NEC readies 'world's strongest encryption'

It's the strongest encryption on the planet, it was released today and it's named after a mythical white horse... Well sort of

Electronics giant NEC unveils Wednesday what it claims is the world's strongest encryption technology, code-named Cipherunicorn-A, at the Encryption and Information Security Symposium in Japan.

The Cipherunicorn-A technique is part of the 'common key' encryption method. The new technology creates 'fake keys' to make cracking an encrypted message more difficult. Rather than a fixed encryption code, Cipherunicorn-A employs dynamic encryption code of either 128 bits, 192 bits or 256 bits to complicate matters for would-be code-crackers. NEC also claims it is also significantly faster to encrypt or decrypt messages using Cipherunicorn-A than 'public key' cryptography.

The global standard for encryption is the currently Data Encryption Standard (DES). This expected to soon be replaced by the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). DES is a 56-bit encryption standard now considered vulnerable to attack. Four years ago the US National Institute of Standards and Technology invited the world's top encryption experts to develop stronger encryption algorithms to be incorporated with the new AES standard.

According to a statement from NEC, it has carefully examined all existing encryption methods and represented these in a 3D graphical depiction called an "encryption strength evaluation system." The statement adds: "As a result of these tests, the technology was proved to go beyond even the requirements of the AES standard now in the final stages of implementation by the US Government, confirming that it provides the highest level of protection in the world."

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