Maybe We Don't Need SHA-3?

At least one finalist in the contest to replace SHA-2 is hoping for "No Award."

NIST, which has been hosting the contest to find a new algorithm since 2007, has the option of choosing none of the five finalists. Although his is one of the finalists, Bruce Schneier, who co-authored the Skein algorithm, says he'd be fine if NIST didn't choose one of them. He argues that there's nothing wrong with SHA-2 (yet) and doesn't see the need to replace it (yet).

He wrote: "Even worse, none of the SHA-3 candidates is significantly better. Some are faster, but not orders of magnitude faster. Some are smaller in hardware, but not orders of magnitude smaller. When SHA-3 is announced, I'm going to recommend that, unless the improvements are critical to their application, people stick with the tried and true SHA-512. At least for a while."

That said, he thinks NIST will chose one and he hopes that it is his own.