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Security Portal: The Advanced Encryption Standard

Jun 06, 2000, 19:38 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Savard)

"Despite such things as export controls and the Clipper Chip, which gave the impression that the U.S. government was less than enthused about the private use of advanced encryption, on January 2nd, 1997, the National Institute of Standards and Technology announced that an effort would be under way to find a replacement for the Data Encryption Standard. After a preliminary request for public comments, the formal request for a block cipher algorithm, operating on 128-bit blocks, and with key sizes of 128, 192, and 256 bits, was made on September 12th, 1997."

"Of the submissions made, fifteen submissions were found to be complete, and after nine months of public comment, five of the cryptographic algorithms submitted were selected as finalists. A further period of discussion concerning the finalists has recently closed."

"Soon, therefore, the successor to DES will be announced...."

"Since there are many unsound cipher systems being offered for sale or for use, the existence of a standard, approved by a respected body, allows people without pretensions to cryptographic expertise to specify a cipher - the standard cipher - with some degree of confidence that it will be in fact secure. This is particularly important to such businesses as banks, which are required to meet a legal standard of 'due diligence'."

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