NIST selects algorithm for a new Advanced Encryption Standard

NIST selects algorithm for a new Advanced Encryption Standard

By William Jackson

GCN Staff

OCT. 4—The National Institute of Standards and Technology has announced the winner of its three-year competition for a new Advanced Encryption Standard.

The Rijndael algorithm developed by Belgian cryptographers Joan Daemen and Vincent Rijmen was selected from among 15 entries from around the world to replace the aging Data Encryption Standard for sensitive but unclassified information. The entries had to support 128-, 192- and 256-bit encryption and were subjected to two rounds of attacks by the cryptographic community. NIST computer scientists also evaluated the entries for speed and versatility across a variety of computer platforms.

"Rijndael was selected because it had the best combination of security, performance, efficiency, implementation and flexibility," NIST said in its announcement of the selection.

The algorithm still must receive formal approval as a Federal Information Processing Standard. A request for comments will be published within two months, followed by a 90-day comment period. After any revisions, the proposed standard will be submitted—most likely between April and June next year—to the Secretary of Commerce for adoption in FIPS.

When approved, the Advanced Encryption Standard will be a public algorithm for both government and commercial use. A technical analysis of the AES candidates is posted on the NIST Website at www.nist.gov/aes.

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