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Date: Apr 2020
Posted by: Alison Maine

Thales TCT is pleased to announce the release of High Speed Encryption (HSE) Firmware (FW) V5.1. Continuing our commitment to provide innovative products that meet our customers’ security needs, HSE FW 5.1 contains a number of customer requested enhancements, product maintenance items, and documentation improvements.

Thales TCT recommends that all HSEs be updated to the V5.1 firmware as soon as possible. The V5.1 is not backward compatible with prior versions of code but provides extensive feature advancements, updates to meet the latest security standards, and address critical known issues as outlined below. Thales TCT will still offer HSE FW V 2.7.1 to customers who require previous versions of code.

Feature Enhancement

The V5.1 firmware release introduces Transport Independent Mode (TIM) which provides network independent encryption allowing customers to secure data in motion at layer 2, 3, or 4. In addition to the TIM enhancement, 100G Forward Error Correction (FEC) and GCM mode, and support for EQKD were added. Please refer to the Customer Release Note (CRN) and Users Guide for a full list of features now available.

Security Standard Updates

V5.1 firmware meets the latest NIST guidance set out in the Transitioning the Use of Cryptographic Algorithms and Key Lengths publication (SP800-131A). These updates to the V5.1 firmware render it inoperable with any prior version. It is recommended that all fielded units be upgraded to Firmware V5.1 to meet the latest NIST guidance and to ensure interoperability within the network. Please see the Release Notes for further details on interoperability and upgrade caveats.

Known Issue/Bug Fix

The HSE software library requires modification in order to address an undesired function. The fix removes an authentication mechanism whereby self-signed encryptor certificates may be accepted during session establishment. The change reduces the scope of accepted certificates, but does not alter the underlying security or cryptographic mechanism. Patches are available via Thales TCT customer support to address this issues.

To learn more about high speed encryption, visit www.thalestct.com/hse.

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