AES proved vulnerable by Microsoft researchers
Show that algorithm underlying most all of today's online transactions can be compromised
IDG News Service - Researchers from Microsoft and Belgian Katholieke Universiteit Leuven have discovered a way to break the widely used Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), the encryption algorithm used to secure most all online transactions and wireless communications.
Their attack can recover an AES secret key from three to five times faster than previously thought possible, reported the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, a research university based in Belgium.
The researchers caution that the attack is complex is nature, and so can not be easily carried out using existing technologies. In practice, the methodology used by the researchers would take billions of years of computer time to break the AES algorithm, they noted.
But the work, the result of a long-term cryptanalysis project, could be the first chink in the armor of the AES standard, previously considered unbreakable. When an encryption standard is evaluated for vital jobs such as securing financial transactions, security experts judge the algorithm's ability to withstand even the most extreme attacks. Today's seemingly secure encryption method could be more easily broken by tomorrow's faster computers, or by new techniques in number crunching.
The U.S. NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) agency commissioned AES in 2001, to replace the DES Digital Encryption Standard (DES), which was then repeatedly being shown to be fragile even as it provided adequate security for most everyday tasks.
With this work, the "safety margin" of AES continues to erode, noted security expert Bruce Schneier in a blog posting. "Attacks always get better; they never get worse," he wrote, quoting an expert from the U.S. National Security Agency.
Though unwieldy to execute, the attack can be applied to all versions of AES.
K.U. Leuven researcher Andrey Bogdanov, Microsoft Research's Dmitry Khovratovich and Christian Rechberger from cole Normale Suprieure, Paris, completed the work. Both Bogdanov and Rechberger had taken leave from their respective universities to work on the project with Microsoft Research.
The creators of AES, Joan Daemen and Vincent Rijmen have acknowledged the validity of the attack, according to K.U. Leuven.
- Global Growing Pains: Tapping into B2B Integration Services to Overcome Global Expansion Challenges A recent survey by IDG Research explored both the challenges and pain points companies face when growing globally, as well as the capabilities...
- The business impact of BYOA: Five major challenges and how your enterprise can solve them This E-Book reviews five major challenges of BYOA with key subject matter experts and outlines how businesses can solve them.
- BYOA: Embracing the Opportunity, Controlling the Risk This whitepaper explores the shift from BYOD to BYOA (bring-your-own-application) and how IT departments today can address this new change in the IT...
- Learn More About Peer 1 Hosting's Mission Critical Cloud Mission Critical Cloud from Peer 1 Hosting is enterprise-ready, creating a perfect point of adoption whether you need an off-premise solution for development
- Cloud and Collaboration: Driving Your Business Value Mission Critical Cloud from Peer 1 Hosting is enterprise-grade.
- Peer 1's Mission Critical Cloud: Your Cloud, Your Way Peer 1 Hosting's Mission Critical Cloud offers the ultimate in flexible customization of infrastructure, resources and support. All Security White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!