Triple DES/3DES Encryption ATMs

ATM Machines

get_startedAfter April 1, 2002 (but before April 1, 2003) any installed or replaced ATM is required to be capable of 3DES encryption. This means the ATM must support 3DES encryption (when required), but the ATM could be operated using standard DES encryption keys.

After April 1, 2003 (but before December 31 2005) any installed or replaced ATM will need to be 3DES compliant. This means the ATM must support 3DES as well as have 3DES encryption key installed while operating.

After December 31, 2005, all ATMs must support and use 3DES encryption. ATMs already in operation prior to this date will be required to upgraded to use 3DES encryption.

April 1, 2005. All online host interfaces who are MasterCard/Cirrus/Maestro participants will need to be using 3DES for the encryption of PIN Blocks. Not all machines can be 3DES upgraded. Some upgrades will include keypad, router or modem and monitor.

If your ATM was installed prior to April of 2002 and is not 3DES compliant, it will most likely be out of order on January 1, 2006.

Let do a free evaluation of your ATM to make sure your compliant.

Overview – an Explanation of Triple DES

DES is an acronym for Data Encryption Standard. Encryption is the transformation of data to a form which is impossible to read without the appropriate knowledge or key. There are different approaches to cryptography like public / secret key encryption and different algorithms are used for each type of system. 3DES is a cryptosystem, which can encrypt and decrypt data using a single secret key.

The Data Encryption Standard (DES) was developed by an IBM team around 1974 and adopted as a national standard in 1977. 3DES is a revamped variation of this standard due to the need for higher levels of security. Since computing power has increased substantially since 1977 the need for increased security (the time it would take to crack standard DES) is required.

3DES “3DES” is as the name implies three times slower than regular DES but can be billions of times more secure if used properly. 3DES enjoys much wider use than DES because DES is so easy to break with today’s rapidly advancing technology. In 1998 the Electronic Frontier Foundation, using a specially developed computer called the DES Cracker, managed to break DES in less than 3 days. And this was done for under $250,000. The encryption chip that powered the DES Cracker was capable of processing 88 billion keys per second. In addition, back in 1998 it was shown that for a cost of one million dollars a dedicated hardware device can be built that can search all possible DES keys in about 3.5 hours. This just serves to illustrate that any organization with moderate resources can break through DES with very little effort these days. No sane security expert would consider using standard DES to protect data especially with the ever-increasing advances in computer technology.

3DES was the answer to many of the shortcomings of DES. Since it is based on the DES algorithm, it is very easy to modify existing software to use 3DES. It also has the advantage of proven reliability and a longer key length that eliminates many of the shortcut attacks that can be used to reduce the amount of time it takes to break DES. For the foreseeable future 3DES is an excellent and reliable choice for the security needs of highly sensitive information include the future of PIN enable ATM transaction security.

In Depth

3DES is simply another mode of DES operation. It takes three 64-bit keys, for an overall key length of 192 bits. The procedure for encryption is exactly the same as regular DES, but it is repeated three times. Hence the name 3DES. The data is encrypted with the first key, decrypted with the second key, and finally encrypted again with the third key.

Consequently, 3DES runs three times slower than standard DES, but is much more secure if used properly. The procedure for decrypting something is the same as the procedure for encryption, except it is executed in reverse. Like DES, data is encrypted and decrypted in 64-bit chunks.

Note that although the input key for DES is 64 bits long, the actual key used by DES is only 56 bits in length. The least significant (right most) bit in each byte is a parity bit, and should be set so that there are always an odd number of 1’s in every byte. These parity bits are ignored, so only the seven most significant bits of each byte are used, resulting in a key length of 56 bits. This means that the effective key strength for 3DES is actually 168 bits because each of the three keys contains 8 parity bits that are not used during the encryption process.

Triple DES and Triton ATMs