NIST wants to phase out DES for encryption

The 56-bit Data Encryption Standard has outlived its usefulness, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology has proposed withdrawing it from government use.

DES has been around as Federal Information Processing Standard 46-3 for more than 25 years. It has exceeded its anticipated 15-year life and been supplanted by stronger, more efficient algorithms.

The most recent of NIST's regular five-year reviews of the standard showed that the venerable algorithm has fallen prey to advances in computing power. DES will remain as a component of the Triple Data Encryption Algorithm, TDEA, familiarly known as Triple DES.

NIST is accepting comments on the proposed withdrawal of FIPS 46-3 through Sept. 9. Comments can be e-mailed to [email protected].

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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