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What is Data Encryption Standard (DES)?

– The Data Encryption Standard or DES is an algorithm that is used for the encryption of the electronic data that was earlier pre–dominant.
– The advancement and sophistication of the modern cryptography has been highly influenced by the data encryption standard.
– This algorithm was developed in the year of 1970 at the IBM.
– This algorithm was based on the basis of some design by the Horst Feistel and after the development of the algorithm it was submitted to the NBS (national bureau of standards).
– The NBS consulted with the NSA (national security agency) in the year of 1976 and a modified version of the algorithm was finally adopted.
– Since the encryption was approved by NSA, it gained widespread scrutiny and was quickly adopted all around the world.
– The classified design elements, involvement of NSA, short key length of the block cipher design of the symmetric key; a suspected back door gave rise to a number of controversies.
– The academic scrutiny gained by the data encryption standard eventually led to a good understanding of the crypt – analysis of the block ciphers.
– However, now this algorithm is considered insecure and is not used much for a number of applications.
– This is because of the small size of the key i.e., the 56 – bit.
– In the year of 1999, the electronic frontier foundation and the distributed.net succeeded in breaking a DES key.
– Further, there were analytical results that demonstrated about the theoretical weaknesses of the block cipher even though they are in-feasible to be mounted in practical implementation.
– The algorithm in the form of triple DES is secure if used in practical implementation even though there occur a number of theoretical attacks.
– The AES or advanced encryption standard has succeeded in superseding the cipher.
– The NIST (national institute of standards and technology) withdrew the DES as a standard.
– In some documentation the DES has been distinguished as an algorithm and standard.
– Data encryption algorithm or DEA is what the algorithm is referred to as.
– Up on approval of the DES as a standard algorithm, various parties criticized it for the short length of its key and the S – boxes which were considered to be the evidence of the NSA’s improper interference.
– It was suspected that the intelligence agency weakened the algorithm covertly so that only and only it would be able to decipher the encrypted messages.
– However, this suspicion was soon removed and the algorithm was declared to be void of any weakness either mathematical or statistical.
– It was also clarified that the key of that much short length was sufficient for using the algorithm.
– Therefore, the blame on NSA for tampering the algorithm was ultimately lifted.
– The algorithm was designed and invented by the IBM Corporation and therefore it only took up all the pertinent matters concerning the algorithm.
– IBM also concluded that the key size was sufficient of implementing the algorithm in commercial applications that were intended to use the data encryption standard.
– Despite all such criticism, DES finally got approval for a federal standard in the year of 1976.
– In publishing, it was authorized that the DES algorithm can be used for all types of unclassified data.
– In the year 1983, the standard was reaffirmed.
– The concept of the “triple DES” was introduced in the year of 1999.
– Through a public competition, the advanced encryption standard or AES came in to being only to succeed the DES.
– The algorithm also finds it name in the ANSI X3.92, ISO/ IEC 18033 – 3 and NIST SP 800 – 67.
– In the year 1994, another theoretical attack was recognized called the linear cryptanalysis.
– But in practical, the vulnerability of the algorithm was exposed by a brute force attack.
– It thus forced up on a need for the replacement algorithm.
– The linear cryptanalysis was just a theoretical attack.

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