CNET GLOSSARY: Terms for the techie
Advanced Encryption Standard
The Advanced Encryption Standard is a data encryption scheme that trumps DES and even 3DES by using three different key sizes (128-bit, 192-bit, and 256-bit) but only one encryption step to encrypt data in 128-bit blocks. Based upon the Rijndael (pronounced "rain doll" or "Rhine Dahl") algorithm created by Joan Daemen and Vincent Rijmen of Belgium, AES was adopted by the U.S. government in 2002 as the encryption standard for protecting sensitive but unclassified electronic data. With the arrival of AES, the United States officially phased out DES except for in legacy systems, but as of this writing, 3DES is still an acceptable alternative.
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