Data Encryption Standard
The Data Encryption Standard is a symmetric-key algorithm for the encryption of digital data. Although its short key length of 56 bits makes it too insecure for applications, it has been highly influential in the advancement of cryptography.
DES is insecure due to the relatively short 56-bit key size. In January 1999, distributed.net and the Electronic Frontier Foundation collaborated to publicly break a DES key in 22 hours and 15 minutes (see chronology). There are also some analytical results which demonstrate theoretical weaknesses in the cipher, although they are infeasible in practice. The algorithm is believed to be practically secure in the form of Triple DES, although there are theoretical attacks. This cipher has been superseded by the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). DES has been withdrawn as a standard by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.