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Unformatted text preview: h of the encryption/decryption equipment were, and are, virtually unknown to almost all buyers, and informed decisions as to the right type of on-line, off-line, key generation, etc., which will meet buyers’ security needs, have been most difficult to make. In 1972, the National Bureau of Standards (NBS), now the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), initiated a program to protect computer and communications data. As part of that program, they wanted to develop a single, standard cryptographic algorithm. A single algorithm could be tested and certified, and different cryptographic equipment using it could interoperate. It would also be cheaper to implement and readily available. In the May 15, 1973 Federal Register, the NBS issued a public request for proposals for a standard cryptographic algorithm. They specified a series of design criteria: — The algorithm must provide a high level of security. — The algorithm must be completely specified and easy to understand. — The security of the algorithm must reside in the key; the security should not depend on the secrecy of the algorithm. — The algorithm must be available to all users. — The algorithm must be adaptable for use in diverse applications. — The algorithm must be economically implementable in electronic devices. — The algorithm must be efficient to use. — The algorithm must be able to be validated. — The algorithm must be exportable. Public response indicated that there was considerable interest in a cryptographic standard, but little public expertise in the field. None of the submissions came close to meeting the requirements. The NBS issued a second request in the August 27, 1974 Federal Register. Eventually they received a promising candidate: an algorithm based on one developed by IBM during the early 1970s, called Lucifer (see Section 13.1). IBM had a team working on cryptography at both Kingston and Yorktown Heights, including Roy Adler, Don Coppersmith, Horst Feistel, Edna Grossman, Alan Konheim, Carl M...
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- Fall '10