The Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is an encryption algorithm for securing information in commercial transactions in the private sector. AES is a symmetric key encryption standard adopted by the U.S. government. The Advanced Encryption Standard consists of three block ciphers. They are: AES-128, AES-192, and AES-256. Each of the above standard ciphers is 128-bit block size with key sizes of 128, and 192 & 256 bits respectively.

## Features of AES Encryption Algorithm

- Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) algorithm works on the principle of Substitution Permutation network.
- AES doesn’t use a Feistel network and is fast in both software and hardware.
- AES operates on a 4×4 matrix of bytes termed as a state
- The Advanced Encryption Standard cipher is specified as a number of repetitions of transformation sounds that convert the input plaintext into the final output of cipher text.
- Each round consists of several processing steps, including one that depends on the Encryption key.
- A set of reverse rounds are applied to transform cipher text back into the original plaintext using the same encryption key.

## Advantages of AES Encryption Algorithm

- Advanced Encryption Standard not only assures security but also improves the performance in a variety of settings such as smartcards, hardware implementations etc.
- AES is federal information processing standard and there are currently no known non-brute-force direct attacks against AES.
- AES is strong enough to be certified for use by the US government for top secret information

Alternative to Advanced Encryption Standard – The ciphers which are used alternatively to Advanced Encryption Standard are SSl and TLS. RC4 encryption is next to AES. RC4 is of 128- bits RC4 is a fast cipher and is always subjected to many types of attacks. That is the reason WEP wireless encryption is poor. Thus AES is given priority than other standards.

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