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Camellia Encryption Algorithm Selected for New e-Government Recommended Ciphers List

- Japan's only 128-bit block cipher encryption algorithm to be adopted -

TOKYO, March 26, 2013 - Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NYSE: NTT) and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TOKYO: 6503) announced today that Camellia, the 128-bit block cipher jointly developed by the two companies in 2000, has been selected for adoption in Japan's new e-Government Recommended Ciphers List as the only 128-bit block cipher encryption algorithm developed in Japan.
The selection is attributed to Camellia's high reputation for ease of procurement, and security and performance features comparable to those of the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), the de facto standard 128-bit block Cipher adhering to U.S. government standards that was also selected for adoption in the new e-Government Recommended Ciphers List. As a leading technology strengthening the competitiveness of Japanese information security industries, Camellia is recognized as Japan's prime example of 128-bit block cipher algorithms, which are used widely in applications involving large-volume data, such as electronic communications, file encryption and mobile device authentication.

The e-Government Recommended Ciphers List selected by the Cryptography Research and Evaluation Committees (CRYPTREC) consists of recommended cryptographic technologies that offer robust security and processing capabilities, for both software and hardware, and can be applied in system construction. The List, first released in February 2003, recently was updated for the first time in 10 years. Camellia, which also was selected for the original list, was reselected as the only Japanese encryption algorithm among 128-bit block ciphers.

Significance of the adoption
- Safety and performance
An encryption algorithm is proven to be secure when it has resisted multiple deciphering attacks over a long period of time. Camellia's security has been continuously tested over a decade by the cryptography research community. Meanwhile, its ability to withstand newly-found attack techniques, including related-key, biclique-based meet-in-the-middle, and rebound attacks, was investigated, but no successful attack has been reported so far. Camellia's level of security therefore surpasses that of AES, which was subject to successful (but impractical) related-key attacks reported on its 192- and 256-bit versions.
- Ease of procurement based on extensive applications
NTT and Mitsubishi Electric made essential patents for Camellia available at no cost in 2001, and its source codes were opened in 2006 with the aim of positioning Camellia to play a leading role in the realization of a safe, low-cost and advanced information distribution society. It was the first time in Japan that a well-recognized Japanese cipher source code was opened. Camellia's open-source codes have been provided to world famous open-source projects such as OpenSSL, Firefox, Linux kernel and FreeBSD.
Camellia has been adopted by many international standards organizations, including the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and New European Schemes for Signatures, Integrity and Encryption (NESSIE), and Internet standards such as the SSL/TLS security protocol. Most importantly, it is the first time for a cipher developed in Japan to be adopted by Internet-related standards.

Future prospects
NTT and Mitsubishi Electric will continue to research and develop application services and products incorporating Camellia-equipped open-source software and security products to ensure the safety of public and private systems. The companies will thereby contribute to the development of a more secure and advanced information society, covering the management of information such as social security and tax number systems that is expected to be introduced in the future.