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NEWS: RSA publishes RC2 description

1997-06-27 08:10:43

I thought this might be of interest.  You can find the I-D @  


Tim Matthews
Product Manager
RSA Data Security, Inc.
p. 415/595-8782
f.  415/595-1873
e. tim(_at_)rsa(_dot_)com


RSA Data Security Publishes RC2(R) Specification in IETF Forum 

08:17 a.m. Jun 27, 1997 Eastern 

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., June 27 /PRNewswire/ -- In a move to promote broad
acceptance of a single standard for electronic messaging, RSA Data
Security, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Security Dynamics
Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: SDTI), today announced that it has published
a description of its RC2(R) encryption algorithm for evaluation by the
Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).  The published description of RC2
allows developers working in the IETF to scrutinize the algorithm as part
of the process to establish S/MIME(TM) as a standard for electronic
messaging.  The RC2 algorithm is a critical component of this standard
because it provides for message privacy and interoperability between
domestic and export versions of products using S/MIME. 

Developed in 1987 by cryptography pioneer Ron Rivest, inventor of the RSA
public key cryptosystem, RC2 is in widespread use in a number of
commercial software packages, including Lotus Notes, Microsoft Windows,
Internet Explorer and Netscape Communication's Navigator and
Communicator.  RSA will continue to license RC2 in a variety of RSA
security toolkits, including BSAFE and SMAIL, as a method of providing
flexible data privacy. 

RC2's flexibility lets vendors tailor the level of security in their
products, allowing them to use long encryption keys where permitted, or
to meet federal constraints on key size for exportable applications.  In
addition, applications that utilize RC2 for privacy enjoy accelerated
export approval from the federal government. 

S/MIME is considered the de facto standard for interoperable, secure
e-mail and is used by major vendors, including Microsoft, IBM, Netscape
Communications and VeriSign, Inc.  S/MIME allows vendors to develop
interoperable RSA-based security for electronic messaging products, so
that an S/MIME message composed and encrypted on one vendor's application
can be decrypted on another.  S/MIME is based on a combination of the
standard MIME specification and the intervendor Public Key Cryptography
Standards (PKCS), one of the most widely implemented suite of commercial
cryptographic standards in the U.S. 

"The worldwide deployment of secure, interoperable e-mail can be
accelerated by the use of single standard, such as S/MIME, which has
already gained the endorsement of many of the industry's leading vendors
of e-mail and messaging products," said Jim Bidzos, president of RSA. 
"By publishing the description of RC2, we are facilitating the IETF's
approval of S/MIME as the industry's preferred solution for protecting
sensitive e-mail communications." 

"RSA is pleased to make its intellectual property available to the IETF
in support of standards," added Steve Dusse, chief technology officer of

"The Internet Mail Consortium is pleased to be involved in making S/MIME
an open standard in the IETF," said Paul Hoffman, director of the
Internet Mail Consortium (IMC) and a co-author of the S/MIME draft. 
"RSA's move to publish the RC2 description will help accelerate the
standardization process and benefit the entire Internet mail community
and the many vendors already committed to S/MIME." 

To help assure the performance of e-mail products designed to the S/MIME
specification, RSA is currently sponsoring a third round of
Internet-based interoperability testing at the S/MIME Interoperability
To date, eight e-mail products, including Netscape's Communicator, Frontier
Technologies' Intranet Genie, ConnectSoft's E-mail Connection, Deming
Software's Secure Messenger Entrust, NEL's Mahobin, OpenSoft's Express Mail,
and freeware Premail, have earned the S/MIME-certified logo.  Companies
participating in RSA's current round of interoperability testing include,
Baltimore Technologies, Ltd., Microsoft Corporation, NTT Electronics
Technology Corp., and SSE, Ltd. 

While originally proposed as a standard for secure, interoperable e-mail,
vendors have recently begun to evaluate S/MIME as the basis for creating
other Internet-based secure messaging applications such as Electronic Data
Interchange (EDI) and military communications.  Earlier this year, the
CommerceNet Consortium selected S/MIME as the primary technology for its EDI
Over the Internet initiative. 

RSA is also working closely with a number of vendors and the U.S. government
to incorporate S/MIME into the Defense Messaging System (DMS).  The
blueprint, expected later this summer, is designed to allow the government to
use off-the-shelf electronic messaging software, reducing government costs
and expanding the market for vendors. 

RSA Data Security, Inc. 

RSA Data Security, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Security Dynamics
Technologies, Inc., is the world's brand name for cryptography, with more
than 80 million copies of RSA encryption and authentication technologies
installed and in use worldwide.  RSA technologies are part of existing and
proposed standards for the Internet and World Wide Web, CCITT, ISO, ANSI,
IEEE, and business, financial and electronic commerce networks around the
globe. The company develops and markets platform-independent developer's kits
and end-user products and provides comprehensive cryptographic consulting

Founded in 1982 by the inventors of the RSA Public Key Cryptosystem, the
company is headquartered in Redwood City, Calif. 

NOTE:  RC2 is a registered trademark and BSAFE, SMAIL and S/MIME are
trademarks of RSA Data Security Inc.  All other product or brand names are
trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. SOURCE  RSA
Data Security Inc. 

Copyright 1997, PR Newswire   

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