[Cryptography] Simon, Speck and ISO

Stephen Farrell stephen.farrell at cs.tcd.ie
Wed Oct 22 09:28:15 EDT 2014

Hash: SHA1

On 22/10/14 10:28, Hanno Böck wrote:
> Am Tue, 21 Oct 2014 22:16:13 -0000 schrieb dj at deadhat.com:
>> Today the NSA proposed that Simon and Speck be added the the ISO 
>> JTC1/SC27 approved ciphers spec.
> That sounds interesting, can you give some more background on
> this?
> I'm probably not the only one who has never heard of JTC1/SC27
> before. Wikipedia tells me this is located at the DIN in germany.
> What's the role of these approved ciphers? Is anyone bound to 
> support / use them?

Not that I know of. Sometimes people do come to e.g. the IETF
and say "but ISO standardised our alg, why won't you?" That
isn't treated as very meaningful though as anything relatively
credible can afaik get through the ISO process with not that
much effort, if backed by a nation-state that participates
in SC27. (That said, I think SC27 has some capable folks
involved, but a pretty small number of 'em probably.)

It may well be the case that some other national, or nation-state
oriented, standards bodies prefer algorithms that SC27 have ok'd,
or even that some of those standards might not be voluntary in
some places for some things. That'd be a crappy idea really but
could happen I guess. The crappiness there though would be as much
to do with mandatory vs. voluntary standards as it is with
potential lack of broad review of crypto.

Personally, I'd weigh the "was it published at crypto more than
5 years ago with a history of papers since" smell-test as being
a more important factor than that something was standardised by
SC27. (But with neither by itself being sufficient.)


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