Triple DES is a cryptographic term. It uses the DES encryption algorithm to encode the data. But let’s take a deeper look at it.
Triple DES is a Triple Data Encryption Algorithm. It uses a symmetric-key algorithm alongside a block cipher to encode each data block 3 times. Due to the rise and improvement of criminals, a 56-bit key DES standard is no longer efficient. That’s why the system has shifted to 3DES. The variety of standardization documents define the Triple DES algorithm.
As we have mentioned before the system has used the 56-bit long cipher key. To make the algorithm more invulnerable to hacking, 3DES now uses an enhanced-length key. So, there was no need to change the algorithm completely.
In this case, Triple DES uses the 3-key bundle – K1, K2, and K3. This eliminates the middle-man attacks. Each of the keys is 56-bit of length. The formula of the process is as follows:
Thus, the algorithm encrypts some plain text with K1, then decrypts it with K2, and encrypts it back again with K3.
3DES encrypts each data block with the data of 64 bits.
Not only the algorithm uses 3 keys but also has 3 keying methods.
- Method 1, when the keys are independent.
- Option 2, when the first and the second keys are independent, and the first one equals the third.
- Method 3, when the first, second, and third keys are identical.