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on the NIST website for Message authentication There is a mention of 2 approved algorithms, i am curious about the first one. the link to FIPS 113, Computer Data Authentication appears to be dead since it redirects me to the homepage of NIST.gov

On a dutch Wikipedia article (the only wiki article i could find about FIPS 113, it is stated this FIPS is outdated and not secure by today's standards. Is this true? is the Algorithm described in FIPS no longer safe? would this make HMAC the only NIST approved MAC?


I have written an email notifying the NIST site administrator about the link.

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The NIST site http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/PubsFIPSArch.html lists FIPS 113 as Withdrawn: Sep 2008. The Federal Register https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2005/07/15/05-13992/proposed-withdrawal-of-ten-10-federal-information-processing-standards-fips gives a reason:

FIPS 113, Computer Data Authentication, specifies an algorithm for generating and verifying a Message Authentication Code (MAC). Since the algorithm is based on the Data Encryption Standard, which has been recommended for withdrawal, NIST plans to recommend the use of newer techniques for data authentication based on more secure algorithms.

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  • $\begingroup$ So why do they still have it as an approved algorithm on there site that was 7 years ago. Sometimes i really don't get NIST. $\endgroup$
    – Vincent
    Apr 30, 2015 at 13:27
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You will find a list of Approved security functions (message authentication among them) here on the NIST website (FIPS 140-2 Annex A: Approved Security Functions): http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/fips/fips140-2/fips1402annexa.pdf

Interestingly in this document #1 (Triple-DES) references FIPS 113, which leads me to believe the method in FIPS 113 is valid but when used with Triple-DES and not DES. The other methods specified in Annex A are as you say HMAC, as well as AES (CCM/CMAC/GCM/GMAC).

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  • $\begingroup$ Interesting indeed, but then why is it still on their site? any ideas? obviously we can't know the miracle which is the NIST reasoning but still. $\endgroup$
    – Vincent
    Apr 30, 2015 at 13:28
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@gammatester gave most of the answer, but he didn't address the last question:

would this make HMAC the only NIST approved MAC?

No, as of right now, the block cipher-based Message Authentication Codes CMAC and GMAC are also approved. In addition, if you use the approved mode CCM with a empty message, that's effectively a MAC over the Additional Associated Data.

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  • $\begingroup$ Well yes i forgot about GCM and other modes of operation since it was not mentioned on the "Message authentication" page. but you're quite right. $\endgroup$
    – Vincent
    Apr 30, 2015 at 13:37

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