The Long Road to the Advanced Encryption Standard

This paper will start with a brief background of the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) process, lessons learned from the Data Encryption Standard (DES), other U.S. government cryptographic publications and the fifteen first round candidate algorithms. The focus of the presentation will lie in presenting the general design of the five final candidate algorithms, and the specifics of the AES and how it differs from the Rijndael design. A presentation on the AES modes of operation and Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA) family of algorithms will follow and will include discussion about how it is directly implicated by AES developments.

Intended Audience

This paper was written as a supplement to a presentation at the Ottawa International Linux Symposium. The reader should have at least first year university level knowledge of algebra and physics. Someone with no knowledge of mathematics can still benefit from this paper and its associated presentation. This topic of cryptography is covered lightly. Care is taken to present enough useful technical information to be interesting to a technical audience and beneficial to others.

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