Deciphering the World of Crypto

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has turned its attention toward standards for cryptographic algorithms such as Triple-DES and AES. IETF does not research and test cryptographic algorithms, leaving those tasks to government organizations with the council of outside experts, though the group ensures that only secure algorithms find their way into its protocols. IETF is also evaluating standards from other countries, such as Russia, Japan, and South Korea, and has already awarded RFCs to South Korea’s SEED and Russia’s GOST. SEED has enjoyed use in VPN applications and digital rights management. GOST is Russia’s national standard, but was recently modified to enhance its interoperability, though many view the Soviet-era protocol as archaic, despite the fact that it has yet to be broken. Russia is applying GOST to the public-key infrastructure project at its National Treasury to address document coding and signing. GOST is currently being considered for implementation in OpenPGP. IETF standardization is widely viewed as helping a protocol gain popularity, as well as improving its interoperability by fleshing out its technical depth.

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