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The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), in conjunction with industry, developed an encryption standard[1] using a 56-bit key in 1977. Called the Data Encryption Standard (DES), it was widely used in the United States and abroad, often in an enhanced mode called "3-key triple DES" providing the equivalent of a 112-bit key. DES is a “private keycryptographic algorithm, which means that the confidentiality of the message, under normal conditions, is based on keeping the key secret between the sender and receiver of the message. DES was broken in 1997.

The Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) was designed to replace DES. Triple DES however, is still considered to be secure.[2]


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