Advanced Encryption Standard

AES, developed by Joan Daemen and Vincent Rijmen, is a new encryption standard and is considered a replacement for DES. The U.S. government made AES a standard in May 2002, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has adopted AES. AES provides key lengths for 128, 192, and 256 bits.

AES supports Cipher Blocks Chaining (CBC), which circumvents one of the problems with block algorithms in that two equal plain-text blocks will generate the same two equal ciphertext blocks. With CBC, the key is applied to Plain(1) to get Cipher(1). Then, Cipher(1) is used as the key against Plain(2) to get Cipher(2), which is used as the key against Plain(3) to get Cipher(3), continuing on until the end.

AES is designed to be more secure than DES through the following enhancements:

■ Ensures that the only known approach to decrypt a message is for an intruder to try every possible key.

■ Has a variable key length; the algorithm can specify a 128-bit key (the default), a 192-bit key, or a 256-bit key.

NOTE AES is supported in Cisco IOS 12.2.13(T) and later. To enable AES, your router must support IPSec. AES cannot encrypt IPSec and IKE traffic if an acceleration card is present. This restriction will be lifted in a future release of Cisco IOS.

For more details on Cisco IOS support for AES, visit http://cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/ iosswrel/ps1839/products_feature_guide09186a0080110bb6.html.

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