Computer Security Resource Center

Computer Security Resource Center

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Key Establishment Using Symmetric Block Ciphers: NIST Releases Draft Special Publication 800-71 for Public Comment
July 02, 2018

Draft NIST Special Publication (SP) 800-71, Recommendations for Key Establishment Using Symmetric Block Ciphers, addresses key establishment techniques that use symmetric key cryptography algorithms to protect symmetric keying material.

Most current key management systems are based on public key cryptography. However, with the emergence of quantum computing technology—which can break many public key algorithms currently in use—symmetric key cryptography may offer alternatives for key establishment. Symmetric key cryptography is more computationally efficient than public key cryptography, and is commonly used to protect larger volumes of information, both in transit and storage. Given the limited guidance currently available on using symmetric key cryptography for key establishment, it seems prudent to describe such techniques and their security considerations.

Comments on Draft SP 800-71 are requested by September 28, 2018.
Comments should be submitted to, with “Comments on Draft SP 800-71” in the subject line.

Parent Project

See: Key Management


Security and Privacy: key management, post-quantum cryptography

Technologies: networks

Created July 02, 2018, Updated June 22, 2020