Monday, October 22, 2012

SHA-3... from Belgium

While enjoying listening to another episode of SecurityNow, the "explainer-in-chief" touched upon the topic of the new hashing algorithm SHA-3.  Approximately 10 years ago, the US standardization organization NIST selected a new symmetric encryption algorithm, AES or Rijndael, to replace the old 3DES algorithm.  Rijndael was invented by 2 Belgian scientists from the University of Leuven, Joan Daemen and Vincent Rijmen.

NIST had launched another competition, this time to select a new hashing algorithm. SHA-2 is not broken, but it seems that NIST wanted another hashing algorithm based on completely different technology. If either SHA-2 of SHA-3 would be broken, the other would no be impacted.

Nice to note that 3 Belgians and an Italian came up with SHA-3, congratulations! SHA-3 or "Keccak" is based on the sponge algorithm (very good reading material before going to bed...).

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