New AES crypto standard broken already?

Tuesday, 17 September 2002, 1:11 PM EST

Theoretical attacks against AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) winner Rijndael and runner-up Serpent have been published. They might work in the practical world; they might not. That's about all we can say from the latest edition of Bruce Schneier's CryptoGram newsletter, which seeks to simplify the issues discovered by researchers Nicolas Courtois and Josef Pieprzyk, and elaborated in a paper entitled "Cryptanalysis of Block Ciphers with Overdefined Systems of Equations".

Now while this represents an interesting bit of research, it does not mean that AES has been or even can be cracked in the real world. The work is theoretical and needs to be reviewed by others; and even if it's confirmed in theory and partially confirmed empirically, it may never be possible to exploit it.

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