A new competition, CAESAR,
is now calling for submissions of authenticated ciphers.
This competition follows a long tradition
of focused competitions in secret-key cryptography:
In 1997 the United States National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
for a new Advanced Encryption Standard.
This competition attracted 15 block-cipher submissions
from 50 cryptographers around the world,
and then public security evaluations from an even larger pool of cryptanalysts,
along with performance evaluations.
Eventually NIST chose Rijndael as AES.
In 2004 ECRYPT, a Network of Excellence funded by the European Union,
eSTREAM, the ECRYPT Stream Cipher Project.
called for submissions of "new stream ciphers suitable for widespread adoption".
This call attracted 34 stream-cipher submissions
from 100 cryptographers around the world,
and then hundreds of security evaluations and performance evaluations,
following the same pattern as AES but on a larger scale.
Eventually the eSTREAM committee selected a portfolio containing several stream ciphers.
In 2007 NIST announced
an open competition for a new hash standard, SHA-3.
This competition attracted 64 hash-function submissions
from 200 cryptographers around the world,
and then a tremendous volume of security evaluations and performance evaluations.
Eventually NIST chose Keccak as SHA-3.
The AES competition is generally viewed as having provided
a tremendous boost to the cryptographic research community's
understanding of block ciphers,
and a tremendous increase in confidence in the security of some block ciphers.
Similar comments apply to eSTREAM and to the SHA-3 competition,
and are also expected to apply to CAESAR.
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This web site is maintained by D. J. Bernstein.
Part of the work documented here is supported by
NIST grant 60NANB12D261, "Cryptographic competitions",
This is version 2014.01.27 of the index.html web page.