256 Bit Aes

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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256 bit AES is the highest length of keys for AES, which is the new encryption standard of the U.S. Government. AES is also available in 128 and 192 bit lengths, which the government has declared acceptable for anything in the SECRET level of document classification. TOP SECRET documents must use 192 or 256 bit AES encoding.

The US Government adopted AES in 2001 after a lengthy period of standardization and review. It was developed by Daemen and Rijmen, two Belgian cryptographers, and is a block cipher that encodes data into 128 bit blocks. It uses a symmetric key algorithm for encrypting and decrypting data.

Symmetric key algorithms use the same key (known as a shared secret key) to encode and decode data. This usually makes them pretty efficient tools, and AES is no different. Even using 256 bit AES keys, it is a fast algorithm that requires little installation and little memory, three characteristics that have made it extremely popular around the world.

Commercially Available 256 Bit AES Software

AES is also available for home use. Many encryption programs and devices for personal and small business use include a version of the AES program in their encryption systems. Many combine it with some form of an asymmetric key algorithm to produce a strong hybrid cryptographic system that retains much of the speed of AES.

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