts for his or her students in the Virginia Cyber Range and has added the Cyber Basics – Introduction to Cryptography Lab to their course. The instructor should have copies of the lab hand-out from the courseware repository.

Learning Objectives
  • Use online tools to solve simple cryptographic problems
  • Apply techniques for encrypting and decrypting files on a Linux system using both symmetric and asymmetric encryption tools
Hands-on Cryptography Lesson Plan

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* NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework KSAs Addressed
  • K0044: Knowledge of cybersecurity principles and organizational requirements (relevant to confidentiality, integrity, availability, authentication, non-repudiation).
  • K0305: Knowledge of encryption algorithms, stenography, and other forms of data concealment.
  • K0308: Knowledge of cryptology.
* NSA/DHS Center of Excellence (CAE) KUs Addressed
  • Intro to Cryptography

* Most courseware content maps to NIST NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework (NCWF) Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) and/or NSA/DHS CAE Knowledge Units (KUs). For more information on KSAs and KUs, please visit:

KSAs: http://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/SpecialPublications/NIST.SP.800-181.pdf

KUs: https://www.iad.gov/NIETP/documents/Requirements/CAE-CD_2019_Knowledge_Units.pdf