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Can anyone explain (or give a link to document about) why Rijndaal won the AES, especially comparing it to other finalists (Serpent and Twofish)? What criteria were used to make decision?

Or is there detailed comparison of these algorithms including cryptographic strength, performance tests on different CPUs and maybe FPGA implementations (AFAIK i.e. Serpent's round can be fully parallelized in dataflow architectures) and also point if there are some general issues with these algorithms (i.e. attacks on AES256 that makes it less strong than AES128)?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

During the end of the contest the twofish team published a paper with their analysis where they discuss their thoughts and beliefs of what should happen. Futhermore they discuss the speed security tradeoff. Keep in mind this is a bit ago during the actual AES competition.

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Considering the keyed SBoxes of Twofish, it would be nice to see some more recent analysis of how well (or badly) Twofish resists timing attacks, when used for online communications. –  Henrick Hellström Feb 21 '12 at 7:50
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The final report is here http://csrc.nist.gov/archive/aes/index.html. All five finalists had at least adequate security on all accounts studied during the process, but Rijndael had better performance characteristics in both software and firmware on other hardware than 32 bit processors, compared to the other finalists.

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