The art of cryptography is certainly not new, but its use in computer-communications is a more recent phenomena. The Data Encryption Standard (DES) has been widely used since it was standardized in 1977. The strength of a particular encryption scheme depends on the key length and the sophistication of the mathematics involved in transforming the so-called cleartext to the encrypted form. As computers have become more powerful it is now possible to systematically "guess" the 56-bit DES keys in a matter of hours, thus a new encryption standard is needed. This new standard, known as the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), is described by Edgar Danielyan.
Many aspects of computer networking can be described as "controversial," that is, there are strongly held opinions about a particular technology or its use. In this issue we begin a new series of articles labelled "Opinion," hoping to bring out some of the different views held by members of the networking community. We hope you will take issue with some of these columns and send us your own opinion piece. We begin the series with an article by Geoff Huston entitled "The Middleware Muddle." Let us know what you think by sending your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ole J. Jacobsen, Editor and Publisher