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
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.”