Ask the Expert

Encryption above 3-DES

Is there any higher level of encryption other than 3-DES? How much time and resources will be required for an hacker to crack into a 3-DES encrypted packet?

    Requires Free Membership to View

DES is a secret key crypto algorithm created to use 56-bit keys. 3-DES uses DES three times with one, two or three keys, effectively giving you a larger key size, while not changing the algorithm. DES works only with 56-bit keys. (What about 40-bit DES, you ask? It is 56-bit DES but the key is padded effectively giving you only 40 bits... really weak.) With crypto -- assuming the algorithm is a good algorithm -- we are concerned with the effectiveness of a "brute force attack" -- how long would it take for someone to guess the key. For comparison shopping, consider a really, really fast computer -- as yet non-existent as far as we know -- that could guess a 56-bit key in 3.5 hours. That same computer would take 2 million million million years to guess a 128-bit key, such as IDEA and AES use.

For more information read:
Foundations: Cryptography 101

Smith, Richard, Internet Cryptography, Addison-Wesley Pub Co; ISBN: 0201924803

Schneier, Bruce, Applied Cryptography: Protocols, Algorithms and Source Code in C, Second Edition, John Wiley & Sons; ISBN: 0471117099.

This was first published in November 2001

There are Comments. Add yours.

TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
Sort by: OldestNewest

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to: