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The NIST hash function competition was an open competition held by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop a new hash function called SHA-3 to complement the older SHA-1 and SHA-2. The competition was formally announced in the Federal Register on November 2, 2007.^{[1]} "NIST is initiating an effort to develop one or more additional hash algorithms through a public competition, similar to the development process for the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)."^{[2]} The competition ended on October 2, 2012 when the NIST announced that Keccak would be the new SHA-3 hash algorithm.^{[3]}
People expect the winning hash function to be published as NIST FIPS 202 the "SHA-3 Standard", to complement FIPS 180-4, the Secure Hash Standard.
The NIST competition has inspired other competitions such as the Password Hashing Competition.
Submissions were due October 31, 2008 and the list of candidates accepted for the first round was published on December 9, 2008.^{[4]} NIST held a conference in late February 2009 where submitters presented their algorithms and NIST officials discussed criteria for narrowing down the field of candidates for Round 2.^{[5]} The list of 14 candidates accepted to Round 2 was published on July 24, 2009.^{[6]} Another conference was held on August 23–24, 2010 (after CRYPTO 2010) at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where the second-round candidates were discussed.^{[7]} The announcement of the final round candidates occurred on December 10, 2010.^{[8]} On October 2, 2012, the NIST announced its winner, choosing Keccak, created by Guido Bertoni, Joan Daemen and Gilles Van Assche of STMicroelectronics and Michaël Peeters of NXP.^{[3]}
This is an incomplete list of known submissions. NIST selected 51 entries for round 1.^{[4]} 14 of them advanced to round 2,^{[6]} from which 5 finalists were selected.
The winner was announced to be Keccak on October 2, 2012.^{[9]}
NIST selected five SHA-3 candidate algorithms to advance to the third (and final) round:^{[10]}
NIST noted some factors that figured into its selection as it announced the finalists:^{[11]}
NIST has released a report explaining its evaluation algorithm-by-algorithm.^{[12]}^{[13]}
The following hash function submissions were accepted for Round Two, but did not make it to the final round. As noted in the announcement of the finalists, "none of these candidates was clearly broken".
The following hash function submissions were accepted for Round One but did not pass to Round Two. They have neither been conceded by the submitters nor have had substantial cryptographic weaknesses. However, most of them have some weaknesses in the design components, or performance issues.
The following non-conceded Round One entrants have had substantial cryptographic weaknesses announced.
The following Round One entrants have been officially retracted from the competition by their submitters; they are considered broken according to the NIST official Round One Candidates web site. As such, they are withdrawn from the competition.
Several submissions received by NIST were not accepted as First Round Candidates, following an internal review by NIST.^{[4]} In general, NIST gave no details as to why each was rejected. NIST also has not given a comprehensive list of rejected algorithms; there are known to be 13,^{[4]}^{[66]} but only the following are public.
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