Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)

Advanced Encryption StandardAdvanced Encryption Standard, a new encryption standard, whose development and selection was sponsored by NIST, that will support key lengths of 128, 192, and 256 bits. FIPS approved cryptographic algorithm that is a symmetric block cipher using cryptographic key sizes of 128, 192, and 256 bits to encrypt and decrypt data in blocks of 128 bits. The encryption standard selected in October 2000 by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that is based on the Rijndael cipher.

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A private key cryptosystem published by the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST). DES is a symmetric block cipher with a block length of 64 bits and an effective key length of 56 bits. DES has been used commonly for data encryption in the forms of software and hardware implementation. A standard cryptosystem proposed in 1977 for all government communications. DES and 3DES were superseded by Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) in December 2001. Cryptographic algorithm, designed for the protection of unclassified data and published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) Publication 46. (FIPS 463 withdrawn 19 May 2005) (. See Triple DES) and CNSS Advisory IA/0204 Revised March 2005)
<p>FIPS 140-2, Security Requirements for Cryptographic Modules, May 2001.</p><p>This term refers to the accreditation used to distinguish between secure and well-established crypto modules produced in the private sector. It stands as a certification for those producers who need them to be used in regulated industries that typically collect, store, transfer, and share data that is deemed to be sensitive in nature but not classified.<br></p><p>FIPS 140-2 defines four levels of security, simply named "Level 1" to "Level 4". It does not specify in detail what level of security is required by any particular application.</p><p>Level 1<br>Security Level 1 provides the lowest level of security. Basic security requirements are specified for a cryptographic module (e.g., at least one Approved algorithm or Approved security function shall be used). No specific physical security mechanisms are required in a Security Level 1 cryptographic module beyond the basic requirement for production-grade components. An example of a Security Level 1 cryptographic module is a personal computer (PC) encryption board.</p><p>Level 2<br>Security Level 2 improves upon the physical security mechanisms of a Security Level 1 cryptographic module by requiring features that show evidence of tampering, including tamper-evident coatings or seals that must be broken to attain physical access to the plaintext cryptographic keys and critical security parameters (CSPs) within the module, or pick-resistant locks on covers or doors to protect against unauthorized physical access.</p><p>Level 3<br>In addition to the tamper-evident physical security mechanisms required at Security Level 2, Security Level 3 attempts to prevent the intruder from gaining access to CSPs held within the cryptographic module. Physical security mechanisms required at Security Level 3 are intended to have a high probability of detecting and responding to attempts at physical access, use or modification of the cryptographic module. The physical security mechanisms may include the use of strong enclosures and tamper-detection/response circuitry that zeroes all plaintext CSPs when the removable covers/doors of the cryptographic module are opened</p><p>Level 4<br>Security Level 4 provides the highest level of security. At this security level, the physical security mechanisms provide a complete envelope of protection around the cryptographic module with the intent of detecting and responding to all unauthorized attempts at physical access. Penetration of the cryptographic module enclosure from any direction has a very high probability of being detected, resulting in the immediate deletion of all plaintext CSPs.<br>Security Level 4 cryptographic modules are useful for operation in physically unprotected environments. Security Level 4 also protects a cryptographic module against a security compromise due to environmental conditions or fluctuations outside of the module's normal operating ranges for voltage and temperature. Intentional excursions beyond the normal operating ranges may be used by an attacker to thwart a cryptographic module's defenses. A cryptographic module is required to either include special environmental protection features designed to detect fluctuations and delete CSPs, or to undergo rigorous environmental failure testing to provide a reasonable assurance that the module will not be affected by fluctuations outside of the normal operating range in a manner that can compromise the security of the module.</p>
A block cipher that was selected to replace DES. The Rijndael cipher allows the use of three key strengths: 128 bits, 192 bits, and 256 bits.
A government standard hash function developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and specified in an official government publication. SHA-1 creates a 160-bit hash value output. Members of the SHA-2 family create a range of hash value outputs: 224, 256, 384 or 512. SHA-3 was still in development at the time of this writing, but the Keccak algorithm has been selected for that emerging standard.
A parameter used with a cryptographic algorithm to transform, validate, authenticate, encrypt, or decrypt data. Cryptographic keys provide the “secret” portion of a cryptographic algorithm used to encrypt and decrypt data.

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