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Data Encryption Standard (DES) is a data encryption algorithm for the protection of electronic data. DES uses a 56-bit key on each block of 64-bits of data. DES is a symmetric algorithm. Both the sender and the receiver of the encrypted message use the same private key.
DES was originally developed by IBM in 1977 and was adopted by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as a Federal Information Processing Standard. Concerned that the encryption algorithm could be used by unfriendly governments, the U.S. government had prevented export of software wich uses the DES algorithm. However, free versions of the software are widely available on the Internet.
To enhance the data protection an updated version of DES is developed. This updated version, 3DES, encrypts the data three times with three different keys.
In the 1990s DES was not considered save enough anymore due to its limited key length. Its successor is called Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).
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