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Fed's Switch to Triple DES Will Further Ensure Security

Wednesday, April 1, 1998

To further protect data transmitted electronically between the Federal Reserve and financial institutions, the Fed is preparing to switch to an advanced application of the Data Encryption Standard (DES), known as Triple DES.

The Fed's strategy is to implement Triple DES on all host computers (mainframes), FedLine terminals and link encryptors. Triple DES is based on invoking DES three times. With each iteration, it is possible to use a different encryption key value, which results in a longer overall key value that is more resistant to cryptographic attacks.

This technical direction is based on the importance the Federal Reserve attaches to providing high levels of security, which ensures continuous protection for financial institutions. If you have any questions about Triple DES, call Jean Lovati at (314) 444-8362 or Phil Schlueter at (314) 444-8985.