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Q What is DES (Data Encryption Standard)
A In 1972, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (called the National Bureau of Standards at the time) decided that a strong cryptographic algorithm was needed to protect non-classified information. The algorithm was required to be cheap, widely available, and very secure. NIST envisioned something that would be available to the general public and could be used in a wide variety of applications. So they asked for public proposals for such an algorithm. In 1974 IBM submitted the Lucifer algorithm, which appeared to meet most of NIST's design requirements.

The Lucifer algorithm was adopted by NIST as a federal standard on November 23, 1976. Its name was changed to the Data Encryption Standard (DES). The algorithm specification was published in January 1977, and with the official backing of the government it became a very widely employed algorithm in a short amount of time.
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