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RealTime IT News

Cambridge University Encryption Project Reaches Final

An encryption project in which the computer department at Cambridge University has been participating is one of five finalists in a competition held by the US National Institute for Standards and Technology.

Named "Serpent," the algorithm has been developed by Ross Anderson at CUCL, Eli Biham of the Computer Science Department at the Technion, Haifa, and Lars Knudsen of the Institutt for Informatikk at the University of Bergen, Norway.

The competition to find the best encryption algorithm for the 21st century was begun several years ago by the US government. Most entries have already failed, the algorithms having been found vulnerable to attack, and only five candidates remain for the second round.

"Encryption may well be one of the key enabling technologies for the information age," said Ross Anderson.

"We are delighted that our algorithm, Serpent, has been chosen as a finalist in the competition to find the next generation encryption standard. We believe it is the most secure of all the candidates."

Serpent is designed to protect information for a hundred years and provide users with "the highest possible level of assurance that no attack will be found."