Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is a symmetric-key block cipher algorithm and a U.S. government standard for secure and classified data encryption and decryption. In December 2001, the National Institute of Standards (NIST) approved AES as Federal Information Processing Standards Publication (FIPS PUB) 197, which specifies the Rijndael algorithm be applied to all sensitive classified data.
AES has three fixed 128-bit block ciphers with cryptographic key sizes of 128, 192 and 256-bits. Key size is unlimited, whereas the block size maximum is 256-bits. AES design is based on a substitution-permutation network (SPN) and does not use the DES Feistel network. In 1997, NIST initiated a five-year algorithm development process to replace Data Encryption Standard (DES) and Triple DES. The NIST algorithm selection process facilitated open collaboration and communication and included a close review of 15 candidates. After an intense evaluation period, the Rijndael design, created by two Belgian cryptographers, was the final choice.AES features replaced DES with new and updated features, as follows:
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