What is FIPS 140-3?

FIPS 140-3 will soon replace FIPS 140-2 as the standard NIST uses to validate cryptographic libraries. The standard is still in draft status, but could be issued in 2011.

FIPS 140-2 has four levels of security: most cryptographic software uses “Level 1” and most cryptographic hardware uses “Level 3”.  FIPS 140-3 expands that to five levels, but the minimum (and thus most common) levels for software and hardware will likely remain Levels 1 and 3, respectively.

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