Feeds

SHA-3 hash contest enters second round

Crypto Olympiad hots up

The essential guide to IT transformation

The competition for the next generation of cryptographic hash algorithms has moved on to its second stage.

Fourteen candidates have been selected by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which is running the contest, to progress onto the next round in the competition to define the algorithm that will underpin SHA-3 (Secure Hash Algorithm 3). NIST expects to competition, which began in 2008, to climax after four years in 2012.

Of 51 entries submitted to NIST in round one, around a third remain. The others have been rejected for reasons such as the discovery of cryptographic weaknesses, performance issues or voluntary withdrawal. The 14 remaining candidates are: BLAKE, Blue Midnight Wish, CubeHash, ECHO, Fugue, Grøstl, Hamsi, JH, Keccak, Luffa, Shabal, SHAvite-3, SIMD, and Skein.

Hash functions are important in digital signatures and other cryptographic functions. Recent advances in the cryptanalysis of hash functions, together with improvements in computing performance, mean that older hash functions (such as MD5 and even SHA-1) are no longer secure, prompting a decision to launch the new competition.

Teams of competing cryptographers are being invited to take a bash at cracking each others algorithms, or at least unearthing potential flaws in their opponents' approaches.

The overall competition is similar to the contest for the algorithm to underpin the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN
Traffic fingerprints reveal all, say boffins
Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA
Mr Burns vs. The Chocolate Factory, round three!
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.