By William Jackson
Jan 05, 2010
The competition to select the new Secure Hash Algorithm standard for
government has moved into the second round. The National Institute of
Standards and Technology has winnowed the 64 algorithims submitted down
to 14 semifinalists.
Of the 64 algorithms submitted in 2008, 51 met minimum criteria for
acceptance in the competition. The cryptographic community spent the
next year hammering at the candidates, looking for flaws and weaknesses.
"We were pleased by the amount and quality of the cryptanalysis we
received on the first round candidates, and more than a little amazed by
the ingenuity of some of the attacks," said Bill Burr, manager of NIST's
Security Technology Group, in announcing the initial narrowing of the
field in July.
Submitters of algorithms that made it through the first round of
competition had until September to tweak the specifications or source
code, and the final list of second round contenders was recently
announced. The 14 second-round candidates are called BLAKE, BLUE
MIDNIGHT WISH, CubeHash, ECHO, Fugue, Grstl, Hamsi, JH, Keccak, Luffa,
Shabal, SHAvite-3, SIMD, and Skein. Candidate algorithms are available
online at www.nist.gov/hash-competition
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