[ISN] Entrust Goes to Round One (crypto)

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Wed Aug 05 1998 - 01:03:12 PDT

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    Entrust Goes to Round One
    Wired News Report
    9:45am  4.Aug.98.PDT
    Entrust has moved one step closer to the security and cryptography
    industry's most prestigious contract in years -- the next data-scrambling
    standard for use by the US government. 
    The security firm said Tuesday that its new data-scrambling algorithm,
    called CAST-256, has been selected as a candidate for the first round of
    testing of the new Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) cipher. 
    Once blessed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the
    winning AES candidate will replace the current data-scrambling standard,
    called Data Encryption Algorithm. 
    The US government uses the Data Encryption Algorithm to encrypt and
    decrypt nonclassified documents, but anyone can use it without a license.
    The cipher was considered secure when it was first invented two decades
    ago, but the government is concerned that advances in computing power have
    made it more vulnerable. 
    Enter AES, which is designed to carry the US government well into the next
    century. On 20-21 of August, the companies and organizations vying for the
    standard (and anyone else who is interested) will come together at a
    conference to evaluate and analyze each other's work. 
    The National Institute of Standards and Technology will announce all of
    the AES candidates at the conference, to be held in Ventura, California.
    So far, 14 organizations have publicly announced their submissions, and
    some peer review -- the process of attacking and picking apart the ciphers
    -- is already underway. 
    Following the conference, an Institute spokesperson said that the
    government will narrow its choices down to five or six finalists. The
    final decision is expected to take approximately two years. The
    spokesperson declined to comment on Entrust's Tuesday announcement. 
    With CAST-256, Entrust joins crypto heavyweights IBM and RSA Data Security
    in the running for the new standard. 
    "[CAST-256] is based very heavily on something that is well tested and
    well analyzed," said Carlisle Adams, one of the co-inventors of the
    Entrust cipher. "A lot of the others are fairly new -- wherein all aspects
    of the cipher are new -- and in our case we tried to reuse things that
    were already proven," he said. 
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