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ST's team of experts work on digital-security SHA-3

Posted: 30 Oct 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Secure Hash Algorithm SHA-3? American National Institute of Standards and Technology? SHA-2? AES?

A new global industry standard for digital security, the Secure Hash Algorithm SHA-3, is being developed by the winning team comprised of Cryptography experts from STMicroelectronics. ST's team of experts joined a competition held by the American National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The competition aimed to select a successor to the Secure Hash Algorithm SHA-2.

The competition was started in 2007, with 64 teams initially entering the competition. NIST selected five finalists in 2010 and announced the winning algorithm, to be published as the new SHA-3 standard, earlier this month. Experts from across the cryptographic community analysed and reviewed the candidate algorithms throughout the competition.

Secure hash algorithms are widely used to prevent tampering with data such as digital signatures and message authentication codes, and are vital to everyday activities from online commerce and pay-TV access to banking, computer security, secure data storage, and government communications.

The winning entry was codenamed Keccak by its developers, a four-strong team that included three ST expertsJoan Daemen, co-inventor of the AES (a secret key encryption industry standard), Guido Bertoni, and Gilles Van Asscheand another Belgian cryptographer and former ST employee, Micha?l Peeters. In addition to providing enhanced security, the Keccak algorithm features a small memory footprint and runs well on many different types of computing devices.

It enables hardware implementations with higher performance than SHA-2 or any of the other competition finalists and its relatively compact software footprint is a perfect fit for smart devices and Internet-Of-Things applications, opening new opportunities for system and protocol designers. Keccak is highly resistant to the types of attacks that could potentially succeed against some of the current secure hash algorithms.

"This is a great achievement by the Keccak team, whose algorithm will now become a new worldwide standard for digital security," said Marie-France Florentin, General Manager Secure Microcontroller Division, STMicroelectronics. "Gilles, Guido and Joan continue to specialise in digital security for ST, contributing their internationally recognised expertise to help create best-in-class secure solutions for our customers."

- Julien Happich
?? EE Times Europe

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