It is currently one of the most secure ways of encrypting data, and is used by the US government.

*AES has swept away old faithful DES, and is now the workhorse of business and government cryptography. Our entire civil order relies on its integrity. Here we explain how it works, and discover how a string of simple crypto primitives combine to such a robust cipher for which no mathematical compromise was ever published.*

Also, check out this book on Cryptography, Understanding Cryptography: A Textbook for Students and Practitioners, rated rather highly by many people on Amazon.

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