The american national institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) launched a competition in 1997 under the aegis of an Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) with the goal of creating a new national standard (federal information processing standard, or FIPS) for encryption with a symmetric algorithm. Although we have concentrated our attention in this book on asymmetric cryptography, this development is important enough that we should give it some attention, if only cursorily. Through the new standard FIPS 197 [F197], an encryption algorithm will be established that satisfies all of today’s security requirements and that in all of its design and implementation aspects will be freely available without cost throughout the world. Finally, it replaces the dated data encryption standard (DES), which, however, as triple DES remains available for use in government agencies. However, the AES represents the cryptographic basis of the American administration for the protection of sensitive data.
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