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Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is a cryptographic algorithm that can be used to protect electronic data. The AES algorithm is a symmetric block cipher that can encrypt (encipher) and decrypt (decipher) information. Encryption converts data to an unintelligible form called ciphertext; decrypting the ciphertext converts the data back into its original form, called plaintext. The AES algorithm is capable of using cryptographic keys of 128, 192, and 256 bits to encrypt and decrypt data in blocks of 128 bits. The use of the algorithm with the three different key lengths are referred to as “AES128”, “AES192”, and “AES256”. AES was developed to replace the DES algorithm. The algorithm is developed by two Belgian cryptographers, Joan Daemen and Vincent Rijmen, and submitted to the AES selection process under the name "Rijndael", a blend of the names of the inventors. The AES standard was published in November 2001.
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