- The following article is about the block cipher. For the axion observatory in Switzerland, see CERN Axion Solar Telescope.
) is a block cipher
used in a number of products, notably as the default cipher
in some versions of GPG
. It has also been approved for Canadian
government use by the Communications Security Establishment
. The algorithm was created in 1996
by Carlisle Adams
and Stafford Tavares
using the CAST
design procedure; another member of the CAST family of ciphers, CAST-256
(a former AES
candidate) was derived from CAST-128. According to some sources, the "CAST" name is based on the initials
of its inventors, though Bruce Schneier
reports the authors' claim that "the name should conjure up images of randomness" (Schneier, 1996).
CAST-128 is a 12- or 16-round Feistel network with a 64-bit block size and a key size of between 40 to 128 bits (but only in 8-bit increments). The full 16 rounds are used when the key size is longer than 80 bits.
Components include large 8×32-bit S-boxes based on bent functions, key-dependent rotations, modular addition and subtraction, and XOR operations. There are three alternating types of round function, but they are similar in structure and differ only in the choice of the exact operation (addition, subtraction or XOR) at various points.
Although Entrust holds a patent on the CAST design procedure, CAST-128 is available worldwide on a royalty-free basis for commercial and non-commercial uses.