Oliver Letwin sorry for throwing work documents in park bin
Conservative minister apologises after being photographed binning papers but insists they contained nothing sensitive
Oliver Letwin, a minister in the Cabinet Office, has apologised after being photographed dumping work-related documents in bins in a park close to Downing Street but insisted that none of the ditched papers contained classified information.
David Cameron's chief policy adviser gave the assurance after the revelations, backed by photographs of one piece of correspondence thrown away and of the minister putting papers in different bins, sparked concern about potential security risks as well as data protection breaches.
On Friday morning, the office of the information commissioner said it was launching an investigation into potential breaches of the Data Protection Act.
The Daily Mirror reported that Letwin was seen on five separate days binning sensitive correspondence on terrorism and national security as well as constituents' private details in the park near No 10.
In all, the Mirror claimed that Letwin threw away more than 100 papers containing private information, including five intelligence and security committee (ISC) letters. In one, MP Andrew Tyrie reportedly tells the ISC chairman, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the committee "failed to get to the truth on UK involvement in rendition".
Another discarded document referred to al-Qaida links to Pakistan, the newspaper claimed.
Cameron, the Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, and the chancellor, George Osborne, are all said to be mentioned in the dumped papers, as are organisations including the Ministry of Defence, the Home Office and the NHS.
The paper described the Cabinet Office minister's actions as a security breach, but a spokesman for Letwin insisted on Thursday evening that the papers were not of a sensitive nature.
The newspaper reports triggered a letter from the Labour MP and shadow minister without portfolio Michael Dugher to the cabinet secretary, Gus O'Donnell, calling on him to investigate the classification of any discarded documents and whether strict procedures for the disposal of government documents were breached.
By late Friday morning, Downing Street confirmed that the Cabinet Office was looking into whether any sensitive material had been among the papers dumped. "Our understanding is that there were no classified documents," a spokeswoman for No 10 said.
"Most of the business Mr Letwin does in the park is constituency based. In the light of what has been reported, the Cabinet Office is looking into it."
Asked what the prime minister's view was, she added: "Clearly, it's not a sensible way to dispose of documents. Mr Letwin has agreed he will not dispose of documents in this way again."
The Labour leader, Ed Miliband, accused the minister of "treating important papers with contempt" and engaging in "very strange behaviour".
A fresh statement was issued by an aide to Letwin with an apology attached and the insistence that none of the information ditched had related to "official government business".
"Oliver Letwin is an incredibly hardworking constituency MP," the spokesman said. "He does some of his parliamentary and constituency correspondence in the park before going to work in the morning and sometimes disposed of copies of letters there. These documents related to constituency and parliamentary rather than official government business, and did not contain any classified information.
"Mr Letwin sincerely apologises to any concerned constituents and would like to make assurances that he will no longer dispose of copies of documents and constituency correspondence in this way."
Letwin, the MP for West Dorset, is an early riser who does a morning circuit of St James's Park, usually starting at 5.30am. In this period he dictates letters for typing by his secretary during the day.
The Labour backbencher Jeremy Corbyn told Radio 5 Live that while he enjoyed the "idea of ministers walking around the park in the morning", carrying confidential documents was wrong. "It's a remarkably silly thing to do," the MP for Islington North said. "To then dump them all in a bin is really very stupid, because he could easily be spotted and followed and anybody could then pick them up."
A spokeswoman for the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said: "We are aware of the allegations and are making inquiries. Keeping personal data secure is a key principle of the Data Protection Act, and the ICO takes any breach of that principle very seriously."
Speaking in Leeds, Miliband said: "If it's true that there were constituents who'd written to him and he was looking at constituency letters and they just ended up in the bin, I don't think it's the right way to act and the right way to treat people and people's concerns.
"I think he'll have learnt his lesson, and I hope he does learn his lesson. I think most people would think: 'You're dealing with sensitive correspondence, you should treat it in a sensitive way.'"
"There are plenty of ways of getting rid of sensitive documents. All the parliamentary papers are shredded and so are the ones in the House of Commons and presumably the ministry as well."
The revelations present a further headache for Cameron in a week during which Downing Street has been forced on to the back foot over the defence secretary, Liam Fox who was forced to resign on Friday.
Zac Goldsmith, the Tory MP for Richmond, tweeted: "How is Oliver Letwin working in the park newsworthy?! Whoever in Labour has asked for (yet another) inquiry should be put to sleep."
Saturday, 15 October 2011
31 commissioning groups sign landmark deal with private firms to provide 'organisational support' - newsarticle-content - Pulse
Clinical commissioning groups representing several thousand GPs across London have signed a multi-million pound deal with private consultants handpicked by NHS bosses to help support the rollout of GP commissioning.Related articles
The £7m landmark deal has seen 31 CCGs sign contracts for a programme of ‘intensive organisational support' for commissioning from the likes of KPMG, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Capita and McKinsey, which has formed a joint partnership with the RCGP's Centre for Commissioning and consultancy Ashridge Alliancce to advise CCGs ahead of authorisation.
NHS London said all 38 of the capital's pathfinders were expected to sign up to the ‘development framework' within weeks, and that £3.7m had been allocated for ‘leadership training' for managers and clinicians.
The list of approved commissioning partners, which also includes Ernst and Young, Capsticks Solictors, Binder Dijker Otte, and Entrusted Health Partnership, was drawn up by NHS London after a competitive tender designed to provide CCGs with assistance in organisational development, leadership training, strategy, finance and market analysis.
The consultants will offer CCGs coaching, leadership plans, resources and how-to guides, 360 degree feedback, self-assessment tools and organisational development plans to assess their readiness for authorisation.
The move significantly boosts the private sector's stake in advising GP commissioners, after Pulse first revealed earlier this year that dozens of CCGs had enlisted the support of McKinsey and Pricewaterhouse Coopers with QIPP, budget holding and governance.
NHS London said the framework would leave CCGs in ‘a better position' when they take on full responsibility in 2013, by giving clinicians ‘the confidence and skills they will need to commission high quality care,' while also ensuring they keep ‘a tight grip on performance and quality of services'.
The programme has been funded from London's Multi Professional Education and Training (MPET) budget, at a cost of £75,000 per pathfinder, plus 40p per patient. NHS London said the funding could only have been spent on the training and development of clinicians and so will not affect delivery of frontline services.
Dr Howard Freeman, assistant medical director at NHS London, chair of the Londonwide GP commissioning council, and a GP in Tooting, said: ‘Clinicians involved have recognised from the start their need for support over and above that given by PCTs to help commissioning groups develop.'
‘They have worked with NHS London to tailor an organisational development framework specific to their needs and are now making excellent use of the skilled providers they can access.'
Hannah Farrar, director of strategy and commissioning development at NHS London, said: ‘CCGs must become strong, strategic and accountable bodies able to manage health budgets and prioritise resources.
‘Much of this expertise is available within the NHS, but some support is needed from outside organisations with renowned management expertise, as was common in the past. This will enable London's NHS to keep a tight grip on performance and quality of services whilst giving clinicians the support they need to commission health services in the future.'
Advanced Encryption Standard
The SubBytes step, one of four stages in a round of AES
|Designers||Vincent Rijmen, Joan Daemen|
|Successors||Anubis, Grand Cru|
|Certification||AES winner, CRYPTREC, NESSIE,NSA|
|Key sizes||128, 192 or 256 bits|
|Block sizes||128 bits|
|Rounds||10, 12 or 14 (depending on key size)|
|Best public cryptanalysis|
|All known attacks are computationally infeasible. For AES-128, the key can be recovered with a computational complexity of 2126.1 using bicliques. For biclique attacks on AES-192 and AES-256, the computational complexities of 2189.7 and 2254.4 respectively apply.Related-key attacks can break AES-192 and AES-256 with complexities 2176 and 299.5, respectively.|
In the United States of America, AES was announced by National Institute of Standards and Technology(NIST) as U.S. FIPS PUB 197 (FIPS 197) on November 26, 2001 after a five-year standardization process in which fifteen competing designs were presented and evaluated before it was selected as the most suitable (see Advanced Encryption Standard process for more details). It became effective as a Federal government standard on May 26, 2002 after approval by the Secretary of Commerce. It is available in many different encryption packages. AES is the first publicly accessible and open cipher approved by the National Security Agency (NSA) for top secret information (see Security of AES, below).
Originally called Rijndael, the cipher was developed by two Belgian cryptographers, Joan Daemen andVincent Rijmen, and submitted by them to the AES selection process. The name Rijndael (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈrɛindaːl]) is a play on the names of the two inventors.
Description of the cipher
AES has a fixed block size of 128 bits and a key size of 128, 192, or 256 bits, whereas Rijndael can be specified with block and key sizes in any multiple of 32 bits, with a minimum of 128 bits. The blocksize has a maximum of 256 bits, but the keysize has no theoretical maximum.
AES operates on a 4×4 column-major order matrix of bytes, termed the state (versions of Rijndael with a larger block size have additional columns in the state). Most AES calculations are done in a special finite field.
The AES cipher is specified as a number of repetitions of transformation rounds that convert the input plaintext into the final output of ciphertext. Each round consists of several processing steps, including one that depends on the encryption key. A set of reverse rounds are applied to transform ciphertext back into the original plaintext using the same encryption key.
High-level description of the algorithm
- KeyExpansion—round keys are derived from the cipher key using Rijndael's key schedule
- Initial Round
- AddRoundKey—each byte of the state is combined with the round key using bitwise xor
- SubBytes—a non-linear substitution step where each byte is replaced with another according to a lookup table.
- ShiftRows—a transposition step where each row of the state is shifted cyclically a certain number of steps.
- MixColumns—a mixing operation which operates on the columns of the state, combining the four bytes in each column.
- Final Round (no MixColumns)
The SubBytes step
In the SubBytes step, each byte in the matrix is updated using an 8-bit substitution box, the Rijndael S-box. This operation provides the non-linearity in the cipher. The S-box used is derived from themultiplicative inverse over GF(28), known to have good non-linearity properties. To avoid attacks based on simple algebraic properties, the S-box is constructed by combining the inverse function with an invertible affine transformation. The S-box is also chosen to avoid any fixed points (and so is a derangement), and also any opposite fixed points.
The ShiftRows step
The ShiftRows step operates on the rows of the state; it cyclically shifts the bytes in each row by a certain offset. For AES, the first row is left unchanged. Each byte of the second row is shifted one to the left. Similarly, the third and fourth rows are shifted by offsets of two and three respectively. For the block of size 128 bits and 192 bits the shifting pattern is the same. In this way, each column of the output state of the ShiftRows step is composed of bytes from each column of the input state. (Rijndael variants with a larger block size have slightly different offsets). In the case of the 256-bit block, the first row is unchanged and the shifting for second, third and fourth row is 1 byte, 3 bytes and 4 bytes respectively—this change only applies for the Rijndael cipher when used with a 256-bit block, as AES does not use 256-bit blocks.
The MixColumns step
In the MixColumns step, the four bytes of each column of the state are combined using an invertiblelinear transformation. The MixColumns function takes four bytes as input and outputs four bytes, where each input byte affects all four output bytes. Together with ShiftRows, MixColumnsprovides diffusion in the cipher.
During this operation, each column is multiplied by the known matrix that for the 128 bit key is
The multiplication operation is defined as: multiplication by 1 means leaving unchanged, multiplication by 2 means shifting byte to the left and multiplication by 3 means shifting to the left and then performing xor with the initial unshifted value. After shifting, a conditional xor with 0x11B should be performed if the shifted value is larger than 0xFF.
In more general sense, each column is treated as a polynomial over GF(28) and is then multiplied modulo x4+1 with a fixed polynomial c(x) = 0x03 · x3 + x2 + x + 0x02. The coefficients are displayed in their hexadecimal equivalent of the binary representation of bit polynomials from GF(2)[x]. The MixColumns step can also be viewed as a multiplication by a particular MDS matrix in a finite field. This process is described further in the article Rijndael mix columns.
The AddRoundKey step
In the AddRoundKey step, the subkey is combined with the state. For each round, a subkey is derived from the main key using Rijndael's key schedule; each subkey is the same size as the state. The subkey is added by combining each byte of the state with the corresponding byte of the subkey using bitwise XOR.
Optimization of the cipher
On systems with 32-bit or larger words, it is possible to speed up execution of this cipher by combining SubBytes and ShiftRows with MixColumns, and transforming them into a sequence of table lookups. This requires four 256-entry 32-bit tables, which utilizes a total of four kilobytes (4096 bytes) of memory—one kilobyte for each table. A round can now be done with 16 table lookups and 12 32-bit exclusive-or operations, followed by four 32-bit exclusive-or operations in theAddRoundKey step.
If the resulting four kilobyte table size is too large for a given target platform, the table lookup operation can be performed with a single 256-entry 32-bit (i.e. 1 kilobyte) table by the use of circular rotates.
Using a byte-oriented approach, it is possible to combine the SubBytes, ShiftRows, andMixColumns steps into a single round operation.
Until May 2009, the only successful published attacks against the full AES were side-channel attacks on some specific implementations. The National Security Agency (NSA) reviewed all the AES finalists, including Rijndael, and stated that all of them were secure enough for U.S. Government non-classified data. In June 2003, the U.S. Government announced that AES may be used to protect classified information:
The design and strength of all key lengths of the AES algorithm (i.e., 128, 192 and 256) are sufficient to protect classified information up to the SECRET level. TOP SECRET information will require use of either the 192 or 256 key lengths. The implementation of AES in products intended to protect national security systems and/or information must be reviewed and certified by NSA prior to their acquisition and use."
AES has 10 rounds for 128-bit keys, 12 rounds for 192-bit keys, and 14 rounds for 256-bit keys. By 2006, the best known attacks were on 7 rounds for 128-bit keys, 8 rounds for 192-bit keys, and 9 rounds for 256-bit keys.
For cryptographers, a cryptographic "break" is anything faster than a brute force—performing one trial encryption for each key. Thus, an attack against a 256-bit-key AES requiring 2200 operations (compared to 2256 possible keys) would be considered a break, even though 2200 operations would still take far longer than the age of the universe to complete. The largest successful publicly-known brute force attack against any block-cipher encryption has been against a 64-bit RC5 key by distributed.net.
AES has a fairly simple algebraic description. In 2002, a theoretical attack, termed the "XSL attack", was announced by Nicolas Courtois and Josef Pieprzyk, purporting to show a weakness in the AES algorithm due to its simple description. Since then, other papers have shown that the attack as originally presented is unworkable; see XSL attack on block ciphers.
During the AES process, developers of competing algorithms wrote of Rijndael, "...we are concerned about [its] use...in security-critical applications." However, at the end of the AES process, Bruce Schneier, a developer of the competing algorithm Twofish, wrote that while he thought successful academic attacks on Rijndael would be developed someday, "I do not believe that anyone will ever discover an attack that will allow someone to read Rijndael traffic."
On July 1, 2009, Bruce Schneier blogged about a related-key attack on the 192-bit and 256-bit versions of AES, discovered by Alex Biryukov and Dmitry Khovratovich, which exploits AES's somewhat simple key schedule and has a complexity of 2119. In December 2009 it was improved to 299.5. This is a follow-up to an attack discovered earlier in 2009 by Alex Biryukov, Dmitry Khovratovich, and Ivica Nikolić, with a complexity of 296 for one out of every 235 keys. Another attack was blogged by Bruce Schneier on July 30, 2009 and released as a preprint on August 3, 2009. This new attack, by Alex Biryukov, Orr Dunkelman, Nathan Keller, Dmitry Khovratovich, and Adi Shamir, is against AES-256 that uses only two related keys and 239 time to recover the complete 256-bit key of a 9-round version, or 245 time for a 10-round version with a stronger type of related subkey attack, or 270 time for an 11-round version. 256-bit AES uses 14 rounds, so these attacks aren't effective against full AES.
In November 2009, the first known-key distinguishing attack against a reduced 8-round version of AES-128 was released as a preprint. This known-key distinguishing attack is an improvement of the rebound or the start-from-the-middle attacks for AES-like permutations, which view two consecutive rounds of permutation as the application of a so-called Super-Sbox. It works on the 8-round version of AES-128, with a time complexity of 248, and a memory complexity of 232.
In July 2010 Vincent Rijmen published an ironic paper on "chosen-key-relations-in-the-middle" attacks on AES-128.
The first key-recovery attacks on full AES due to Andrey Bogdanov, Dmitry Khovratovich, and Christian Rechberger were published in 2011. The attack is based on bicliques and is faster than brute force by a factor of about four. The key is recovered from AES-128 in 2126.1 operations. For AES-192 and AES-256, 2189.7and 2254.4 operations are needed, respectively.
Side-channel attacks do not attack the underlying cipher and so have nothing to do with its security as described here, but attack implementations of the cipher on systems which inadvertently leak data. There are several such known attacks on certain implementations of AES.
In April 2005, D.J. Bernstein announced a cache-timing attack that he used to break a custom server that used OpenSSL's AES encryption. The custom server was designed to give out as much timing information as possible (the server reports back the number of machine cycles taken by the encryption operation), and the attack required over 200 million chosen plaintexts.
In October 2005, Dag Arne Osvik, Adi Shamir and Eran Tromer presented a paper demonstrating several cache-timing attacks against AES. One attack was able to obtain an entire AES key after only 800 operations triggering encryptions, in a total of 65 milliseconds. This attack requires the attacker to be able to run programs on the same system or platform that is performing AES.
In November 2010 Endre Bangerter, David Gullasch and Stephan Krenn published a paper which described a practical approach to a "near real time" recovery of secret keys from AES-128 without the need for either cipher text or plaintext. The approach also works on AES-128 implementations that use compression tables, such as OpenSSL. Like some earlier attacks this one requires the ability to run arbitrary code on the system performing the AES encryption. 
The Cryptographic Module Validation Program (CMVP) is operated jointly by the United States Government's National Institute of Standards and Technology(NIST) Computer Security Division and the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) of the Government of Canada. The use of validated cryptographic modules is not required by the United States Government for unclassified uses of cryptography. The Government of Canada also recommends the use of FIPS 140validated cryptographic modules in unclassified applications of its departments.
Although NIST publication 197 ("FIPS 197") is the unique document that covers the AES algorithm, vendors typically approach the CMVP under FIPS 140 and ask to have several algorithms (such as Triple DES or SHA1) validated at the same time. Therefore, it is rare to find cryptographic modules that are uniquely FIPS 197 validated and NIST itself does not generally take the time to list FIPS 197 validated modules separately on its public web site. Instead, FIPS 197 validation is typically just listed as an "FIPS approved: AES" notation (with a specific FIPS 197 certificate number) in the current list of FIPS 140 validated cryptographic modules.
The Cryptographic Algorithm Validation Program (CAVP) allows for independent validation of the correct implementation of the AES algorithm at a reasonable cost. Successful validation results in being listed on the NIST validations page. This testing is a pre-requisite for the FIPS 140-2 module validation described below.
FIPS 140-2 validation is challenging to achieve both technically and fiscally. There is a standardized battery of tests as well as an element of source code review that must be passed over a period of a few weeks. The cost to perform these tests through an approved laboratory can be significant (e.g., well over $30,000 US) and does not include the time it takes to write, test, document and prepare a module for validation. After validation, modules must be re-submitted and re-evaluated if they are changed in any way. This can vary from simple paperwork updates if the security functionality did not change to a more substantial set of re-testing if the security functionality was impacted by the change.
Test vectors are a set of known ciphers for a given input and key. NIST distributes the reference of AES test vectors as AES Known Answer Test (KAT) Vectors (in ZIP format).
High speed and low RAM requirements were criteria of the AES selection process. Thus AES performs well on a wide variety of hardware, from 8-bit smartcards to high-performance computers.
- Advanced Encryption Standard process
- AES implementations
- AES instruction set for Intel and AMD microprocessors
- Rijndael key schedule
- Rijndael S-box
- Data Encryption Standard (DES)
- Disk encryption
- Multiscale Electrophysiology Format (MEF)
- Triple DES
- Whirlpool - hash function created by Vincent Rijmen and Paulo S. L. M. Barreto
- ^ Key sizes of 128, 160, 192, 224, and 256 bits are supported by the Rijndael algorithm, but only the 128, 192, and 256-bit key sizes are specified in the AES standard.
- ^ Block sizes of 128, 160, 192, 224, and 256 bits are supported by the Rijndael algorithm, but only the 128-bit block size is specified in the AES standard.
- ^ Westlund, Harold B. (2002). "NIST reports measurable success of Advanced Encryption Standard". Journal of Research of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
- ^ John Schwartz (October 3, 2000). "U.S. Selects a New Encryption Technique". New York Times.
- ^ "'Rijndael' pronunciation".
- ^ Bruce Schneier, John Kelsey, Doug Whiting, David Wagner, Chris Hall, Niels Ferguson, Tadayoshi Kohno, Mike Stay (May 2000). "The Twofish Team’s Final Comments on AES Selection".
- ^ "Efficient software implementation of AES on 32-bit platforms". Lecture Notes in Computer Science: 2523. 2003
- ^ Lynn Hathaway (June 2003). "National Policy on the Use of the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) to Protect National Security Systems and National Security Information" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-02-15.
- ^ John Kelsey, Stefan Lucks, Bruce Schneier, Mike Stay, David Wagner, andDoug Whiting, Improved Cryptanalysis of Rijndael, Fast Software Encryption, 2000 pp213–230 
- ^ Ou, George (April 30, 2006). "Is encryption really crackable?". Ziff-Davis. Archived from the original on August 7, 2010. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
- ^ "Sean Murphy". University of London. Retrieved 2008-11-02.
- ^ Bruce Schneier. "AES News, Crypto-Gram Newsletter, September 15, 2002". Retrieved 2007-07-27.
- ^ Niels Ferguson, Richard Schroeppel, Doug Whiting (2001). "A simple algebraic representation of Rijndael" (PDF/PostScript). Proceedings ofSelected Areas in Cryptography, 2001, Lecture Notes in Computer Science.Springer-Verlag. pp. 103–111. Retrieved 2006-10-06.
- ^ Bruce Schneier, AES Announced, October 15, 2000
- ^ Bruce Schneier (2009-07-01). "New Attack on AES". Schneier on Security, A blog covering security and security technology. Retrieved 2010-03-11.
- ^ Biryukov, Alex; Khovratovich, Dmitry (2009-12-04). "Related-key Cryptanalysis of the Full AES-192 and AES-256". Retrieved 2010-03-11.
- ^ Nikolić, Ivica (2009). "Distinguisher and Related-Key Attack on the Full AES-256". Advances in Cryptology - CRYPTO 2009. Springer Berlin / Heidelberg. pp. 231–249. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-03356-8_14. ISBN 978-3-642-03355-1.
- ^ Bruce Schneier (2009-07-30). "Another New AES Attack". Schneier on Security, A blog covering security and security technology. Retrieved 2010-03-11.
- ^ Alex Biryukov; Orr Dunkelman; Nathan Keller; Dmitry Khovratovich; Adi Shamir (2009-08-19). "Key Recovery Attacks of Practical Complexity on AES Variants With Up To 10 Rounds". Retrieved 2010-03-11.
- ^ Henri Gilbert; Thomas Peyrin (2009-11-09). "Super-Sbox Cryptanalysis: Improved Attacks for AES-like permutations". Retrieved 2010-03-11.
- ^ Vincent Rijmen (2010). "Practical-Titled Attack on AES-128 Using Chosen-Text Relations".
- ^ Andrey Bogdanov, Dmitry Khovratovich, and Christian Rechberger (2011)."Biclique Cryptanalysis of the Full AES".
- ^ "Index of formal scientific papers". Cr.yp.to. Retrieved 2008-11-02.
- ^ Bruce Schneier. "AES Timing Attack". Retrieved 2007-03-17.
- ^ Dag Arne Osvik1; Adi Shamir2 and Eran Tromer2 (2005-11-20) (PDF). Cache Attacks and Countermeasures: the Case of AES. Retrieved 2008-11-02.
- ^ Dhiman Saha, Debdeep Mukhopadhyay, Dipanwita RoyChowdhury (PDF). A Diagonal Fault Attack on the Advanced Encryption Standard. Retrieved 2009-12-08.
- ^ Endre Bangerter, David Gullasch and Stephan Krenn (2010). "Cache Games – Bringing Access-Based Cache Attacks on AES to Practice".
- ^ a b OpenSSL's Notes about FIPS certification
- ^ "Performance Comparisons of the AES submissions" (PDF). 1999-02-01. Retrieved 2010-12-28.
- Nicolas Courtois, Josef Pieprzyk, "Cryptanalysis of Block Ciphers with Overdefined Systems of Equations". pp267–287, ASIACRYPT 2002.
- Joan Daemen, Vincent Rijmen, "The Design of Rijndael: AES - The Advanced Encryption Standard." Springer, 2002. ISBN 3-540-42580-2.
- Christof Paar, Jan Pelzl, "The Advanced Encryption Standard", Chapter 4 of "Understanding Cryptography, A Textbook for Students and Practitioners". (companion web site contains online lectures on AES), Springer, 2009.
- Reference implementation and derived code
- FIPS PUB 197: the official AES standard (PDF file)
- AES algorithm archive information - (old, unmaintained)
- Animation of the AES encryption process
- Fully Functional Animation of the AES encryption process and key expansion (128 bits) - based on the work of Enrique Zabala (previous link)
- Stick Figure Guide to AES, a layman introduction to cryptography and AES.
- AES has been cracked!!
- An in-depth description of the Advanced Encryption Standard and the maths behind it. C implementation provided.
- Accelerating AES in software by using custom instructions (PDF file)
- AES VHDL implementation (pipelined and iterative)
Encipher It: Easiest Browser based Advanced Encryption Tools [Video Demonstration]
Encipher It- One of the best and easiest AES Text encryptor for Google Mail or anything else. It provides more secure PBKDF2 (Password-Based Key Derivation Function) key generation. It uses Advanced Encryption Standard to protect your data. All encoding/decoding is performed locally in your browser.
Home Office rejects decriminalising possession of drugs for personal use
Official advisory body says better to educate and apply civil sanctions rather than fine or imprison users
The Home Office has quickly rejected a call from the government's official drug advisers to decriminalise the personal possession of all illegal drugs, including heroin and cocaine.
The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) has said it would be better if the tens of thousands of people caught with illicit drugs were sent on drug education and awareness courses rather than punished with fines and other penalties, up to imprisonment.
But the Home Office has rejected the advice, a spokesman saying on Friday: "We have no intention of liberalising our drugs laws. Drugs are illegal because they are harmful – they destroy lives and cause untold misery to families and communities.
"Those caught in the cycle of dependency must be supported to live drug-free lives, but giving people a green light to possess drugs through decriminalisation is clearly not the answer.
"We are taking action through tough enforcement, both inland and abroad, alongside introducing temporary banning powers and robust treatment programmes that lead people into drug-free recovery."
The ACMD suggested that it would save the police, courts, probation and prison services the millions of pounds currently spent dealing with drug users and enable them to be assessed for treatment rather than given criminal records.
The drug advisers' recommendation was made in evidence this year to a consultation by the Sentencing Council on new guidelines on how the courts should deal with drug offences.
"For people found to be in possession of (any) drug for personal use (and in involved in no other criminal offences), they should not be processed through the criminal justice system but instead diverted into drug education/awareness courses," the ACMD said.
The advisers suggested that confiscating driving licences and passports may be more effective as civil sanctions than imposing criminal penalties: "Such approaches may be more effective in reducing repeat offending," they said.
The call by the ACMD made earlier this summer echoes the vote by the Liberal Democrat conference to endorse a similar decriminalisation approach to personal possession. Portugal became the first European country in 2001 to replace criminal penalties for possession with administrative fines, similar to parking tickets, combined with treatment and education courses.
Friday, 14 October 2011
UK Government's Official Drug Advisers Want to Decriminalize All Personal Drug Use
Published October 14, 2011
LONDON – Possession of any drug for personal use should be decriminalized, the UK government's official drug advisers have recommended.
Tens of thousands of people caught with drugs ranging from heroin to cannabis would go on drug education courses rather than being punished in the courts under the proposals, The London Times reported Friday.
The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs said the change would save police, courts, probation and prison services the costs of dealing with drug offenders. It would also allow more drug users to be assessed for treatment rather than being given criminal records.
The council's call to decriminalize the personal use of hard drugs such as heroin and cocaine puts it on a collision course with the government, which is opposed to any weakening of existing drug laws. Professor Les Iversen, chairman of the council, believes there is now an opportunity to be more creative in dealing with those who are caught in possession of drugs.
"For people found to be in possession of (any) drug for personal use (and involved in no other criminal offenses), they should not be processed through the criminal justice system but instead be diverted into drug education/awareness courses," the council said.
The council also suggests drug users could have their driving licenses and passports confiscated as part of a civil rather than criminal penalty.
"Such approaches may be more effective in reducing repeat offending," it said. The council is clear that anyone caught with drugs for personal possession who is also involved or linked to other crime would be dealt with through the court system.
About 35,000 people were sentenced for drug possession in 2009. A further 11,490 were given an on-the-spot fine and 43,000 were cautioned for drug offenses.
Roger Howard, chief executive of independent body the UK Drug Policy Commission, said the call for decriminalization recognized that prosecutions for what might be described as low-level offenses is not worth the time of the police, Crown Prosecution Service and courts.
"I think the Advisory Council is catching up and recognizing, de facto, what is already beginning to happen," he said. "They are calling for decriminalization of possession of drugs for personal use. Other countries have done this, most notably Portugal, and the roof has not fallen in."
Portugal became the first European country in July 2001 to introduce "administrative" penalties -- similar to parking fines -- for the possession of all illicit drugs.