I've just developed a block cipher symmetric-key algorithm and I am using it in some of my products. I want to put it to real test.

How would one go about entering their encryption algorithm into an international encrytption contest?

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    Are you a cryptographer, or at least familiar with crypto literature and research? If not, even I can tell you that your products will be broken easily and that you should just use existing, widely peer-reviewed ciphers and implementations. Cryptography is seriously hard - it's hard to tell when you screw up before it's too late. – user7043 Nov 11 '12 at 21:35
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    Seconding @delnan. Writing your own crypto is never a good idea unless it's specifically only for learning and experimenting purposes and will never be used in real world scenarios. And even then, one should prefer implementing and studying known algorithms with good emphasis on mathematical principles behind them rather than trying to come up with new algorithms. Getting crypto right is hard, as such one should not try to implement their own crypto - ever. – zxcdw Nov 11 '12 at 21:46
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    Find out some of the techniques used by pros and try to crack your own cipher. If you think it's solid then publish the source code. – James Nov 11 '12 at 22:14
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    Bruce Schneier has a memo that is relevant to your situation: schneier.com/crypto-gram-9810.html#cipherdesign – K.Steff Nov 11 '12 at 23:21
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    As an aside, I don't think this is a stupid question, nor that it should be closed. Having it stand openly will allow others attempting the same work to see that they are entering an extremely difficult field of endeavour. – Gary Rowe Nov 12 '12 at 9:30

Yes but they are normally the other way around.

Well respected experts in crypto are invited to submit their algorithms and everyone else in the world is invited to break them. The one that does best ends up as the next standard. These algorithms have already stood up to the mathematical tests of their own inventors, their students and fellow researches as well as the experts at various inteligence agencies.

Sorry but nobody is going to put time/effort/resources into trying to break an algorithm by an amateur with no reputation, publications or standing in the field.

  • +1: I would not say "Nobody", I would say "Nobody anyone will listen to" – mattnz Nov 11 '12 at 21:52
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    There's lots of people who are willing to put effort into cracking his algorithm - it's the shady ones with black hats. – Lars Viklund Nov 11 '12 at 21:59
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    @LarsViklund - that's true! If you want people to put effort into breaking your flawed crypto system just use it in some commercial setting ;-) – Martin Beckett Nov 11 '12 at 22:01
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    Just be aware that chances are pretty good they won't tell you about it when they break it... – Jerry Coffin Nov 12 '12 at 6:43
  • @JerryCoffin - they'll anonymously tell everyone how they did it just for the recognition. – JeffO Jan 14 '16 at 21:12

I want to put it to real test.

Use it to control access to non-trivial amounts of money, in public. Wait some time. If you still have your money, it's strong enough.

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    Interestingly that is exactly what is happening with Elliptic Curve Cryptography with Bitcoin (see bitcoin.stackexchange.com) – Gary Rowe Nov 12 '12 at 14:13
  • @GaryRowe I was being slightly tongue-in-cheek, but that's actually a very good point! – AakashM Nov 12 '12 at 14:31

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